West Harrow station first opened on 17th November 1913, between Harrow on the Hill and Rayners Lane on the Metropolitan Railway. I think it ranks as probably the most basic and uninspiring station, architecturally and structurally, I’ve come across so far for the blog.
The platforms are empty and desolate bar two non-descript shelters. The one on our platform was locked so it wouldn’t have been much help anyway. The route from the platforms to the street is even more ramshackle – a small corrugated shed type structure offers minimal protection from the elements but the rest of the route is an uncovered path. The small ticket hall is pretty basic too. The whole thing feels like it was a built in a hurry on the cheap during the underinvestment of the 1980s. It certainly feels like it deserves an upgrade! Waiting for a tube here on these exposed platforms on cold winters days can’t be much fun!
The Pub: The Shaftesbury, Shaftesbury Avenue, HA2 0AJ
It’s all very suburban around the tube station so it’s about a ten minute walk to the pub. Head out of the station onto Vaughan Road, turning onto Drury Road. Keep along here until you veer right on Whitmore Road and then down onto Porlock Avenue which leads you onto the Shaftesbury Circle. This 1930s circular collection of shops and restaurants also houses The Shaftesbury, nestled incongruously among them.
I think the pub only reopened a couple of years ago; everything seemed in decent enough condition when we visited. There wasn’t any ale on when we visited, although it looks like they usually have Greene King IPA, but a pint of San Miguel only set me back £3.30 which can’t be bad. The signs suggest they do Sunday roasts here and Thai food during the week.
Its quite a sport focused pub as you’d imagine from the England flags. There are a couple of pool tables and a dart board in the back area of the pub which I guess is the games room. The Salisbury was also advertising regular Poker Nights and ‘Killer Pool’, which sounds intriguing. The TVs in here were split between showing At the Races and a movie on Channel 5.
There are a number of pictures of Old Harrow on the walls, as well as a 1940s advert for the Underground saying it will take you to the heart of the country – ‘Harrow, Sudbury or Perivale’ For what seems like the first time in ages on the crawl, we also came across a quiz machine. In an even rarer occurrence, we even won £5 on Pub Quiz and were a couple of questions off a tenner!
The Shaftesbury is a decent enough boozer in an area that’s really barren on the pub front. If you want a drink round here, this is probably your only option!