Palace Gates to Seven Sisters – The lost railway line of Bounds Green, 1878 – 1963

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Thanks - I'll keep 'em coming!

Thanks for that, very interesting. Gabriela

I just love this! All the grime and magnificently faded splendour of steam’s twighlight years is captured here in colour at North Woolwich in 1960 as N7 0-6-2T No. 69727 waits to depart with a mid-afternoon Palace Gates service. Photographer unknown.

I think I must have seen that engine in when I was a boy. Very nice photograph indeed.

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be, and steam railways were definitely not as romantic as they are often made out to have been, but the following lament from the Beeching era is marvelously evocative! In my mind's eye, I'm singing this with John Betjeman, both of us a little worse for wear, in a old pub by an open fire.

The Slow Train by Flanders & Swann, 1963

Taken five years after the line's closure, these two images from 1968 show how cramped the eastern view and access was to Palace Gates station after the construction of the Three Avenues in 1904 on the residual northern 10 acres of the demolished Nightingale Hall. Braemar, Cornwall & Northcott Avenues were built on the grounds of North London Cycling & Athletic Club. The station site is now occupied by the Palace Gates sheltered housing complex.

These are fabulous photos of Palace Gates station. Thanks for posting them.

On the other side of the fenced-off pathway, an Edwardian view of a pristine Braemar Avenue looking towards the Bounds Green Road

A very nice photo of Braemar Ave.

On the other side of the tracks at Palace Gates station was a more functional entrance with courtyard on the corner of Bridge Road and Dorset Road. I can't quite make out what was showing at The Ritz cinema! No date for this picture but The Ritz cinema was re-named ABC Turnpike Lane from 9 October 1961. Dorset Road was formerly known as Ellesborough Road and is listed as such on the 1912 OS map, although I don't know when and why it changed.

Ellesborough Road was changed to Dorset Road in 1950 due to the postal confusion between it and another road on the other side of Wood Green (just off the Great Cambridge Road) by the name of Ellenborough Road. My parents moved to No.1 Ellesborough Road in 1948 and despite the fact that the GPO had excellent local Postmen at the time, it still caused a lot of wasted time re-posting mail. At the time that we moved away from Dorset Road in late 1968, my parents were still receiving the odd piece of mail using the Ellesborough Road title. Browsing Google Maps I see that the street name has the 'formerly' under Dorset Road but the old turn of the 20th Century nameplate "Ellesborough Road" (white letters on blue background) that was below it has gone! 

A British Rail N7 0-6-2 Tank Locomotive No. 69625 at West Green station hauling a suburban service on the down line towards Palace Gates. Date and photographer unknown, but the early BR crest shown on the engine would have been replaced from September 1956. The coaching stock shown were sets of 5 coaches economically articulated on just 6 sets of wheel carriages known as Quint-Art sets, with two sets constituting a full train at peak times. Accounts from rush-hour travelers from this period suggest that commuting in them was an uncomfortable & unpleasant experience.

More on the history of this long defunct station and the rest of the line on Nick Catford's excellent 'Disused Stations' site here:

Disused Stations


Connecting the communities of Bowes Park and Bounds Green in north London.

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