News & views
Paxton's palace courts confusion
[7 Oct 2013] Canada’s Vancouver Sun announced today that Chinese developers the Zhongrong Group will recreate the Crystal Palace, the Victorian exhibition centre that was once the largest glass structure in the world, at a cost of £500million. The newspaper has got its wires tangled, though, about the identity of the designer of the original building. It says:
‘The Crystal Palace was designed by Jeremy Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition.’
Jeremy Paxman, Joseph Paxton: these bearded TV presenters and gardeners all look alike, especially from long distance.
Joseph Paxton the gardener had a work ethic that (at least by his own account) would put most of us to shame. Hired by the Duke of Devonshire in 1823 to sort out the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire, he arrived at 4.30am off the London to Chesterfield coach, scaled the kitchen wall, surveyed the gardens, put the staff to work, had breakfast with the housekeeper and chatted up her niece, who was to become his wife, all before 9am.
Paxman is usually still enjoying a lie-in at that time after monstering some hapless politician on Newsnight.