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In Old Liverpool St Station

November 5, 2023
by the gentle author

I am delighted to announce publication of my short story ‘On Christmas Day’ in collaboration with Burley Fisher Books



The Gentle Author picks up the threads of Christmas fiction from Charles Dickens, Dylan Thomas and George Mackay Brown to weave a compelling tale of family conflicts ignited and resolved in the festive season.



Please come to our SAVE LIVERPOOL ST STATION campaign event at 7pm on Tuesday 7th November at Hanbury Hall, 22 Hanbury St, E1 6QR. Speakers include Griff Rhys Jones, Eric Reynolds and Robert Thorne.




Let us take a stroll through old Liverpool St Station as it was in the nineteenth century, courtesy of this magnificent gallery of photographs from the Bishopsgate Institute collection. Like a journey through the stomach of whale that swallows humans by the score, did the wondrous behemoth ever appear as awe-inspiringly labyrinthine and majestic as it did then? Tomorrow, I will publish pictures from the twentieth century.


Photographs courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

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Save Liverpool St Station

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Greg T permalink
    November 5, 2023

    I’m old enough to remember N-7’s with sets of Quint-Arts on the Chingford & Enfield (etc) services, and all the changes since.
    This abortion of a “rebuild” is unwanted, unnecessary & ugly ..
    I note the “developers” are extremely coy about both the finer details ( I suspect there aren’t any ) & their finances.

  2. November 5, 2023

    I travel by train with high frequency. The great Victorian stations are magnificent temples to our public transport network. There are a host of other stations from my travels that stick in my memories: the incredible Milano Centrale, landmark Amsterdam Centraal which mirrors the architecture of the Rijksmuseum, Gare de Lyon with its clock tower and Le Train Bleu café, Nice Ville with its curved, tiled roof, so characteristic of French architecture. The graceful curve of York station platforms, Bristol Temple Meads long, and proud history. St Pancras was saved from the chop and what a stunning building that is! I have sat in the upstairs bar many times, watching night fall, looking up at the dark sky, anticipating my holiday travels the following day.
    What are they thinking?! The proposal to build a faceless box on top of Liverpool Street is architectural vandalism in my opinion. I can’t understand why anyone thinks these plans should be approved. I guess that cynical me thinks it is about ground rents and business rates. Why have blue sky when you can block that out with an office block and gimmicky swimming pool on top? Would Parisians or the Milanese countenance this? I should think not!
    Unfortunately I cannot attend on Tuesday but I do hope that the meeting goes well.

  3. Cherub permalink
    November 5, 2023

    I agree with what Christine has to say about railway stations being temples to public transport. Back in May I went by train to Milan for a few days, Milano Centrale felt like being in a huge cathedral. At Florence railway station a few years ago I stepped off the train and immediately saw and felt the influence of Mussolini in Italy’s Fascist era. My own local railway station is Basel SBB, the entrance hall has magnificent paintings of the Jura Mountains, the Matterhorn and other famous Swiss scenery.

  4. November 5, 2023

    “Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?……This is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won’t end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes”

    This quote, above, by Jacqueline Kennedy. Sometimes one person (true, a notable person in this case……….) can tip the balance and cause something magnificent to happen. Although countless people saved Grand Central Terminal, her visible/tangible support made the difference. As someone who trudged for years through the old Station, full of shadows and debris — nowadays I always make plenty of time to just go and SIT there. Lingering, looking about me, unable to take the grin off my face. Our beautiful celestial ceiling, our miles of restored marble, our welcoming food kiosks and safe places to sit and contemplate, our legacy restaurants like the Oyster Bar, the lovely lighting, glorious newsstands full of local and international publications, everything.
    Onward and upward.

  5. Margarita Schwartzel permalink
    November 5, 2023

    Thank you for showing us these wonderful and inspiring photos!

    I don’t understand why the City of London thinks it’s a good idea to redevelop this site. Doing so would be like performing an act of cruelty on one’s heritage, and to the shame of future generations.

    As an international onlooker, I think the whole thing is a dumb idea and I hope this hideous redevelopment plan is filed under “no”.

    May the Save Liverpool Street Station campaign rescue us from irresponsible wrong-doing.

    Best wishes and hugs!

  6. November 6, 2023

    I remember the demolition of Broad Street Station, to the west of Liverpool Street Station. I bought one of the gas lamps from Sun Street Passage which separated it from Liverpool Street Station.
    Electrified it did duty at my parents’ house and is still working at mine

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