Marylebone Station first opened as Great Central on 27th March 1907 on the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, as part of that line’s short extension from Baker Street to Edgware Road. The name ‘Great Central’ refers to a former mainline railway route that used to operate from Marylebone up into the Midlands and Manchester – this line fell victim to the Beeching cuts in the 1960s. This name on the platform tiles so look out for that when you are travelling through.
The station gained its present name in 1917. The entrance to the tube station is incorporated into the mainline station, the separate Leslie Green building was closed in 1943 following war-time damage and demolished in the 1970s.
The Underground entrance within Marylebone Station has quite an 80s feel and dates from when the British Rail Station was refurbished at the end of that decade. The ticket machines are located on the outside of the very ’80s white building, still carrying the Network SouthEast logo, the British Rail branded operator that ceased to exist in 1994!
The Pub: The Victoria and Albert, Marylebone Station, Melcombe Place, NW1 6JJ
It’s not often that I visit station pubs but sadly our first choice, The Perservance, had not lived up to its name and was shut for some reason. So we ended up at The Victoria and Albert, contained within Marylebone’s charming Victorian station building.
On the inside, it’s a pretty standard fit out of a ‘traditional pub’ – wood panelling, chandeliers and so on. The V&A had four ales on tap on our visit, London Pride, Greene King IPA, St Edmunds and Old Golden Hen, a decent showing all in all. There are also the obligatory old photos of Marylebone Station and the surrounding area. There is also a small beer garden area at the front of the station.
Being based in a train station, you definitely get the feeling this is somewhere people make a quick pitstop before moving on elsewhere – much like the people doing the Monopoly pub crawl who were here when we dropped by!
Station pubs in general are at a bit of a crossroads at the moment. On one hand you have the unreconstructed efforts like the Iron Duke at Victoria. On the other, there are places like The Betjeman Arms at St Pancras going for the higher end gastro market. To me, The Victoria and Albert sits between the two and that’s no bad thing. Overall though, I don’t think there is enough here to recommend going out of your way to visit. But it’s certainly fine to pop in here for an ale if your train to the Chilterns is delayed for 20minutes!
(The pub has no website)