Michael Williams

The Trains Now Departed and the ruins of our lost railway heritage

May 27, 2015 Blog


I was struck, travelling from Liverpool Street today into Essex how much of our railway heritage is still falling into ruin. My picture here is of the old Burnham on Crouch station on the line to Southminster, used by London commuters every day. I didn’t write about it in my chapter on lost heritage in my new book The Trains Now Departed. But here’s an extract from the chapter on lost heritage in the book:

“The 1963 Beeching Plan, which promoted blinkered short-term economic demand above community need, ripped, as one commentator put it, the steel backbone out of the nation. More than two thousand stations were lost as a result. Bad enough – but architects and planners, in a misguided quest for modernity, inflicted equal damage on many of the stations that survived. Magnificent buildings were felled by the wrecker’s ball and deleted from our heritage with callous disregard for tradition. Some were blitzed from the landscape entirely, with every trace obliterated. Even more were replaced by hideous concrete bunkers. Others were incorporated into shopping malls or car parks, dumbly commemorated by some meaningless name from the past or a redundant piece of stonework that the developer couldn’t be bothered to put in a skip.”

Let’s stop it happening again…

May 27, 2015 Blog

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