Puzzled In London: 1


This doesn’t exist. The immense Doric Arch that used to herald the entrance to Euston Station was torn down in 1961 against the wishes of the public and architectural experts, and was dumped to save money, but its pediments still exist and have been turned – inevitably – into pubs.

The buildings that replaced it were disastrous and ugly. The government was accused of of philistinism and apathy, its destructive habit of tearing down the past deemed wanton and unnecessary – but gone is gone, although there have always been noises about rebuilding it (see faked photo above).

One glimpse of the railway’s past glories can still be seen. On the pediments are carved the names of towns. But even this is a cheat. Why?

12 comments on “Puzzled In London: 1”

  1. snowy says:

    It’s going to be guessing time.

    Either, these destinations were planned but never achieved because the company run out of money/didn’t get an Act passed in Parliament to allow them to build the track. Or the blocks were salvaged from the original arch and used to build this teeny little box thing. Or something else entirely. [My money is on the last one.]

  2. Wulfruna says:

    Haven’t got the foggiest, but am hazarding a guess that the line from Euston didn’t go to some (or all) of these towns.

  3. snowy says:

    Not an answer but might give somebody else a clue toward the real answer.

    Euston Station Lodges.

    Both built 1870 as Parcel and Information buildings each side of the long vanished arch.
    Portland stone, Grecian style with Victorian twiddly bits.
    Currently used to sell [overpriced] beer and cider.

  4. Jan says:

    I have visited Fleetwood (N of Blackpool) + am aware the direct /speedy 19C rail link did not materialise there, although Fleetwood served as the main ferry port for the Isle of Man for many years. Very fancy railway hotel there and in WW2 a few northern European countries had Embassies there.The Swedish embassy was relocated or part relocated there.
    Fleetwood has some really impressive terraces and an amazing lighthouse. There was a really weird bomb incident in the posh railway hotel there just prior to WW2. The Welfare state was conceived and created in nearby Blackpool – very government connected that part of the NW.

    There’s no direct Euston train to Hereford and the rail connection to Edinburgh is via Kings X rather than Euston.

    Think Snowys answer that the connections many never have been created may be correct – Huddersfield isn’t directly connected to Euston either as far as I know. Although some of these places ARE directly connected.
    On my tablet I can’t read the names on the far column!

    Incidentally I think part of the Euston arch may have taken to Theobalds Park in Herts – not far from Tesco world HQ. (Although that could have been the arch rebuilt/ recreated in Paternoster Square and I could be confused!)

    So I will go with not all towns being connected directly via Euston.

  5. snowy says:

    “I don’t know! Are they made of jam?”

    [Cf. Izzard E.]

  6. Jo W says:

    Snowy, hello!
    One lodge used to sell just ‘real’ ciders and perrys. Some really good ones, some- not so,but good to have a selection. It doesn’t now. Last time we were there it was selling ‘northern beers’. (Don’t know what qualifies as that.)
    We used to wonder at the list of towns that Euston was supposed to serve and thought that maybe somebody had given the wrong list to the stonemason?
    Anyway,Chris and all followers,cheers from somewhere on the Iberian continent! Bad news, me and ‘im indoors are back tomorrow! (Not in time to vote,though -Chizz! 🙁 )

  7. snowy says:

    Hola, Jo!

    [Continent? I knew Spain was big, but I hadn’t realised it had snapped off and gone drifting about! 🙂 ]

  8. Jo W says:

    Yeah,sorry about that Snowy. Too much of the excellent wines from the Alentjo region of the Penninsular. Hic!

  9. admin says:

    Spanish wines are the world’s best kept wine secret – Penedes and Priorat regions should be stocked everywhere but are almost impossible to find in the UK.

    Oh, sorry…

    The Answer – The town names were engraved into the old archway blocks before the government had agreed to send the trains there, leaving a very nice gold-leaf wish-list instead of a real indicator of where the Euston trains went. So Snowy was right.

  10. snowy says:

    “Spanish wines are the world’s best kept wine secret – Penedes and Priorat regions should be stocked everywhere but are almost impossible to find in the UK.”

    [I know it is terribly, terribly early for Panto season.]

    * Quickly Dames up *

    “Oh! No it isn’t!”

    That supermarket, the one people think is a bit posh, but isn’t really. [The one that would have given McCarthyites absolute kittens when they discovered it was run as a Workers Collective.] That one has got a selection including an interesting looking ‘La Petite Agnès’. [I suspect they are not the ‘pick of the crop’, but after you have opened the third bottle of the night, frankly who cares?]

    Oh, did I get something right? Makes a pleasing change from the normal run of business.

    * Runs celebratory lap around the parlour, with the ‘Chocolate Digestive of Victory’ held aloft. *

    * Trips over cat *

    * Ends up entangled with the tallboy *

  11. Ian Luck says:

    I notice the absence of Australian table wines, Chris. I’ve heard from those awfully nice Monty Python chaps of wines like the ‘Perth Pink’, and the ‘Hobart Muddy’, and how some of their ‘Sugary’ wines compare with a Peppermint Bordeaux, or a Welsh Claret.
    Good thing that I hate wine, or I’d have to drink it – and I can’t stand the stuff.

    Getting my coat… Now.

  12. Helen Martin says:

    Or British Columbia wines for that matter. We win international prizes but no one even makes fun of our Quail’s Gate or Dirty Laundry wines.

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