Thursday, 6 December 2018

Unblocking the Croydon bottleneck

Network Rail are developing major proposals to upgrade the Brighton Main Line – one of the most congested routes in the country –  to provide more reliable, faster and more frequent services on the line and its branches.

Key to the upgrade are proposals to remove the most challenging bottleneck on Britain’s railway network at the ‘Selhurst triangle’ and East Croydon station as part of proposals for the East Croydon to Selhurst Junction Capacity Enhancement Scheme.

To check out the plans, the Brighton consultation will be on:

Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 December 2018 - The Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD, 4.00-8.00pm.   

More details:

Monday, 26 November 2018

West Street - then & now

Looking north from Boyces St.
West Street was originally much narrower than shown here. The eastern (r.h. side) was widened in 1868 and the Academy cinema on the same side built in 1911. Widening of the western side did not start until 1928 which dates this picture to the period 1911-1928.

On the corner of Boyces Street, the Half Moon lasted until at least 1970 when the licensee was a 'Gizzi', a family more usually associated with Italian ice cream. Although at first sight the building now looks completely different it seems to have retained the same fenestration even though it has had the roof replaced.

Of the two buildings up from the Half Moon, 61 West Street with the canted first-floor bays appears still intact, but 62 with the elegant first-floor bow window has been replaced with modern mock-Georgian.

The building that replaced the Academy deserves no comment.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

A Plaque to Lt. Jacqueline Nearne

This plaque originally unveiled at a special ceremony in November 2106 has found its permanent home at Jaqueline's birthplace, 32 West Hill Street.

She moved with her family to France in 1923. When France fell, she made her way back to England  and joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.  Nearne's fluency in French quickly brought her to the attention of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) where, in 1942, she trained as a courier for the French Resisitance.

On 25 January 1943, she was parachuted into France to work for the 'Stationer' circuit in central France and maintained contact with SOE networks in the Paris area. She carried spare parts for radios inside a cosmetics bag. After fifteen months in the field, she finally returned to Britain in April 1944.

In 1946 she played "Cat", a character based on herself, in the RAF drama-documentary School for Danger, 1948, about the wartime training and deployment of SOE operatives.