Poor old Liverpool Street Station, if I stop to look at it now,
which is quite a difficult task, I see it all dressed up like
a contemporary airport area, with shops to match, all nicely trimmed to make
you feel that you were anywhere in the world, and not at what was once a
glorious victorian gem of a building, in the heart of London's city district.
In previous times this place had a warm character to it, with an awkward layout more in line with it's dickensian ancestory, with little cute walkways taking you between areas, the main section being broken by a taxi road which came in from the front and down to the concourse. This setting was adorned with iconic fanciful structures and little stores, resulting in a busy but inoffensive London scene
Liverpool Street was never as ghastly as it is now. The old and dusty decor was an organic development over some 120 years before, as usual, some jobsworth decided to deface the lot, and create the modern mess of today. The old station lived back in the days when rail travel was a friendly affair, of British Railways, it's staff, and it's compliment of fun branding. No inspectors there, no corporate hogwash, just a decorated outpost, and tribute to the age of steam.
Ahhh... Those beloved walkways, such an important design feature that crumbled under the destructive force of modernisation madness. There is none better than an asymmetric layout, and victorian London does it best. So why trash most of old Liverpool Street and transform it to look like a branch of Sainsburys? The new refurb has given us greater access, but at great cost. Now it's just one great marketing exercise in order to fleece the passenger for maximum revenue. Sure, they left a lot of decor from the old station, but it's only a token, a facade charade. And the steelworks didnt need the comedy paint job either.
I'm not happy with what they did at Liverpool Street, but I suppose it could have been worse. They could have done a 'Euston' on it, or even a Broad Street demolition job. But it is now ugly, too bright, and the first thing you see now when passing the old taxi gates, is McDonalds. That just about says it all. Give me the age of soot & steam anyday.
My only memento is from the recording booth they used to have on the old Liverpool Street Station, where for some pricely sum of about 3s/6d, you could record your voice onto vinyl, and send it to your relations. It's the station ambience of this novelty that makes it a treasure of time gone by, and reminds me always that this station should have been left alone by those dastardly developers.
Charles (of London Town)