Friday, February 18, 2011

Pssst! Wanna buy a tube station?

A disused London tube station went on sale recently, though sadly I had neither the time to view or the means to buy it (yours for £180,000). If I had cash to burn, I would have been a sorely tempted. Given its location in (once) trendy Shoreditch, I bet whoever did buy it - and reports are that it went at auction for three times the guide price - turns into either a) hipster bar for people with very silly haircuts or b) razes it to the ground and builds a block of flats.

Personally, I'd be tempted to keep it as it is. After all, it comes with its own toilet, lobby area, store rooms, plant rooms, and, the crowning glory, a ticket office. I've always wanted a ticket office. The downside is that it's right next to a railway line, but I only live a 100 yards or so from one now (funnily enough the vendors don't mention this - they talk about the trendy bars and restaurants nearby, and the proximity of Old Spitalfields Market, but don't mention the trains.)

Of the great disused stations on the London Underground, Shoreditch is one of the least storied. Possibly because it only closed in 2006, so all it has accumulated is graffiti and some wear and tear, rather than ghosts and legends. Also as northern terminus of the East London Line it was a little used station on a little used and little-loved line. But still it's a disused station, and I for one will be taking a great interest in what it becomes.

The old frontage of Hyde Park Corner station
Not all stations or abandoned entrances have remained empty and forgotten (just the fun ones.) The entrance to Fulham Broadway became TGI Fridays; Hyde Park Corner became a pizza parlour and is now the frontage to a 'six star' hotel (eh?); South Kentish Town was turned into a massage parlour of ill repute for a short while; and Blake Hall once on the outer reaches of the Central Line, out in the wilds of Essex, is now a private home (what did they do with the ticket office? Did it have a plant room? What is a plant room?)

I'd like to think Shoreditch station has been bought by these people, who are nearby. They have a collection of tube carriages which have been turned into 'creative spaces' for artists, situated on the site of an abandoned viaduct. Sounds like the ideal place for a ghost station and ghost train nerd like me to get some inspiration.


Dan - Friday

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