Interesting article in the Guardian by David McKie about the naming of train stations -often after the nearest pub – and how those stations then went on to provide a name to the areas around them. Of course, were that to be attempted now, confusion would reigh supreme as people tried to work out which of the many Station Stations they were trying to navigate between while Colchester’s North Station would find itself renamed Norfolk, just to confuse even more commuters.

Though the story about the attempt to rename Bond Street tube station as Selfridge’s does create interesting visions of alternate tube maps, which could serve as an interesting hook for an alternate history story – Farringdon station would have to become Guardian station, of course.

It’s one of those interesting little pieces of social history that shows how much the coming of the railways changed Britain, in a way that will no doubt prove very useful for the long-future generations of historians and archaeologists.

And, to add in a little bit of railway-influenced geography, Redditch (where I grew up) has a road called Tunnel Drive, which confuses many drivers by not being a tunnel or seeming to go anywhere near one. However, it is where the old railway tunnel used to emerge when what’s now the Cross-City Line carried on all the way down to Evesham rather than terminating at Redditch.

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3 comments untill now

  1. “Farringdon station would have to become Guardian station, of course.”

    King’s Cross St Pancras these days, of course…

  2. “Sometimes it’s a matter of new money for old venues: the Oval became Foster’s Oval, though it’s now the Brit Oval”

    I’m sure I remember they asked London Transport to rename the tube station the Foster’s Oval too, but they refused.

  3. In a vaguely related note, the Russian word for ‘railway station’ derives from ‘Vauxhall’, due to an association with pleasure gardens which acquired the generic name ‘vokzal’ in a nod to the famed Vauxhall Gardens.