Opening of the Victoria Tower Repository, July 1963
On the 3rd July 1963 the Victoria Tower Repository for Parliamentary Records was re-opened with an exhibition of historical documents for House dignitaries and historians including Sir John Neale. The Leader of the House of Lords, Viscount Hailsham was master of ceremonies declaring that ‘this new building may have a long and distinguished career in the service of Parliament, history and culture'.
Hailsham had recently been the recipient of an anonymous threat so a detective was also in place to observe proceedings. The celebratory event was the culmination of a fifteen year programme of reconstruction by the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works on Sir Charles Barry's grandiose structure.
Great engineering prowess had been required to construct seven new floors in the upper part of the Tower and incorporate modern air conditioning units. The architectural academic Professor Pevsner described the Tower as a ‘trumpet blast' of the Victorian age preserved for the enjoyment and use of future generations.