Sunday 29 November 2015

Sunday Snap – The Abandoned Tube Station

For last week's Sunday Snap we were looking at one of the Eleanor Crosses erected to commemorate the route taken for the funeral procession of Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I. I asked which London railway station it could be found outside and the answer is

Charing Cross

There was a bit of a divide between King's Cross and Charing Cross. Our outside of train station spotters last week with the right answer were Louise, Rachel, Michelle, Cass and Stephen.

For this week we are staying with the railway theme but this time it is underground trains. Just up the road from Charing Cross Station you will find this entrance to the Strand tube station. With its gate firmly shut it looks like it one of the central London tube stations that doesn't open at the weekends but no – those gates have been shut to passengers since 1994. If you thought the public transport system was complicated today with the amount of different operators then you need to look back over a hundred years. With the expansion in housing across the London suburbs the City of London saw more and more people needing to use public transport in order to get to work. After nine years of planning and consultation Strand station was finally opened in 1907. However due to the number of railway company takeovers and the opening of other stations in the vicinity the station was practically doomed from the outset. It was hoped it was would be used by theatre goers to get to the myriad of theatres in the nearby Drury Lane area but since it was a branch line people found it easier to walk from one of the other tube stations rather than changing trains.

On the 9th May 1915 the Strand station was renamed and it kept this name until its closure. Over the years it managed to keep open despite many proposals to close it. During the First and Second World Wars it was temporarily closed and used for air raid shelters and shortage for valuable works of art. Around 300 paintings from the National Gallery were stored there during World War One and the Elgin Marbles and other artefacts from the British Museum found a safe home there. It limped on until the station's death sentence was passed on 4th January1993. The original 1907 lifts needed replacing and with only around 450 passengers using the station each day the £3 million required for the refit could not be justified. By this time it was also losing London Regional Transport £150,000 a year. The last tube train ran from the station on 30 September 1994. The canopy with the name it was known as since 1915 was removed but the original Strand Station signs remained. Since then it has been used as a filming location and occasional tours are taken round it (and yes I am desperate to go on one!)

What was the name of this station when it closed?

We were joined last week by Snoskred and memories of a trip to the zoo. The November rain wasn't a problem for Jack and Noah in their new wellies. If you have to be up early you may as well appreciate the sunrise as Kara Janelle has found. Susan's fashion conscious boys have been showing off their footballer styled haircuts. Despite the dark days Kelly has found some colour in some winter flowers. Finally, Kara spotted a mysterious man stepping out of an old blue Police box...

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Sunday Snap

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  1. I have no idea about this one. I could google, but I'd be cheating and I'm not that sort of gal. I love the picture and hope you are having a good weekend xx

  2. I have to admit I have no idea of the name of the station! I'm not very good with names as it is ;) X

  3. No idea about this but I'm with you, I'd love to do a tour x x

  4. It looks so sad and dejected sat there. Hopefully they will find a use for it

  5. I think it was Aldwych tube station and I would love to visit it too.

  6. I'd love to take a tour in an abandoned tube station, it'd be fascinating.

  7. There's something eerily beautiful about abandoned stations isn't there?

    There used to be an Eleanor Cross near us in Woburn but sadly it's long since gone.

  8. Love this, I love looking at the architecture of old buildings, always fascinating.

  9. I have no clue but I enjoy reading your posts, nevertheless, I have found out so much about England's architecture and history from you!xx

  10. Love to do a tour! I love history and want to get to London next year with my daughter she is getting very interested too in history!

  11. I have no idea but a tour sounds a great idea. It looks a bit sad doesn't it :( Kaz x

  12. I really don't know....I love desserted tube stations and buildings, they're so evocative!

  13. I honestly don't know but I'm with you that I would love to go on a tour and explore.


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