A London Underground train has crashed at Moorgate, killing the driver and at least 29 passengers and injuring more than 70 in the worst-ever Tube disaster. The 0837 train from Drayton Park to Moorgate was packed with commuters going to work when it overshot the platform and ploughed into a dead-end tunnel at 0846.
The front three carriages were crushed together with the last three intact at the platform. The rescue operation has involved several teams - police, London Underground staff, fire crews, doctors and nurses from St Bartholomew's Hospital and members of the Salvation Army.
29 passengers plus the driver were killed. The cause of the crash is, as yet, unknown.
It was published in 1976 but was, presumably, prepared before the disaster which is not mentioned. It is 56 pages long in A5 landscape format and was priced at £1. In a telling comment on inflation, fbb's second hand copy cost him £2. Used copies are available on Amazon (at least they were when the blog was prepared; (on Boxing Day in a lull between
Anyway, the book set the chubby one off on a post-festival voyage of mesmerising exploration. A journey of delectable discovery into a lesser known backwater of London's underground railway system.
So, where and what is Moorgate?
Answer : It is a road in the financial district of London just to the west of Liverpool Street station. But, before that, Moorgate was Moore Gate, a gateway in the wall of London, the line of which is now a road called, in sublime originality, London Wall. This ancient maps shows the gate and the wall.
Moorgate was a postern in the London Wall originally built by the Romans. It was turned into a gate in the 15th century. Though the gate was demolished in 1762, the name survives as a major street in the City of London. The street connects the City to the London Boroughs of Islington and Hackney, and was constructed around 1846 as one of the new approaches to London Bridge.
And this is "yer actual" gate in 1680.
The first railway to "appear" at Moorgate was that of the Metropolitan underground line. Constructed by digging a gurt big trench and roofing it over with girders and or masonry ("cut and cover") the line had progressed from Bishops Road (now Paddington) to Farringdon by 1863. An extension to Moorgate was opened in 1865. The bit between Kings Cross St Pancras and Farringdon became four track to accommodate trains from the northern suburbs via tunnel links at the two London termini.
Something had to be done!