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Notes and news — June 2013

In this issue:

£320m upgrade for London Overground

Transport for London (TfL) is planning to introduce five-car trains on all London Overground routes to increase the capacity of the railway by 25%. The improvements will cost some £320m including the construction of longer platforms and the delivery of an extra 57 carriages by the end of 2015. TfL's chief operating officer for rail Howard Smith said: 'Demand for London Overground is growing at an incredible pace.

'By the end of 2012, London Overground carried 120 million passengers — nearly four times the number carried when we launched in 2007. To enable this positive trend to continue and maintain our high levels for safe, reliable and frequent travel, we need to deliver more capacity by adding more carriages.'

The increased capacity will help London's transport network accommodate the predicted 810,000 new residents expected to move into London by 2021. Peter J Butt

Names that confuse

In his interesting accounts of re-reading 'Industrial Archaeology — An Introduction' (GLIAS Newsletter April 2013) and the making of the first London Underground tunnels (GLIAS Newsletter 265, pp8-9), Peter J Butt has been misled by imprecise names.

Marc Brunel built the Thames Tunnel not the Rotherhithe Tunnel which is a later nearby road tunnel.

Charles Fox designed the Watford Tunnel (he was an employee of Robert Stephenson) which is on the original London & Birmingham Railway. The London terminus of this railway was originally planned to be at Camden but before completion this was changed to Euston which probably accounts for the mention of an extension. The first section from Euston to Boxmoor was opened in 1837. There was no station at Camden and the Northern Line station Camden Town, which has no connection to the main line, was not opened until 1907.

Euston Square is the area between Euston main line station and Euston Road. Euston Square station was completed on the Metropolitan Railway in 1863 when it was more correctly called Gower Street as it is not in Euston Square although it would be much more convenient if it was. Again there is no connection between the Metropolitan and the original London & Birmingham. John Buekett

Battersea Survey of London — information online

The draft text for the forthcoming Survey of London volumes on Battersea is now available free online on the English Heritage website, where it will remain until the books are published in November 2013. Colin Thom, senior historian at the Survey of London, writes: 'As well as encouraging anyone who knows the area well to point out where we might have gone wrong, it is also intended as a way of publicising our work more widely.'


The organisation that deals with industrial archaeology worldwide is The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH). This body assesses industrial sites for the World Heritage List and since 2000 has been giving specialist advice on industrial heritage to The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which advises UNESCO on World Heritage Sites.

TICCIH holds meetings at far flung places and last year's TICCIH Congress was held in Taiwan in November 2012. It opened at the Huashan saki plant of 1914 with a keynote address by Sir Neil Cossons. There was a large delegation from the Peoples' Republic of China. Among the sites visited were the Changhua Railway Workshops of 1922 and the Xihu Sugar Factory. The Xihu Sugar Plantation, originally for the Yamato Sugar Company, was established in 1919. Stephen Hughes was elected to the post of TICCIH Secretary following the retirement of Stuart Smith. Bob Carr

Cowley Street railway offices

I had a look at 4 Cowley Street SW1 (GLIAS Newsletter April 2013). Although the faded marks of 'NER' were over the door, I could not make out any initials in the railings, except at each side of the approach steps which instead appear to be a '15' — perhaps of a previous numbering. However, the metal downpipe brackets do have an embossed NER at each side. David Johnson

News in brief

Paternoster lifts dating from the 1960s are said to be getting scarce. Is the one in the chemistry building at Imperial College still in use?

On the south side of King's Cross railway station, the 1972 travel centre has been demolished. We shall soon have a clear view of the front of the station as the architect Lewis Cubitt intended. The front has been cluttered for most of the station's existence. Despite its external appearance the travel centre was convenient and comfortable. In the recent bitter weather people were queuing for tickets in John McAslan's lofty new departures concourse to the west (GLIAS Newsletter June 2012) with snow blowing in through the spacious entrance.

In the London Borough of Hackney the former Marquis of Lansdowne public house on the corner of Cremer Street and Geffrye Street, London E2, has been saved from demolition by the local authority. The Geffrye Museum had planned to replace the building by an extension to their museum designed by David Chipperfield. Chris Costelloe, director of The Victorian Society, described the Lansdowne as 'a classic London pub which adds greatly to the character of the area'. Built in 1839 it closed in the year 2000. The Marquis of Lansdowne is at the southeast corner of the museum site at TQ 335 830. Bob Carr

John Boyes (1914-2013)

We are sorry to announce that GLIAS President John Boyes died on 6 May. A full obituary will appear in the next Newsletter.

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© GLIAS, 2013