Edgware Road is the first of the non-opening day stations on my journey. It opened on 1st October 1863 between Paddington and Baker Street on the first stretch of the Metropolitan Railway It is currently served by the Circle, Hammersmith and City and the Wimbledon branch of the District Line.
The station was also the site of one of the 7th July 2005 London bombings, with a device detonated on a westbound circle line train as it left the station. Six passengers were killed in the attack.
It is now the location where the circle line ‘stops’. Trains no longer run in a continuous loop but terminate at Edgware Road at the end of their journey that now starts at Hammersmith. They also call at the station on their journey towards the city. This was done by transport supremos to improve reliability on the line. I don’t use it enough to judge whether that has been a success or not.
The journalist Andrew Martin in his excellent book ‘Underground Overground’ described how the station used to have an ornamental pond with a collection of garden gnomes by platform 1. Sadly they have now vanished; maybe TfL could reinstate them in time for the stations 150th birthday on October 1st?
There is however a statue of a a window cleaner outside the station. I don’t know why, it’s always puzzled me.
The Pub: The Chapel, 48 Chapel Street, NW1 5DP
Edgware Road is synonymous with a large and vibrant Middle Eastern population, with a variety of restaurants, Shisha cafes and the like. Regrettably on the day we arrived the heavens had opened so exploring was not top of the agenda. I’m back in Edgware Road later in the journey for the Bakerloo Line station so hopefully things will be better next time around.
We found sanctuary in The Chapel, a stones throw away from the station. The pub itself is bright and smart, with a strong emphasis on food as roughly half the pub is given over to diners. The clientele was a mixture of those who had arrived for food and locals looking for a quiet pint and a place to read the paper.
If we ever seen the sun again the pub also has a sizeable garden, always a plus point in my book. The Chapel was a perfectly pleasant place to escape the downpour. My only gripe was a limited ale selection, with just two Greene King beers available.