The Lowdown

Palace Stories is an audio storytelling community project. It documents the lives of the myriad people who live in Crystal Palace, London SE19 during a time of transition and growth for the area. Its aim is to preserve the living history of, and for, the people who live here and love here.

What is Palace Stories?
Palace Stories is an audio storytelling podcast about the South London neighbourhood of Crystal Palace, SE19. Each episode contains the stories of three different residents who personify in their own unique way a type of character.

The first episode is The Publicans and will launch on Friday 11 January. It looks at the people who run the three pubs which sit on each corner at the main junction at the top of the hill where the Crystal Palace Parade ends: The Grape and Grain, The Cambridge, and Westow House. Justin Hutton, the general manager of Westow House calls it “the gateway into the triangle”. We agree, and thought it was a fitting place to launch this series. In it you hear first- and secondhand accounts of the motivations of the publicans and how that effects their pubs.

Subsequent episodes may include The Gardener, The Writer, The Stranger, The Foodie, The Artist, The Historian, The Soldier, and many, many more characters.

Where can I listen to it?
At the moment, Palace Stories will be available to listen or download on the internet at, or on Soundcloud at

We’re looking into feeding the podcast via iTunes so listeners can download it and listen to Palace Stories on the go. If you know how to do that, then we want to hear from you!

When will the next episode be launched?
As a voluntary community project, Palace Stories is run on a part-time basis for free. As such, episodes will be produced as and when time allows. Each new episode will be announced via local media, Facebook and Twitter. There is a dedicated website,, which listeners can visit for updates.

How does Palace Stories work?
Palace Stories will aim to work with volunteers from the community to produce each episode. Community involvement can be as simple as listening to the podcast, following the Palace Stories Facebook page and Twitter feed, contributing photos and memories, or suggesting people who have a story to tell for use in the podcast.

Other valuable ways to contribute to Palace Stories include:

  • lending technical and administrative support;
  • composing music, poetry and sound effects for use on the podcast;
  • being trained in audio recording and editing to conduct interviews;
  • photographing the characters and places of Crystal Palace for use on the website and social media;
  • producing illustrations and artwork for use on the website and social media;
  • researching grant and revenue producing opportunities to keep the podcast running;
  • and any other function you may want to donate with your time and skills.

Who runs Palace Stories?
Palace Stories was founded and is run by Roxanne Escobales, a local resident and journalist. She’s worked for the BBC World Service and Radio 4, The Guardian, and Oxfam. Roxanne has lived in Crystal Palace since 1998, having moved here from Tampa, Florida. While she misses the sunshine, she can’t imagine living anywhere else in London.

Joining Roxanne for the launch are local residents Graeme Dalton, who provided art direction and designed the logo, and Del Oldham, who provided photos for the Facebook page.

How can I contact Palace Stories?
We’d love to hear from our listeners and supporters, especially with any feedback or with offers of volunteering. Of course, we’re happy to receive email on any topic, so drop us a line!

The best way to contact us is via email. You can also Tweet at us @PalaceStories, or send us a message via Facebook.


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