Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Liverpool Street: A History Forgotten

August 21, 2009 · No Comments

Liverpool Station

Liverpool Station

To arrive at Liverpool Street, we took the red Central tube line from Tottenham Court Street directly to Liverpool Street. On the way to our destination, in the Tottenham Court station, we saw a blues performer. We later learned at these station performers, who are called Buskers, were licensed and had to pay to perform there. Once on the tube, we saw a mix of many different people, mostly on their way to or from work. Since both of us are from New York City and make use of the public transportation often we couldn’t help but to compare the London tube to the New York City subway stations. The tube was definitely more organized with large maps and accessible directions, cleaner and more colorful. Large advertisements and walls decorated with mosaics of musical instruments occupied walls of the tube stations.

It took us about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the Liverpool station, unlike our return trip by the 8 bus, which took 30mins to an  hour. As we left the train we were immediately confronted with flower shops, new stands, and people. We exited the below ground portion of the station into what can only be described as a beautiful classical architecture masked by modern McDonalds and commercial facades. This area was similar to Penn Station in New York. There were large departure and arrival boards for all kinds of trains, as well as coffee and food shops, boutiques, and crowds of people quickly on their way.

Modern & Classic

Modern & Classic

As noted, the original architecture of the building appeared to be a large hotel with huge Corinthian columns and arches over the station. However, the roof and interior or the building was glass and metal, the new architectural style of London. This juxtaposition of old and new was possibly the most interesting part of the Liverpool Station.



As we wandered out of the station we saw a constant stream of buses and heard many unfamiliar languages being spoken. We found a bench to sit on and observed the flow of people in the area. In this predominantly commercial area, we saw various classes and ethnicity of people, however the area was lacking young people from the junior high to high school age group. The stores and commercial buildings must target and older more corporate audience.

Despite our wandering and watching, we still had not discovered a monument. So we reentered the station and looked for a back exit. What we discovered was that almost the whole station was a monument that no one seemed to notice! High above and surrounding the back (or front) entrance of the station was a huge plaque which read, “To the glory of God and in grateful memory of those members of the great eastern railway staff who, in response to the call of their country, sacrificed their lives during the great war” dated 1914-1919.



Below this plaque were columns of names, and below these names were several  relief sculptures of prominent war figures. The most interesting thing about this monument was that as we stood taking pictures, the travelers around us only then seemed to notice this huge piece of the station’s history. This matches the juxtaposition of modernism and ancient architecture. In the rush to push forward and create a modern station, this important part of this country’s history got left behind. In the rush to make a train at Liverpool station, history is forgotten.

Categories: Jeyla · Megan
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