EPPING - ONGAR line (pt.2)
Blake Hall station was the least
used tube station on the entire London Underground network -
6 passengers a day, according to the "Underground: The Story
of the Tube" TV series about the underground shown around
Pre-closure (1979-ish), and...[moving your cursor over the
Front image: Epping bound train.
Rear image (move cursor over the front image to view):
Similar view from Apr 2005. The platform has clearly been demolished but amazingly has been reinstated, according to Whistleblower.
The station building has been sold and is now a private dwelling.
For posters that advertised the proposed and actual closure of
the branch, click
here (approx 200k).
For more info and photos of the station; www.disused-stations.org.uk
Move your cursor over the following images to swap between London Underground and EOR images.
Ongar station did have two tracks on the passenger side but
only one platform.
2004 photo was taken from further back on the platform.
View from the other end of the platform; the goods yard was on
the right of the wall on the right hand side.
Move your cursor over the image to see a December
2004 photo taken from approximately the same position, the main
difference being that the two-car EOR train is stabled much closer
to the station building than the three-car tube train.
The goods yard after removal of the tracks.
Move your cursor over the image to see the goods yard in Dec 2004 after further demolition.
According to Brendan Ratcliffe, this camper van of
sorts was regularly parked outside the station and is believed
to have belonged to one of the station staff.
(2nd image: Dec 2004)
Some additional photos of this line from its London Underground days are here.
For a wonderfully evocative account of what the line
was like in use, read Brendan Ratcliffe's reminisces below.
Loughton (Central Line)
I very much enjoyed your site.
It was particularly interesting to pick up
some of the latest on the Ongar Epping branch line. I used this
line on a
daily basis for my journey to school in Buckhurst Hill between
There was a time when I could
name those six passengers using Blake Hall
Station. This station was in fact in the middle of nowhere - the
village was called Toot Hill (though not that near). The station
was a great
distance from Blake Hall itself (a huge stately home and not a
could be seen in the distance from the train between Ongar and
The urban myth goes that in order to build the line through its
land, a station had to be built. Hence its location in the middle
nowhere. I always assumed that owing to its remoteness, there
was no mains
electricity in the station - those who used the station knew when
had departed Ongar because all the station lighting would dim
brighten as the train accelerated out of Ongar. The same would
the train pulled away in Blake Hall itself.
Until the discontinuation of
the use of the second platform at North Weald,
all the signalling was of the semaphore type and was rod operated,
with the points from the signal box. It was a quirky working museum
the mid seventies.
Blake Hall station earned a small
amount of fame in the seventies. It was
featured in the Evening Standard in 1976 (the hot summer) when
operating the train with the side door open was attacked by a
which entered the cab at Blake Hall. It was also featured in a
Observer colour supplement Aprils Fools story, when it was reported
then poet laureate (John Betjeman) would take residence in the
abandoned station building.
Photos taken between 1977 and 1981, except where stated.