Worcester Park is my final stop on the South West Trains leg of the blog. It first opened on 4 April 1859 and was initially called Old Malden, it gained its present name a mere three years later. The next station heading south on the line is Stoneleigh, which is within the borough of Epsom and Ewell.
The ticket office building here is a simple brick design which looks very ’30s – the station was redeveloped around this time in response to housing growth in the local area. More recent additions at the station include the installation of a new footbridge and lifts in 2014, replacing this metallic structure.
Worcester Park was originally omitted from the proposed route of Crossrail 2 – after people power intervened the plans were modified and services are now planned to stop here, providing the project gets the green light.
North End Tavern, 245 Cheam Common, KT4 7NB
The pub is a brisk ten minute walk south from the station down the main shopping street in Worcester Park. Like the William Bourne a few stops ago, the North End Tavern is a Stonegate pub, complete with its range of discount themed meal deals. It had three ales on tap on our visit, Doombar, Youngs Bitter and Ghost Ship. The beer here was surprisingly cheap, two Doombars came to £5.80, which is cheaper than many ‘Spoons these days!
The North End Tavern is a large pub and was fairly busy when we arrived but we were able to get a table. They have a TV sports licence and had the football on a big projector. By the time of the 4pm kick-off, the pub was rammed which is why I didn’t take any more photos inside as all I would have captured would be a sea of people! They also have a sizeable back garden, this was nearly empty on our visit, although given it was a cold Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t that surprising.
The decor here is fairly generic, however there were a couple of nice local touches I liked here. On one wall there was an old black and white photo of people waiting at a paced Worcester Park station, another had one of the Railway Clearing House – the umbrella body set up to manage the allocation of ticket fares for journeys across multiple companies – diagrams of lines which existed in the pre-nationalisation period of the railways. As well as having a quiz every Sunday, there is also ‘Disco Fridays’, where a DJ plays 80s and 90s music from 8pm till midnight.
The North End Tavern was a solid way to bring a close my run on South West Trains with its cheap ales and friendly atmosphere. If you find yourself in Worcester Park, it’s a sound place for a pint.