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4.7 out of 5 stars
23
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2003
A wonderfully informative book filled with pictures and information about all of the 'Ghost' stations on the many miles of the London Underground system.
'Ghost' stations are the Underground stations which are no longer in use. Some have disappeared totally, others have left traces which can be seen to this day when going by on an Underground train.
There's always been something fascinating about the Underground, whether it's the trains or just the underground passages, the thoughts of a subterranean area has always stirred inquisitive thoughts in people's minds.
This book is very entertaining and well worth the price as it provides an insight into the past aswell as the architecture aspects, such as the tunnelling and the buildings at street level. It gives information of the current situation of the stations (if part, or fully, intact) and to their locations, and also the condition of the overground stations and buildings (if they are there to this day, and what they are used for). This allows the inhabitants of and visitors to London the chance to further explore this fascinating subject.
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on 31 August 2017
Bought as a gift for a transport enthusiast and much enjoyed.
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on 6 May 2017
A very interesting book, fascinating, history and well illustrated. Very good for those who like London's hidden history , makes a great gift too.
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LONDON'S DISUSED UNDERGROUND STATIONS is a glossy, photo-rich, reference book more apt to be found in the home of Tube obsessives. The esoteric nature of the knowledge it contains is reminiscent of the recently reviewed What's in a Name?: Origins of Station Names on the London Underground.

Author J.C. Connor describes the life histories of 21 Tube stations that have been taken off-line since 1900: King William Street, North End, Hounslow Town, City Road, South Kentish Town, Park Royal & Twyford Abbey, Down Street, York Road, British Museum, Brompton Road, Osterley Park & Spring Grove, St. Mary's (Whitechapel Road), Uxbridge, Lords, Malborough Road, Swiss Cottage (Metropolitan Line), Wood Lane, South Acton, White City, Aldwych, and Charing Cross (Jubilee Line). The twenty-one appear in chronological order based on the year of closure; King William Street, closed in 1900, comes first, and Charing Cross, closed in 1999, comes last. Ten of the twenty-one shut their doors in the 1930s.

Connor's narrative style is bone-dry and relatively unembellished with anything other than hard facts. A small sampling of text concerning York Road (closed 1932) is representative of the book's tone:

"The street level building was sited on the corner of York Road (now York Way) and Bingfield Street, and was designed by the architect Leslie William Green. It was built by the firm of Ford & Walton Ltd. at a cost of (pounds sterling) 8,176 and was clad in (pounds sterling) 1,022.5.9d's worth of glazed ruby-red tiling by the Leeds Fireclay Company."

And, regarding this station's remnants:

" ... until the 1960s, it was still possible to clearly see the grimy (platform) tiling from a passing train ... The vast majority of tiling has been painted out, although a few small sections have not been touched. The signal box also survives, with its windows blackened after years of disuse."

Only rarely does Connor touch on a defunct station's local color: the ghost said to inhabit an old tunnel, the movie shot on-site, or the apocryphal story of the commuter who mistakenly detrained on an old platform and was stranded overnight. Otherwise, the story of each station is one of tunnel widths, booking hall layout, tile color scheme, track additions, platform extensions, street-level remodelings, war use as an air-raid shelter, level of commuter traffic, etc.

LONDON'S DISUSED UNDERGROUND STATIONS contains many photographs of the under-ground (or above-ground) platforms and street-level facades, mostly black and white prints from the late 19th century and the first 30 years of the 20th when the stations were in their working prime. Perhaps most interesting to readers who are fascinated by "then" and "now" pictures are the contemporary color shots of still extant street-level facades that can be compared to earlier views.

The book's final pages include narrative summaries about a further 13 stations that have been re-sited rather than shuttered-up, and text about other disused street-level buildings associated with the Central, District, East London, Northern, and Piccadilly Lines.

As I assume the true Tube obsessive would go out of his/her way to catch a glimpse of the occasional abandoned station while being whisked along in the modern London Underground, I was puzzled to note that this volume contains no map of the modern system with the locations of the ghost stations marked. To imprecisely find them, I was forced to peer through a magnifying glass at the small type of a compact LONDON A-Z street and Tube guide - behavior that, admittedly, my wife thought aberrant. In my defense, I must state that I've not left Connor's book out on the living room coffee table where it might serve as solid evidence of an eccentric fixation.

Finally, the author must have some surveying experience as he makes frequent use of a unit of distance measure called the "chain (ch)", i.e. 66 feet, the definition of which I had to look-up on the Web.
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on 1 March 2002
J C Connor is the acknowledged expert in the research of closed stations on the London Underground network. His latest book provides a wealth of information for not only the true railway fanatic but also for the reader more interested in London history in general. The text is augmented by many period and contemporary photographs along with copies of several station plot plans.
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on 4 January 2011
I got this book as I am quite interested in the tube, and after seeing it briefly in a shop I decided to buy it on amazon (cheaper!).

The book has a lot of information in about stations which are no longer in use and in some cases no longer in existence.

A great read, and combined with a good walk round London you can take in a lot of history which would otherwise blend into the background and remain hidden.
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on 9 March 2014
I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and contained very good information. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading about the London Underground and its fantastic history.

Shane
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on 17 April 2012
Amazing! One has no idea what is under one's feet when walking around London, even shopping in London. I wish I was younger and able to spend a few weeks exploring using this book as a guide.
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on 13 September 2016
Bought as a gift for my dad. After a recent trip to London and a discussion we had about places he'd visited I got him this as a birthday gift. The 5 stars is his rating having read the book cover to cover a couple of times already. Recommended for any one with an interest in history, not specifically transport related either!
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on 3 March 2015
Was given this as a present. High-quality production and very informative histories of loads of ghost stations.I have just one observation to improve the next edition - there should be a map of where these stations were, perhaps superimposed on the current network map.
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