Thursday 24th February 2022
A fascinating exhibition opened at the beginning of this year in Elstree & Borehamwood Museum. I paid a visit a few weeks ago and thought I’d share the highlights with you.
Elstree & Borehamwood Museum is a small one room affair on the second floor of Elstree & Borehamwood library located in Shenley Road just a short walk along from Elstree & Borehamwood railway station. It’s a lovely local history museum which opened in 2000 and is run independently and entirely by volunteers. It began as a community history project with a small collection of objects and photographs and has evolved into a much larger collection of items which now lead to themed displays.
The current theme is all about the proposed extension of the Northern Line from Edgware to Bushey Heath which would have seen intermediate stations at Brockley Hill and Elstree. I’m not surprised to see the Museum report “we are crowded out every day …. busy days every day” which is spledid news for the hard work of the volunteers. There’s nothing like an exhibition about a tube line that almost got built to create interest.
Wall mounted poster sized explain the background to the line, how work started on construction, including the depot near Bushey Heath which became famous for becoming London Transport’s Aldenham bus overhaul works, and the reasons why the line never got built after the Second World War despite much of the preparatory work having been completed.
Best of all there’s a large scale working model depicting the extension with replica 1938 stock Northern Line tube trains running up and down making for a fascinating display to appeal to all ages.
There’s Brockley Hill …
Elstree South …
The depot which would have been located between Elstree South and Bushey Heath…
And the terminus at Bushey Heath…
And you can watch model tube trains shuttling along the tracks between these stations for hours.
The story of “the line that never was” is also told in a wonderful book written by Tony Beard and published by Capital Transport in 2002.
This obviously gives much more of the fascinating detail and explains why the depot was sited where it was and the trials and tribulations over finalising the names of the stations which were originally proposed as Edgwarebury, Elstree and Aldenham.
Copies of Tony’s book can be purchased online at the usual second hand websites at a whole variety of prices. It’s a highly recommended read giving a very readable fascinating account of “the line that never was”..
The exhibition can’t possibly cover the story quite so comprehensively as Tony’s book but the enthusiastic volunteers have done a great job summarising the highlights and the model is great fun.
It’s on until 20th August.
Blogging timetable: 06:00 TThSSu.
Next blog, Saturday 26th February 2022: D is for Durham.