London celebrations

The abandoned London Underground station which is now buried under a Sainsbury’s car park

In London, there are so many abandoned underground stations lurking beneath the surface, little pockets of history right there, unnoticed.

But many of them have come to have incredibly creative second lives – like heating London homes, forming the patio of private residences or even becoming a dodgy sauna turned escape room.

Others, on the other hand, have known useful but less sexy destinies: like Uxbridge.

READ MORE: “I rented an abandoned London tube station and turned it into an escape room”

Uxbridge Station, 1933.

But Uxbridge is not abandoned, I hear you cry.

The current Uxbridge station isn’t abandoned, no – but the original one definitely is.

The original Uxbridge station was built on Belmont Road, and the first train ran in 1904 for one heck of a party.

The train was covered in flags and a marquee was set up at the station where passengers sat for a celebratory lunch.

September 21, 1926: Soldiers at Uxbridge Station, London, before leaving for Egypt and Iraq.
September 21, 1926: Soldiers at Uxbridge Station, London, before leaving for Egypt and Iraq.

It was just a modest little station, with two platforms, a ticket office, a waiting room and a refreshment bar – but now they were connected to Harrow where the Met line would take them to Baker Street so the celebrations were very in order.

There was also a goods yard with a warehouse and private sidings for loading and unloading goods to and from the big city.

The freight station will later be the key to the survival of the station.

In 1910 District Line trains headed for Uxbridge, and in 1933 these trains were replaced by Piccadilly Line trains.

Platforms under construction at the underground station, Uxbridge 1936.
Platforms under construction at the underground station, Uxbridge 1936.

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By then it became quite clear that a station on the High Street would be much more convenient, now that sleepy Uxbridge was becoming a real hub.

In 1938, the station we know today as Uxbridge opened in the more accessible High Street, and the original station continued as a goods station.

Eventually the track was reclaimed and the abandoned station became a storage space for a frozen food company.

In 1985 the whole site was paved over to make way for a Sainsbury’s car park.

Buyers today have no idea that, as they struggle with bags and search for the car, they’re sure to be gone from here – or wait, was it there? – there is an abandoned London Underground station right under their feet.

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