A mid Somers Town night’s dream – The impact of the railway on Somers Town.
Nowhere in London was so profoundly affected by the introduction of the railway as Somers Town, Camden. Britain’s first Inter City terminus (Euston) Kings Cross, and the enormous St Pancras, all appeared over a period of 40 years on the New Road, soon to be Euston Road.
The effect on the population of Somers Town is a story of impoverished slum dwellers being packed into even more overcrowded ghettos, but also the area becoming more populated due to work available on the new transport system. The area became a haven for the transient class.
We will take into account that Somers Town already existed before the arrival of the ‘Iron Horse’, although it was a fairly late developer by London standards. Hear about the engineering feat that was the Regent’s canal, as it meanders just north of all of the three inter city stations mentioned on our walk today, but was only really used as transport for goods for around 50 years before the railway took over and changed the face of British industry.
Thankfully many of the buildings of importance from this period still exist for us to ponder over today.
The walk will take us along a street that has an amazing history but looks fairly mundane on the face of it. Drummond street will allow me to ‘bang on’ about it’s culinary past, it’s story of immigration which has negative and positive stories, it’s part in social revolution in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and in the 90’s an unfortunate spate of gang feuds and race relation problems. You need to see this street before it’s gone, as HS2 is taking over with the expansion of Euston station.
Among other interesting things we’ll hear about, will be one of only two of London’s ‘cemetery stations’ or Necropolis station that took the deceased away by train up north to Southgate, see remnants of other disused stations, and learn of the impact the railway had on the Old St Pancras Burial yard that lead to the amazing ‘Hardy tree’.
So, come and join us for a ‘ Mid Somers Town dream / nightmare (terrible play on a play, sorry Mr Shakespeare!) and hear about some of Camden’s industrial heritage.
Take a stroll with Ade, a qualified London Borough Guide
‘Enthusing the enthusiastic’