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Grimy, Impractical and Grotesque – St Pancras

No, it’s not my description of some random TV program I watched last night, it’s the general opinion of most people on the old St Pancras station in London.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in this station over the years, travelling down from London to Leicester for computing shows as a teenager and whilst at University, before later coming to travel through it to Leicester on my way home from Sunny Swindon. It’s cold, unwelcoming but I’ll be honest I loved that station.

I know most people are sorry it didn’t get bombed during the 2nd World War, but I’ll kind of miss it (and the birds flapping in the rafters), An architectural journalist (who later became poet laureate), John Betjeman felt the same.

Betjeman successfully lead a campaign to save the building which succeeded on 2 November 1967 (just 10 days before it was due to be demolished for a sports hall and housing!) when it was listed Grade 1. That’s all 40 years ago now and way before my time.

In those 40 years that station has truly changed, the British Rail officals moved out of their offices in St Pancras Chambers (yes the former hotel!), the station has become a haven for pigeons and the homeless, who are only interrupted by trains bound on the Midland Mainline for Nottingham and Sheffield.

Times have changed though and St Pancras has changed with them, record travellers are now travelling by rail in the UK, and Britain has it’s first complete high-speed line – to link St Pancras with Brussels, Paris and the rest of Europe.

Having seen the photo’s it does look truly fantastic though and is now a gateway to Europe!

I did have to laugh at this post about what the £714m could have been spent on in Edinburgh, rather than what it got in London!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 at 12:36 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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