THE DEPTFORD DAME
Wow!The new station is really much better but oh my god...the stench of wee.....especially in this hot weather.I think people are doing it on the stairway behind the lift (where the meshing is when you get off from London). There is no CCTV there and so it is being used as a urinal and I'm guessing cleaning does not include a daily mop of the stairs.
I agree that the urine stench is disrespectful. A lot of people are trying to do some good for the area and a minority are literally pissing on it. Shame on them.
Well it is probably a good place to kip down as well. If you'd used New Cross station recently, you'd've noticed how many people (allegedly Polish) are sleeping rough in McMillan Park.Or maybe it's just years of similar pissing in the station that's coming out as they knock it down.Or, pay lower dividends to shareholders and less silly pay to executives and employ cleaners. Simple.
All of the old station buildings c.1840 could have been kept and re-used. the stairway would have made a great exhibition space, the buildings on the platform might have been studios. eventually Lewisham will have to catch up with the notion of embodied energy in buildings. London loves brick. There was nothing wrong with the station buildings. The only problem was management. I notice already that the lift is out of operation when the ticket office is not staffed.
I was kind of sad to see these buildings being knocked down - yes they were a bit grim but they had great history. Isn't Deptford supposed to be the oldest railway station in London? Originally, I quite liked the new station but it looks minging at the minute, there is detritus everywhere and all manner of stains on all manner of surfaces. It's a real shame.
The old stairway was dark, smelled of piss and had graffiti on it most of the time until the south eastern staff came and re-painted it. I do not think art work would have survived there very long. I also happen to have on my desk atm a list of 5 artists that will be displaying work in and around the new station. Looks good.Throughout the history of the station several buildings have come and gone from both platforms 1 and 2. What is being knocked down now is the remainder of stuff from the 1800's fused with that built and renovated during the 1920's electrification.There used to be coal sidings, turn tables and all sorts up there, all since demolished.Every building has a use by date, and this one has reached it's.The very orginal via-duct will be exposed for the first time in a long time, you will even see the remainder of an old spiral staircase appear that used to provide access to platform 1, should be an interesting feature in the new station entrance.The lifts by the way are now on at all times. It was south eastern policy to turn them off when not staffed, but that was overuled by the powers that be. ie, Network rail.
@anonymous confirms that management of the building was and continues to be the issue. I also recall the buildings on platform 2 and the original tall 1840 doorsleading to the platform with their ironwork intact, great bolts and handsome locks. I rescued them from a skip during the City Challenge refurbishments. I obviously wasn't clear regarding the space being used for exhibitions. I meant that the old station could have been retained and re-used, alongside the existing. "Every building has a use by date, and this one has reached it's." It's far from the case that this building had reached its "use by date." A fraction of the cost of the new station could have been spent upgrading, repairing and installing a lift. Greenwich station also mid 1800's is perfectly functional.
The new station is great but I agree with the shipwrigts; they didn't have to pull down the former station the facade of which I think contributed to the character of the street. What we must all do now is campaign to ensure that this corner is treated with respect by rail track/Lewisham. Look out for the submission of details on the planning website.
where does the unbearable acrid stench around the stairs from Platform 2 and the tunnel come from, is it really from people pissing (where once there were toilets at the station) or has the demolition opened something up?
Nothing opened up by the demolition, in fact we re-paired one of the old manholes in this area. That smell has been there since the construction started, i think its a combination of pigeon leavings (of which there are a substantial build up) and the back of the apartment block here, which is not in the cleanest of states.I can assure you we will do our best to ensure the newly exposed frontage is treated properly. We did, after all, spend alot of time on the rest of the 1830's brickwork.I'm not involed in the design or planning of the station, but a free standing wall with a door in it would be an odd thing to keep, and from an engineering point of view would have required additional propping etc. As well as creating a funny bottle neck.
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