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D is for Dome
January 1st 2000 - the Millennium Dome opens with a flurry of publicity and hope.
January 11th 2000 - the optimism drops lower than the visitor numbers.
December 31st 2000 - everything splutters to a close, signalling the Millennium Done?
The North Greenwich peninsula now lies quiet and deserted, with seagulls the only visitors. Jubilee Line trains stop every three minutes at the flagship station just to let nobody get on or off. Some have suggested that Osama Bin Laden could be living in the Dome and nobody would yet have noticed.
The amount of public money so far spent on the Dome is equivalent to every man, woman and child in the country buying a ticket while it was still open. If only more than five million of them had bothered…
The Government have ended speculation over the future of the site by donating it to an international consortium. The 999-year lease is just long enough to cover the next millennium celebrations. Hopefully the proposed sports stadium and entertainment complex will have broken even by then.
Here are just a few of the unsuccessful alternative options that narrowly failed to be selected:
Moving Parliament 5 miles to the east, given that Ministers seem to like the place so much.
Tellytubbyland – BBC Enterprises have been very successful marketing just 4 visitors to a dome.
Extending Docklands because it’s odd how, just a mile away, the other side of the river is thriving.
Building a lot of nice Georgian terraced houses, because they sell so well in the rest of Greenwich.
A giant theme park based on British achievement and design. Sorry, that’s failed once already.
Opening the Dome as a giant shelter for the homeless. Except there’s no money in that…
Knocking the whole place down and starting again. Sorry, that was never an option either.