Saturday 23 November 2013

The Waterloo and City Line (The Drain) is opened

The L&SWR, who still knew many of their passengers wished to progress to the City and were probably wearied by the earlier failures to connect their station to the north bank of the Thames, took direct action in 1894. By backing the Waterloo and City Railway financially and supplying five of the eight Directors, including having Air Wyndham Portal as Chairman of both Boards and the General Manager of the L&SWR as a Director, the L&SWR were able to ensure construction of a short tube link, one mile and 46 chains from Waterloo was begun. The first piling started on 18th June 1894, the original idea to power the line from a station on the south river bank was also speedily rejected in favour of location at Waterloo so any spare capacity could be used to light Waterloo. The L&SWR granted an easement on 5th March 1896 to the Waterloo and City to enable the Tube to be built under their General Offices and under or in certain of the arches of Waterloo Station for a consideration of £1,510 chargeable on the rates and tolls of the Waterloo and City and payable quarterly. The first impact on the L&SWR’s Waterloo Station was allowing“…the temporary removal of the dining rooms and kitchen used by the uniform staff and such of the clerical staff of the South Western Company as are not members of the dining Club, and at present located in arches 251 and 252 …” enabling the Waterloo Company to pull down and remove the portion of the Central Pier between those arches. The kitchen and dining room were relocated temporarily to archway 250. It is perhaps worthy of note that staff arrangements were no light matter within the station given that in 1896 the Waterloo Station Superintendent (as the L&SWR termed the Station Manager) had 603 staff under his charge which did not include those employed as Headquarter staff. For this reason many staff messed off-site at places such as Mepham Street – decisions that would ultimately have a future impact on the Surrey Room. Those staff were part of the complex arrangements for handling some 50,000 people a day emerging from 800 daily trains in winter; rising to 80,000 daily in summer delivered by 1,040 trains.
The Waterloo and City was swiftly known as “The Drain” some say because it remains one of the leakiest tube lines on the network (and certainly “The Sump” was provided on the Up line side, about 230 yards to the rear of the Waterloo Up Advanced Starting Signal with the express purpose of “receiving and pumping away any water that may drain from the Tunnels”). Others claim the Waterloo and City just “drains away” commuters to the City. This delightful line is completely unconnected to the rest of the London Underground system, and therefore whilst not under their control for many years only appeared on the official London Underground map as a parallel set of dotted lines. The line makes the diagonal journey under London crossing underneath the Thames just upstream from Blackfriars Bridge. In the open land between the former South Station and Lower Marsh the Waterloo vista had originally allowed sight of the Waterloo & City Railway depot, generating station, and sidings, but the new L&SWR terminus and its necessary approach roads would mean eventually the depot came to be almost entirely removed from view. The Waterloo and City line relied on Westinghouse brakes which, being operated by compressed air, had tanks refilled from a compressor and tank at the Waterloo terminus, reinforcing the relationship between the two companies.
At Waterloo Station, the Waterloo and City line was 40 feet below the rails, or 17 feet below street level. To be a success it had to capture the suburban commuter market arriving at the L&SWR’s Waterloo. However Berkshire commuters arriving at Khartoum and Surrey Commuters arriving at South Station had the expanse of Central Station separating them. The Drain was therefore accessed from a connecting tunnel by a combination of slopes and stairs emerging at both the South Station, and the easterly side of Khartoum. The slopes at Waterloo were sufficiently steep and long that it was a standing instruction, “The slopes leading to the Platforms at Waterloo must be regularly sanded”. Initially both the stations on the Waterloo and City were rather dark and gloomy affairs with bare brick walls and the platforms were almost Stygian. Perhaps this utilitarianism was understandable for a station which really was intended entirely for a simple commuting function and not part of a wider network with more recognised retail and leisure uses.

