A Big Bulbous Bloated Bludner
The above engraving appeared in the published volume of Alexander Pope’s “The Dunciad“, a superb example of 18th Century Satire. Amazingly, Satire did not begin with Millicent Martin and David Frost!
Hmmm; seems quite mild by today’s journalistic standards.
The engraving above shows chaps bathing in the River Fleet (as in Fleet Street) as it flowed through the Holborn valley, south towards the Thames. Even by Pope’s day The Fleet was an open sewer and unlikely to attract even the hardiest of bathers. Pope railed against poor water quality and inadequate sanitation. Quite a modernist was our Alex!
As part of the improvements in the Holborn Valley, old housing was swept away and a grand new road was built leading towards the City. To cross the valley a grand new bridge was built …
… something of a tourist attraction in the late 1890s.
The bridge and its roads were known as Holborn Viaduct.
Soon a new station was built to allow Southern Railway trains to venture further north into the growing commercial and leisure (Museum’s init?) areas which grew on and round the new road. It had a very grand frontage …
… but not such a grand backage.
The frontage did get modernised …
… but the platform side was, ultimately less impressive.
Its usefulness and usage
declined rapidly post WW2 and it ended up being a simple island platform with only nominal shelter …
…and a poor trains service.
And fbb completely forgot about this somewhat obscure and no longer extant terminus. But it gets worse!
As fbb mulled over being sent to bed early and without supper (yet again!) it dawned on the incompetent old crusty hat he had not just forgotted about ONE terminus – but he had omitted THREE.
All three bludners are connected in some way to Thameslink.
With the obliteration of Holborn Viaduct and the somewhat delayed creation of the full Thameslink 2000 scheme, the planners realised that terminal platforms north of the river (just!) would still be needed. So …
So, on the western side of the super magnificent station …
… are two terminus platforms.
Complaints are common that Notwork Rail terminates trains there when the timetable starts to crumble and irate passengers are forced to (a) change and thus (b) wait.
Limited scheduled services use the platforms.
As built, Moorgate was the first City terminus of the Metropolitan Railway …
… but later the Underground lines (Met, Hammersmith & City, Circle) ran through. National Rail trains via the so-called “Widened Lines” from northern suburbs on St Pancras and Kings Cross routes continued to terminate there, especially at peak times.
fbb remembers seeing the odd blue DMU and even loco hauled trains lurking there.
With the he arrival of the first wave of Thameslink, these lines were electrified at 25Kv overheard and became a short branch of the through Thameslink route.
Then, when the full Thameslink happened, it was necessary to lengthen Farringdon’s platforms and the bit from there to Moorgate was closed. Thus Moorgate ceased to be a National Rail terminus at sub service level.
But descend a little deeper and you have the Northern City line, once Underground and the scene of the horrific disaster of 1973.
The line later joined the National Rail network and once again carries full sized trains. They once looked like this …
… and now look like this.
So Moorgate is still a National Rail terminus, albeit with just two subterranean platforms
Just to complete the picture; at a deeper level Moorgate offers the City “branch” of the Underground’s Northern Line but with no terminating tube.
And just to confuse us all, Moorgate has a linking passage with the Elizabeth Line line station at Liverpool Street.
So fbb has atoned for his omissions and instead of being sent to bed without supper has begged Mrs fbb to serve a good slice of Humble Pie …
… which was, historically Umble Pie (no H) a pie made from the umbles, bits that were too disgusting to eat – a sort of haggis in pastry. A fitting punishment for a forgetful failure?
Sadly, Mrs fbb refused to oblige.
He will also finish off his Summer Quiz terminus puzzle pictures tomorrow.
Final Quiz Answers blog : Friday 25th August