City-Memorial -a proposed Southern Railway London terminus model railway layout

BACKGROUND-mainly fictional

The old L&SWR wanted to have its terminus in the City of London & purchased land along the South Bank to build a line onwards from its Waterloo station to Southwark Bridge & Mansion House. The station might have been called Southwark Bridge or Mansion House or even just Bank. In any event, this all came to nothing & in the end the L&SWR opted for an underground link-the Waterloo & City line & a new 21 platform Waterloo Station.

I worked for many years for J Sainsbury, in various locations around Stamford Street, at the Blackfriars Road end, which would have been close to the proposed route. How even more fascinating would my working life have been if I could have gazed out of an office window every day to see steam engines passing by!

The real J Sainsbury was very weded to road transport, but how different that might have been if alongside their Stamford House Head-Office & Pie & Sausage Factory had been a railway line connecting them with their branches in Surrey, Middlesex, Hampshire & Kent. I addition to their Motor Engineers & Transport departments might have been a RAILWAY department, controlling supplies coming in to the company’s Blackfriars Depot & going out to the branches. Of course there would have been locos in company livery; in those days dark brown with yellowy- gold lettering.

During the Blitz the City of London & the nearby areas, including Stamford Street were heavily bombed; indeed part of Stamford House was damaged & the company’s bacon curing plant at Union Street lost a couple of floors as well.

In the fiction, the blitz caused terrible damage to the Southwark Bridge/ City station with high loss of life to passengers & railway staff alike, so much so that it was decided directly after the war to rebuild it & incorporate a memorial to all those killed in the blitz within the boundaries of the City of London & the London County Council. The area & station was then to be known as Memorial. (As far as I am aware there is in reality no monument to all those killed in the blitz in the London area)

The Southern Railway proposed an art deco station in stone to replace the destroyed Mansion House & incorporating The Memorial at the boundaries of the City of London & the London County Council; an upgraded approach line with two extra tracks reserved for an “elevated electric” service from Waterloo (which had been rebuilt anyway by the L&SWR as the space available in the City was insufficient for all but the premier services), to connect at Bank with the Underground lines. HM Government sanctioned the work as a priority to enable the completion within 5 years of VE Day.

In this scenario Stamford Street got a station on the Elevated Electric line (at the Blackfriars Bridge end) with high-level walkway connections to J Sainsbury Stamford House(for staff only), the tram stop in Blackfriars Road & to Blackfriars Station on the north side of Blackfriars Bridge.

J Sainsbury also builds a new rail connected Blackfriars Depot & Factory.

All this work was completed & opened by HM King George VI, HMQueen Elizabeth, HRH’s Princess Elizabeth & Prince Philip & Princess Margaret etc on 29th December 1950, the tenth anniversary of the blitz of the City.

Some drawings of what this might have looked like will be added later

Memorial Station- official opening