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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I came across this rather bad copy of a 1922 letter which along with pictorial evidence tells us that there used to be lifts at Finsbury Park Station serving the now Moorgate line which was then part of the Great Northern & City (Electric) Railway. I wonder why the lifts were removed at such an early date.

One of the platforms.

,,,and here are the lifts (note the sign warning travellers to beware of pickpockets):

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Interesting pictures - the lifts look semi-circular in shape, so a pair in each lift shaft. Why removed? There are references in a London Reconnections piece on Finsbury Park (by Arkady, a local) to the lifts being owned by the Great Northern Railway, not the Piccadilly or the Gt Northern & City Railway. It would have been the GNR's call on whether to renew (1904 - 1922, 18 years, suggests renewal of mechanisms needed) . Another issue could have been capacity - staircases likely to have more capacity than lifts, and by the 1920s Finsbury Park was a very busy interchange, so busy that the Piccadilly Line extension was built partly to ease that. 

Now, of course, Finsbury Park is once again to have lifts!

Thanks for the link. I take it that you're referring to the expert sounding comment in response to Arkady's article which says "Under the terms of its 1902 Acts, the GNR also provided the lifts to the tube platforms". 

Here's a sectional plan of the station from TfL. I assume that the lifts were accommodated where the circular stairs are currently. 

Are the people in the lift dummies ?

Well the photographer may well have said "Stand stock still please" which would account for the poses, especially if he (most likely) wasn't allowed to use flash powder. And the negative may have been retouched - a couple of the faces don't look too lifelike.

If they were dummies, thank goodness they were posable since apparently they were taken down to the platform to be used for the shot there.

Perhaps it was the first ever "mannequin challenge"

I believe that the lifts were an early pneumatic prototype, though that's where my hazy memory ends. 

The most impressive thing in that picture is the glorious wooden cladding - so different to the decaying plaster- work of today. They desperately need to fix the water ingress problems, but I'm told they will need to close the East Coast Mainline above for a period to achieve that, and that there won't be spare capacity in the rail network to allow that to happen until HS2 is finished.

I really must write the follow-up to that article now that the step-free works and new entrance are underway.

Oh and the old lifts were NOT in the spiral shafts - those spirals are as old as the station. The lifts lead off the old corridor (now abandoned but soon to be reopened - it's in front of you next to the burrito place as you enter the National Rail part of the station before you turn right up the stairs) and descended to the bottom of some of the 'straight' stairs - you can see the gated-off entrances to them at the bottom, or at least you could before the present works began (the proximity of those lift shafts is why the stairs have had to be successively closed for a period).

Some of the new lifts will be in those shafts. Others will be in the brand new shafts that are currently being excavated. Only one (again from memory) of the four shafts will go all the way from NR level to the undergound - most platforms will require a separate lift for each level (top, ground, underground).

What they should really do is hollow out the arches like they're doing at London Bridge, thereby creating a massive internal concourse. But see the East Coast Mainline problem above.

Bit crap, but you get the gist:

Thanks for all the extra info, Arkady. 



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