Harrow & Wealdstone

Harrow & Wealdstone first opened on the Bakerloo Line in April 1917 as the line was extended to operate north to Watford Junction. A rail station had been in operation here as far back as 1837 when the London and Birmingham Railway opened their ‘Harrow’ stop here. For a couple of years Harrow & Wealdstone disappeared from the tube map, Bakerloo Line services were curtailed at Stonebridge Park in 1982. This was however a very short lived arrangement and the service was reinstated in 1984.

Harrow & Wealdstone has a tragic claim to fame as the site of the worst peacetime rail crash in the United Kingdom. This saw a southbound express train crash into a local service and then shortly afterwards, a northbound express train hit the wreckage from the earlier express train and also derailed. In total there were 112 deaths. A fuller summary of the crash is on the London Reconnections website.

Architecturally, the station is very impressive and Grade II listed. The ticket hall I used, on the Wealdstone side, has Greek-style columns supporting its roof with traditional lamps in place. Its brick exterior is also suitably imposing with a grand crest above the windows, as you can see from my photos. The platforms are in turn sheltered by well maintained, historic canopies.

The Pub: Barretts, 9 Masons Avenue, HA3 5AH

Making sure to exit the station via the Wealdstone exit, Barretts is a short walk away on Masons Avenue.

Like many of the venues I’ve visited in the North Western suburbs, Barretts is an Irish pub. Both the seating and the carpet are in a shade of green, which may or may not be coincidence!  There weren’t any ales on tap but 2 pints(one lager, one guinness) came to the very low for London price of £6.40 so I wasn’t complaining.

Its quite a sporty bar with pictures of various Irish sports teams, as well as art work of generic sportsmen decorating the wall. Even the windows have little pictures of sportsmen decorating them. There is also a dart board. Unsurprisingly, the pub has both Sky and BT Sports, as well as foreign sports channels. On our visit, there was some domestic Rugby showing which was taking place in a ground that looked far too sunny to be in the UK.  The main projector screen was not actually showing any TV channels at all, instead on the Sky Channel for Magic Radio with the ‘World According to Rick Astley’ playing.

Barretts was quite quiet on the early Sunday afternoon we visited but there were a handful of people in there so it was far from dead.  I thought it was alright here – a no frills boozer with reasonably priced drinks – there’s definitely still a place for them in London!

(the pub has no website)

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