from The History of Waterloo Station buy your copy at Amazon or at a bookshop

Friday 22 November 2013

Waterloo Station is rebuilt, 1909

The initial phase of the new station contained five Ferro-concrete platforms. The first two platforms, and three roads, of the new station came into use on 24th June 1909, which even though these particular works were on additional land signalled the end of South Station because it could now be demolished. Platform 4 speedily followed into service, on 25th July 1909, and this platform was, approximately, where the first platform of the former South Station had been. The new platform replacements were much straighter than the originals, which were often fan shaped, and were built in concrete with Ferro-concrete tops tastefully set off by slate copings quarried from Delabole in Cornwall. Within and under the platforms were the usual cables and pipes inherent on the running of a railway. New platforms were often connected by stairs on a long passageway to the York Road. This passageway connected to the platforms for “The Drain” as well as the booking office for the Bakerloo Line. Those wishing to leave “The Drain” for Waterloo Road were catered for via other passageways, which also gave access to the concourse.
It was along the passageway leading to the Waterloo Road that there were a variety of doors which were not always clearly understood or perhaps even noticed by various travellers - they certainly mystified me. Over the years behind those doors were located variously staff canteens, clubs for staff, rifle ranges, police offices and lost property. Both these passages were also put to other uses at various times - the one to York Road had part of it used as a free buffet for servicemen between December 1915 and April 1920 a plaque recording that over 8 million soldiers and sailors (the poor Air Force seemingly left to starve!) had free meals there. Perhaps somewhat less gallantly the other passage, to Waterloo Road, contained at some periods accommodation for emigrants who the L&SWR did not want mingling with regular passengers in their new waiting rooms.
1909 also saw a start made, at the south-eastern corner, on building new offices and public facilities behind the new concourse whilst Platform 5 came into service on 6th March 1910. It is, incidentally, from this time that the L&SWR embraced the far from innovative concept of numbering all platform faces.

from "The History of Waterloo Station"

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Friday 15 November 2013

NEW BOOK - The Batlte of Albuera

Buy your copy HERE


 Product Description

The Battle of Albuera was one of the bloodiest, and yet least decisive of the battles fought in the Peninsular War.

In the spring of 1811, the French armies in Portgual were in headlong retreat, falling back into Spain to regroup. As they fell back they left a powerful garrison in the great fortress town of Badajoz, soon put under siege by the British commander, Arthur Wellesley, better known by his later title of the Duke of Wellington.

French Marshal Soult gathered a large army to march to relieve Badajoz and restart the invasion of Portugal. At the village of Albuera, Soult ran into a mixed British-Portuguese-Spanish force under William Beresford placed there by Wellesley to block the road to Badajoz. What followed was one of the hardest fought battles of the entire Peninsular War.

Written by a military author of great experience, this book explains the way battles were fought two centuries ago and explains the course of the action in an accessible but authoritative style.

This lavishly illustrated ebook is a must for anyone interested in the Peninsular War. This book forms part of the Bretwalda Battles series on The Peninsular War.

Chapter 1 - The Peninsular War
Chapter 2 - The Commanders at Albuera
Chapter 3 - Weapons, Soldiers and Tactics
Chapter 4 - The French Army
Chapter 5 - The Spanish Army
Chapter 6 - The British Army
Chapter 7 - The Portuguese Army
Chapter 8 - The Battle of Albuera
Chapter 9 - After Albuera

About the Author
Oliver Hayes is a military historian who has written extensively for books and magazines on different aspects of the military. He is now writing a series of books on the Peninsular War for Bretwalda Books.

Waterloo Station prepares for the Olympics

On 30th April 2012, for the first time since privatisation, a single executive team to manage rolling stock and the track was formed when Stagecoach and Network Rail made a deal, to run the railway under a single structure on the South West Trains network intended to operate until Stagecoach’s franchise agreement for South West Trains ends in 2017. The first concrete action was to combine the two management teams at Waterloo Station into a single unit. Network Rail Chief Executive David Higgins claiming the move was part of a drive to devolve decision making from the centre and towards “front-line managers”. Managing director Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of South West Trains, headed the combined management structure, led by nine executives grandiloquently called the “Alliance Senior Management Team”.
With four new escalators and lifts, opening on 29th May 2012, Waterloo Station acquired step-free access to Waterloo East. The works also marked the first stage of the balcony completion, and exposed the earlier abolition of the Surrey Room features.
By June 2012 the Waterloo Control Centre had recognised what was happening unofficially with some staff on South West Trains and was running an official twitter account from the busy Waterloo Control Centre. Whilst the railways may readily admit they were not in the forefront of embracing the new technology, the fact that the social media and digital communications exist is only a logical extension of the use of loudspeakers.
With the imminent arrival of the Olympics and an anticipated extra demand at Waterloo of another 80,000 passengers a day, it was announced in June 2012 that “The Drain”—was to open on Sundays throughout the Games renewing Sunday services which had last operated regularly between 1943 and 1947. “The Drain” supplied a critical link for spectators being a direct access to the Docklands Light Railway and Central line at Bank avoiding the Jubilee line. “The Drain” also helped people to avoid London Bridge, which was already being forecast to be one of the most overcrowded stations throughout the entire Games.
 In July 2012 Justine Greening’s attention again returned to Waterloo when she announced a £350 million plan to extend platforms at that Station. The proposal formed part of the “High Level Output Specification” programme (as modern management-corporate-political speak demands) for 2014-2019 published by the Department for Transport. The platform lengthening project was part of a series of measures intended to create extra capacity for commuters into London by running longer trains. Department for Transport estimates are predicated on the belief that the number of passengers arriving at Waterloo during the three busiest hours of the morning rush “hour” is likely to increase by nearly 10% between 2012-17. It was perhaps therefore no surprise that South West Trains in July also announced that from May 2013 trains extended from eight to 10 carriages will leave Windsor, easing pressure on stations further up the line at Staines, Twickenham and Richmond. Furthermore commuters travelling on the Waterloo-bound line from Reading after May 2013 would from 2014 also begin “benefiting” from two extra rush-hour trains - at the extraordinarily uncivilised times of 6.24am and 6.54am.

