Welcome to the latest post in my series “London Station by Station“. I hope you will enjoy this post and will be encouraged to share it.
A TUBE QUIRK AND A CRICKETING BROTHERHOOD
Southgate opened in 1933, as part of a northern extension of the Piccadilly line. The location is notable for two things, one underground and one a sporting connection.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
As this picture from London Underground: The Official Handbook shows, the platform at Southgate is one from which you can see daylight.
This quirk, unique for a tube tunnel (although the cut and cover tunnel at Hounslow West has the same feature), is because the station is in a small hill, which the line burrows through. Apart from the tiny stretch including Southgate station, the Piccadilly is in the open from Arnos Grove to Cockfosters.
A CRICKETING BROTHERHOOD
There were no fewer than seven cricketing brothers named Walker who came from Southgate. Vyell Walker, the most famous of the seven achieved an astonishing feat in 1859 when he scored a century and then followed up by taking all ten of his opponents wickets in the next innings. In the whole subsequent history of first class cricket only W G Grace achieved the feat.
The cricket ground at Southgate still bears the Walker family name, and Middlesex sometimes play county games there.