Special Post: Whitechapel

A very brief post about Whitechapel, dedicated to all involved with the East End Womens Museum project.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest addition to my series “London Station by Station”. This particular post is also a tribute to the East End Women’s Museum project. I hope that you will all enjoy it and that some of you at least will share it.

WHITECHAPEL – NOT ALL ABOUT THE RIPPER

Whitechapel, which today serves the District and Hammersmith and City lines with a quirky interchange to London Overground, first opened in 1884, although the current station dates only from 1913. The quirkiness of the interchange to London Overground lies in the fact that the direction of travel from London Underground to London Overground is downwards.

A while back a museum was given planning permission on the grounds that it would be dedicated to women of the East End. It turned out that the person behind it had been lying through their teeth and the museum was actually dedicated to Jack the Ripper. A petition having been launched against the Ripper museum, a determined group of people are now setting out to create a museum that genuinely is dedicated to the women of the East End, featuring stories like the one in this book:

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I finish this brief post with some map pics…

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Special Post: Aldgate and Aldgate East

INTRODUCTION

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 FOUR WAY TRIANGLE

I am treating two stations together because they are so close to one another that one can stand o the platforms of one and watch trains pulling into the other. The title refers to the number of current lines using this segment of the system and the shape it very roughly resembles. Aldgate opened in 1876 and has been open ever since. The first Aldgate East station opened in 1884 and was closed in 1938, with the current station opening the very next day.

The confluences and divergences are as follows: at Liverpool Street the triple route of Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines diverge, with the H&C going to Aldgate East and the other two to Aldgate, where the Met terminates. At Tower Hill the District and Circle part ways the Circle continuing round to Aldgate and the District going to Aldgate East where it joins the H&C.

To assist with orientation and to finish this brief post here are my usual map pics…

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The full map, spread out.
The full map, spread out.

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Special Post: Euston and Euston Square

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series “London Station by Station“. I am treating these two together because they are so close to one another that it makes no sense to split them up.

EUSTON AND EUSTON SQUARE

Euston Square, served nowadays by the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines is one of the 1863 originals, and as with Baker Street has been restored to look as it would have done when first opened. The City and South London Railway station at Euston was opened on May 12th 1907 and the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway on June 22nd 1907. These two together are now the Northern line, and occupy four platforms here – although widely separated – to change between the two branches you would be well advised to continue northwards to Camden Town where the interchange is cross-platform. The Victoria line station opened on December 1st 1968.

The southbound platform on the Bank branch of the Northern line is very wide at this station because when it was opened as the City and South London Railway station there were two tracks either side of an island platform (an arrangement still in evidence at Clapham Common and Clapham North), and the extra width of that platform comes from the reorginastion when this arrangement was deemed unsuitable for such a busy station.

INTRODUCING THE RAILWAY DETECTIVE

Euston was the first of London’s railway terminals to open, serving the London and North Western Railway, and it was on that route that Edward Marston’s greatest creation, The Railway Detective (a.k.a Inspector Robert Colbeck) investigated the case that first earned him that title (and introduced him to his future wife). These stories are set thus far) in the 1850s, before the opening of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863, but I could see Colbeck still being in business when that momentous event occurs. He would undoubtedly embrace the underground railway wholeheartedly, although his colleague Sergeant Leeming would take some persuading of its virtues!

CONCLUSION AND PICS

I hope that you have enjoyed this post and will be inspired to share it. Here are a couple of pictures to finish…

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A close up of the key area
The Diagrammatic History
The Diagrammatic History

Special Post: Hammersmith

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series “London Station by Station“. Whereas my regular posts contain links, photographs and sometimes infographics as well as the title piece, these posts contain no links, no infographics and only pictures that relate directly to the matter in hand.

HAMMERSMITH

The colours of the title are those of the modern lines that serve the station. The Hammersmith and City line, in the days when it was the original Metropolitan Railway reached Hammersmith in 1864, although the current station for that line was opened four years later in 1868. From 1877 to 1906 a viaduct diverging from the current line at Goldhawk Road and having a station called Hammersmith Grove Road connected to the District at Ravenscourt Park and thence to Richmond. The District line station at Hammersmith opened in 1874, and it was the original western terminus of the Piccadilly line in 1906.

