Muswell Hill Old Train Station

Once upon a time you could by train from Alexandra Palace via Muswell Hill and Cranley Gardens to Finsbury Park.  And for a moment it looked like the network could become part of the tube and expanded to the north to Bushey Heath and High Barnet, and to the south to Moorgate.  Instead, on the 3rd of July 1954, after 81 years of service, despite representations by a formidable list of local organisations (the Middlesex County Council; Finchley, Hornsey, Islington and Wood Green Borough Councils; Friern Barnet Urban District Council; the Alexandra Park Trustees; Hornsey Chamber of Commerce; and the Federation of Ratepayers’ and Kindred Associations in Middlesex) the line was closed down.  

The rest is history, and today the disused track has become the very much-loved Parkland Walk, the longest linear nature reserve in London. However, since the demise of the Alexandra Palace to Finsbury Park line, the idea of bringing back rail in one form or another has not gone away and a short Youtube documentary by video producer and author Geoff Marshall (a.k.a Jago Hazzard) recounts some of the past schemes, from the London Passenger Transport Board ‘s Northern Heights to a plan to build a six-lane highway along the Parkland Walk.

More on the Muswell Hill railway

  • Wikipedia Muswell Hill Railway Station. Click HERE to read.
  • Alexandra Palace – Finsbury Park Railway (Closure). Hansard Parliamentary Report 20 July 1956. Click HERE to read.
  • Disused Stations: Muswell Hill Site Record. Click HERE to read.
  • Amateur film of the demolition of Muswell Hill Railway Station. Click HERE to view.

A Tour of the Historic Park at Kenwood with Peter Barber OBE, FSA

Peter Barber OBE, FSA, FRHistS, formerly Head of Maps and Topography at the British Museum and President of the Hornsey Historical Society, on Sunday 12th June took us on a walk around Kenwood’s estate and through its four-hundred-year history. This is a slide show of the maps, prints and documents Peter used to illustrate the history of the estate.

David Staples is a theatre consultant and has been advising clients, architects and governments on the building of new theatres, concert halls and opera houses around the world across 67 different countries. For the past seven years he has been collaborating with 41 people from 14 countries to create a book called ‘Modern Theatres 1950 – 2020’. In this talk, he looks at theatre buildings including opera houses and concert halls and how they have evolved and changed over the last 70 years. Beginning with a Greek amphitheatre and finishing with a 20 seat amphitheatre in Slovenia, David Staples embraces many of the most significant theatres of this period and explores how architecture was changed by the TWA Flight Centre at New York’s Idlewild (now JFK) Airport and its influence on the Sydney Opera House.

The book, Modern Theatres 1950–2020, edited by David Staples, explores in detail 30 of the most significant theatres, concert halls, opera houses and dance spaces that opened between 1950 and 2010. Each theatre is reviewed and assessed by experts in theatre buildings, such as architects, acousticians, consultants and theatre practitioners, and illustrated with full-colour photographs and comparative plans and sections. A further 20 theatres that opened from 2009 to 2020 are concisely reviewed and illustrated. Click HERE for more information.

Q&A following David Staples’s presentation of Opera houses, concert halls and theatres from 1950 to 2020. Cold and warm concert halls, more on exteriors and interiors, and amplification.