Maze Hill Station again…

After the two birds-eye views of East Greenwich and North Backheath over the past couple of weeks – one looking to the east the other to the park we’re back on ground-level today for the people who wanted to see Maze Hill Station as it was years ago, sent to me by Gerald Dodd (who, btw, would still love to hear from anyone who remembers the old Dreadnought Hospital in the 60s and 70s…)

I don’t have dates for either of these photos. The top one, which, sadly, is quite a small file, looks to have been taken around the same time as the aerial shots – I’d guess late 19th early 20th Century. I love the sign – no mistaking where you were. So that would make it around the time of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent where one of the conspiritors gets off at Maze Hill to make his way up to the Observatory.

I really wish that little station building was still there instead of the ugly monstrocity that replaced it. It’s like the one at Westcombe Park – presumably exactly like the one at Westcombe Park, made to the same plans. WP used to have two, one each side. I’m assuming the same for Maze Hill and we do still have Maze Hill Pottery, which used to be a station building. After my moaning yesterday that I didn’t have a pic of said pottery, Steve was happy to oblige:

And here’s the sort of thing they produce:

Note that there’s no footbridge – it, also like Westcombe Park, had an underpass instead. I don’t know why they changed it – subsidence, perhaps. Maybe something as a result of WWII bombing or damage from the crash. It’s easier to see the underpass in the other photo today:

I don’t know when this photo was taken either, though judging from the film stock, the lettering and the clothes the people in the image are wearing I’d guess 1950s or even early 60s (not everyone was psychedelic in the 60s…) On the far right of the photo there are some posters which would have helped date it, but they’re cut off. If I was a lamp-post fancier (and I am sure they exist) perhaps I could have told from the fancy barley-sugar lights. The fire buckets and spade imply that it was still a steam railway, though they could just be for general emergencies. No – I’d put my spectral money on ’50s. There doesn’t seem to be any bomb damage, so maybe it was just a whim to build a footbridge.

The underpass is identical to the Westcombe Park one, so I’m assuming the entire station would have been very similar.

I’m intrigued by the big pile of grass-covered earth in the bit where there were, til recently, games areas and are now new-builds. I suppose it’s soil extracted when the station was built. Of course, over at Westcombe Park they’re busy moving soil too. When I first saw it I thought ‘surely they’re not going to try to shoehorn yet more flats in there, so I asked one of the guys in the orange vests. In case you’re wondering, they’re extending the platform to take 12 carriages. Which has to be good news…

UPDATE:

Darryl has just pointed out that this IS Westcombe Park station – no wonder I thought it looked identical! Just goes to show you shouldn’t believe the label on a photo!!


the attachments to this post:

Steve Coles
maze hill pottery steve low

Maze Hill Pottery
Maze Hill Pottery

Maze Hill Station 2
Maze Hill Station 2

Maze hill station 1
Maze hill station 1


6 Comments to “Maze Hill Station again…”

  1. Mary says:

    Just very very briefly – since I have lived in Greenwich I think Maze Hill has been burnt down twice and had an armed robbery at least once. Also I can just remember the barley sugar posts on an island platform alongside the down side -where Lemmon Road is now. There was a very bad train crash there in the 1950s.
    Also – the underpass – it was there relatively recently and I am sure other people will remember the enormous insect graffiti just inside – is it still there under the line? I think they got rid of it in order to lengthen the platform – and in any case the kids used to sit on the roof of the exit and throw bricks onto people coming out

  2. Darryl says:

    The subway went in the early 90s when the platforms were lengthened.

  3. Darryl says:

    Oh, and there was me thinking “the Maze Hill subway didn’t look like that…” – that 50s picture is of Westcombe Park’s subway (you can see Halstow Road in the background).

    If I remember rightly, the Maze Hill subway came out into the alley behind the pottery. It was very smelly.

  4. JOF says:

    Let’s hope that there wasn’t a fire or general emergancy because
    “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza….”.

  5. Ha – no WONDER I thought it looked exactly the same as Westcombe Park! Thanks Darryl.

  6. Mary says:

    I was always told that the Westcombe Park downside was pulled down because a railway man killed himself in there – or is that just a local legend