The station which now serves the District and Piccadilly lines was completely redesigned a few years back, although the track layout remains the same – District line tracks on the outside, Piccadilly line tracks in the centre. Except for occasional services which also stop at Turnham Green, where the Richmond branch of the District diverges from the Ealing branch, Piccadilly trains run non-stop between Hammersmith and Acton Town. Just west of Hammersmith on the District and Piccadilly lines one can see the remains of the viaduct referred to in the opening paragraph.

Hammersmith is home to a major shopping centre (the reason for the redesign mentioned above) and also to the Lyric Theatre, at which I saw several good plays.

Here are a couple of pictures to conclude the post…

The Diagrammatic History
The Diagrammatic History
A close up of the key area for this post.
A close up of the key area for this post.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I encourage you to share it!

Special Post: King’s Cross St Pancras

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next installment in my station by station guide to London. Following the success of my piece on Paddington I have gone for the other main line terminus among the original seven stations on the Metropolitan Railway…

HISTORY

King’s Cross and St Pancras are next door neighbours to one another, and therefore served by the same Underground Station. Although this was one of the 1863 originals, the platforms that now serve the Hammersmith and City, Circle and Metropolitan lines have been resited – the present ‘surafce’ level station dates only from 1941. The Piccadilly line station was part of the original section of that line which opened in 1906, while the City and South London Railway (now the Bank branch of the Northern line) got there in 1907. Finally, it was part of the second section of the Victoria line to come on stream in December 1968.

ST PANCRAS

Although King’s Cross (of which more later) is by some way the larger of the two main line rail terminals here, St Pancras is an extraordinary building, resembling an outsized fairy castle. St Pancras is now an international terminus, running trains to the continent, and meaning that over a century after he just failed to make it happen the dream of Edward Watkin, who guided the Metropolitan in its great era of expansion, of being able to travel by rail from Paris to Manchester by way of London is now a reality.

KING’S CROSS

King’s Cross is a station of two parts – the main concourse and platforms 1-8 which run long haul trains to the north and scotland, and off to one side platforms 9-11 from which trains to much more local destinations such as Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn depart. It is here that you will find the sign to platform 93/4  from which the Hogwarts Express departs in the Harry Potter stories. Having mentioned one literary association, King’s Cross plays a passing role in more than one of Edward Marston’s stories involving Inspector Colbeck a.ka. The Railway Detective.

MAPS

I have my usual style map images to help those of you not familiar with the area to orient yourselves:

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CONCLUSION

I hope that you have enjoyed this piece and that you will be encouraged to share it.

Special Post: Paddington

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next installment in my station-by-station guide to London.

PADDINGTON

THREE STATIONS BECOME ONE

Paddington was one the original seven stations that opened as The Metropolitan Railway on January 10th 1863 – it was the western terminus of the line, although right from the start there were track links to the Great Western Railway, which supplied the Metropolitan with rolling stock before it developed its own. In 1864 the western terminus became Hammersmith, over the route of today’s Hammersmith and City line, and the origins of the station can still be seen because the H&C platforms are structurally part of the mainline station, although ticket barriers now intervene between them and the rest. The second set of London Underground platforms to be opened at Paddington were also originally opened by the Metropolitan, although they are now served by the Circle and the Edgware Road branch of the District line. They opened in 1868 as Paddington (Praed Street) – as opposed to Paddington (Bishop’s Road), the original 1863 station. In 1913 a northern extension of the Bakerloo line included a deep level station at Paddington. By 1948 the suffixes of both ‘surface’ stations had been dropped, and all three sets of platforms were known simply as Paddington.

A LITERARY DISAPPOINTMENT

In 2013, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Metropolitan Railway Penguin brought out a series of books, one for each line. I wrote about all of these books at the time, but I am going to mention Philippe Parreno’s “effort” about the Hammersmith and City line again. Given the line that contains all seven of the original 1863 stations Mr Parreno produced a book that contained no words, just a series of pictures. Had these pictures been meaningful and clearly associated with the line and its stations this might have been acceptable, but these pictures were blurry and meaningless (it was barely even possible to tell what they were supposed to be of).

OTHER LITERARY ASSOCIATIONS

Of course, when thinking of Paddington’s literary associations the one that springs instantly to mind is that with the fictional world’s best known refugee: Paddington Bear. Also however, Dr Watson (see “Baker Street” in this same series) had his first practice here after moving out of Baker Street to set up home with his wife (see A Scandal in Bohemia for more details).

CONCLUDING REMARKS

I hope you have enjoyed this post and will be encouraged to share it. To tie everything together, here are a some pictures.DSCN6527DSCN7490 DSCN7491