Minutes: 9th March 1996 - Mr Jim Connor: "The Forgotten Stations of Greater London" (Part 2)

Meeting held in the Old Combination Room, St Catharine's College at 20.30 (Lent Term No.5)

26. Minutes

The minutes of the meetings held on 23rd February and 1st March 1996 were approved

27. Mr Jim Connor: "The Forgotten Stations of Greater London" (Part 2)

Mr Connor's talk began where he had left off at a CURC meeting some time ago, at which he had covered the stations of North London.

The south side of the River had an equally diverse range of closed stations. There were also various unfriendly places in which to take photographs, as Mr Connor recounted. The lists of suspicious establishments in former station buildings included a car dealer, a metalwork factory and a wood yard.

He began with the inner area. A notable example here was Holborn Viaduct Low Level, closed in 1916. This had an underground signalbox which must surely have been an undesirable place to work in. Camberwell New Road station was distinguished by its architecture; with oriental-looking windows and white-painted walls, it looked, he said, "more like the Middle East" than Camberwell.

The tour then continued out to the south-eastern suburbs. Bingham Road station has one claim to fame: it posed as "Fortune Green South" in the film "The Rebel", which starred Tony Hancock. Selsdon was probably the last station in Greater London to be lit by gas, retaining gas lamps to its closure in 1983. However, as they were left on all day they must have been rather expensive. Not far away was Coulsdon North, which during its time bore several different names: firstly StoatUs Nest, then Coulsdon and Smitham Downs, and then Coulsdon West for the somewhat short period of six months.

Mr Connor continued by looking at the Wimbledon to West Croydon line; no-one present could suggest why staff called it the "Wim-Wom". Merton Park had been called Lower Merton until the area became gentrified and residents felt that they did not want to be "lower" than anywhere else. The same station had featured in an episode of "The Bill" only a few weeks before the talk, and Merton Abbey, just up the line, featured in a scene in the 1930s film RKate Plus TenS.

Finally, the tour returned to the inner suburban lines, concluding his talk at London's first ever terminus on a site just outside London Bridge.

Mr Connor answered several questions, during which it transpired that the train service from Central Croydon was dominated by the Great Eastern Railway and the London and North Western Railway. He also recommended a visit to Addiscombe, a very pretty and quiet station, before it closed. The car shed there was reported to contain the ghost of a ganger who slammed the doors of EPBs. What the ghost makes of Networkers was not as yet known.

The Vice-president then gave a vote of thanks.

28. Announcements

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