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Monday, 3-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Silver Jubilee: Queensbury

Queensbury Circus
Approaching Queensbury
Opened: Sunday 16th December 1934
Distance from previous station: 1.7 km
You are now entering: the London borough of Brent, zone 4
Platform: exit to the left of the train
Fact file: The name Queensbury was chosen as the result of a competition organised by a local estate agent, the winning name blatantly echoing the nearby village of Kingsbury. Thus the local area was named after the station rather than the station being named after the local area. Queensbury opened two years later than its neighbouring stations, once a few houses had actually been built here.
5 things I found outside the station: Queensbury Circus, Hunter & Hunter estate agents, some bicycles chained to the railings, Joe's Bake & Bite, three levels of flats built above the station entrance.
Local history: The de Havilland Aircraft Company was based nearby at Stag Lane Airfield. The first Gypsy Moth biplane first flew from here in 1925, with Tiger Moths following soon afterwards. The grass landing strip closed in 1934, with production moved to larger facilities in Hatfield, after which Stag Lane concentrated on engine production.

Sunday, 2-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Silver Jubilee: Canons Park

Train approaching Canons Park station
Canons Park station
Canons Park
Opened: Saturday 10th December 1932
Distance from previous station: 1.4 km
Platform: exit to the left of the train
Fact file: The station was originally called Canons Park (Edgware), but the name has never included an apostrophe. I doubt that Lynne Truss lives around here.
5 things I found outside the station: a very short green cycle path, Canons Park Motors (operating from three arches underneath the station), Eddy's kebab shop, Hearts & Flowers florists, the number 79 bus.
Nearby: nondescript suburbia, Canons Park (an impressively green open space, frequented by joggers, dogwalkers and bluebells) and the DVLA offices from which NW London car registrations LK-LT are issued.
Local history: The area gets its name because six acres of land here were given to the canons of St Bartholemew's Priory, Smithfield, in 1331. The Duke of Chandos built a posh mansion here in the 17th century and called it Canons. The estate was sold off for housing development in the late 1920s, as was most of the rest of the surrounding area. Sorry, Canons Park's not the thrillingest of places.

Saturday, 1-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Silver Jubilee: Stanmore

The end of the line
Stanmore station
Just south of Stanmore
Opened: Saturday 10th December 1932
Location: London Borough of Harrow, zone 5
Photo shows: Stanmore station, the end of the line.
Branch history: The 2½ mile Stanmore branch was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in December 1932, but became the property of the newly created London Passenger Transport Board a few months after opening. The branch transferred from the Metropolitan line to the Bakerloo line in 1939, then transferred again to the Jubilee line on 1st May 1979 (exactly 25 years ago today).
Fact file: There are 10 sidings right beside the station. There are tubs of heather and (now dead) daffodils on the platform. Stanmore is the only station on the 'old' part of the Jubilee line with step-free access to both platforms.
5 things I found outside the station: a small green stall selling flowers, some slatted wooden benches, a pedestrian crossing, a big tube sign on a blue pillar, the Green Belt (the line stops right on the edge of London - a few hundred metres further on and you're in the countryside),
Nearby: suburbia, the Broadway (Stanmore's main shopping street), Madison's Deli (selling hot salt beef), a sizeable Jewish population, the footbridge over the line from which I took yesterday's first photo.
Local history: Stanmore takes its name from 'Stony mere' and was the site of the ancient Roman settlement of Sullmoniacae. Julius Caesar may have fought against the local Celts right here during his second invasion of Britain in 54 BC, or maybe not. Local legend has it that the final Roman battle against Boudicca took place on Stanmore Common.

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