from The History of Waterloo Station

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Monday 11 November 2013

NEW BOOK - Surface to Air Missiles

Author: Andrew May

For as long as aircraft have been used in warfare, the other side has been trying to shoot them down. In the days of propeller-driven aircraft, this required nothing more sophisticated than guns, in the form of anti-aircraft artillery. But with the advent of fast, jet-powered aircraft and high-flying bombers in the latter years of the Second World War, guns were rapidly becoming inadequate for the task. Thoughts started to turn to a new type of weapon – the surface-to-air missile, or SAM.
This book takes the reader on a fact-packed study of the SAM from its earliest days in World War Two with the British Stooge and German Waserfall through to the most sophisticated modern weapons such as the Israelie Iron Dome, British Sea Viper and the Russian Igla-S.
The author gives facts and figures on the missiles, explains how they are used in action and gives examples of their deployment and firing.

Buy your copy at Amazon

Chapter 1: The Birth of the SAM
Chapter 2: The Technical Challenges
Chapter 3: Countermeasures and Tactics
Chapter 4: Cold War SAMs
Chapter 5: Soviet Exports
Chapter 6: Naval Air Defence
Chapter 7: MANPADS
Chapter 8: Anti-Missile Missiles
Chapter 9: SAMs in the 21st Century
Appendix A: Glossary of Technical Terms
Appendix B: List of SAM Systems
Appendix C: Chronology of Conflicts

Sunday 10 November 2013

Plans to expand Waterloo Station, 1846

The L&SWR did not intend Waterloo Bridge to be their London terminus. Already active in the commuter market the Company wished to cross the Thames and get their passengers directly into the City. Acquiring another Parliamentary Act on 26th August 1846, and even buying some land, the Directors of the Company now had the powers and the property to extend the line to a terminus just south-west of London Bridge right on the edge of “the City” and build a terminus they intended to share with the North Kent Railway. Long-term plans not withstanding work on the new extension towards Waterloo Bridge was begun in the summer of 1846, with Locke as the engineer and Tite as the architect, although his talents were not to be put to extensive use.
On 2nd July 1847 the L&SWR acquired a Supplementary Act of Parliament for more land at the Waterloo Bridge site and more approaches to service the station. The sum of L&SWR powers conferred by Parliament allowed theoretical expansion towards a more central metropolitan location near the City which had an intermediate station at Vauxhall and allowed for a short branch to Hungerford Bridge. The L&SWR exertions with Parliament thereby empowered them to deliver both goals for their pedestrian traffic – closer to the City and closer to the West End.
 Originally projected to cost the far from mean sum of £800,000 Charles Lee, who was the valuer and surveyor for the L&SWR, later admitted the extension cost nearer £1,250,000 which was almost a quarter of the Company’s market capitalisation in 1849. The expansion programme was aided by the generous financial powers of the era which, in the original London and Southampton Act of 1834, authorised the Company to raise £1 million in 20,000 shares of £50, and allowed the Company to borrow in excess of 1/3 of its authorised share capital. Additionally the L&SWR was statutorily allowed to borrow up to half the authorised share capital through mortgaging the remainder of the instalments on the shares when half of the calls had been made. A further flotation in 1837 had empowered further capital stock of £400,000 with a loan of £139,000.

from "The History of Waterloo Station'

Buy your copy at Amazon or at a bookshop

Friday 8 November 2013

NEW BOOK OF THE MONTH - The History of Waterloo Station

The definitive history of Britain’s busiest rail terminal, written by a long term commuter to the station and bulging with illustrations.
Waterloo Station has a massive 91 million passenger movement every year. It has more platforms and a greater square footage of floor space than any other station in Britain and is second in terms of train movements. The main facade erected in 1920 is now a listed heritage building. In terms of size, importance and bustle there is quite simply nothing like Waterloo.
In this book retired commuter John Fareham looks at the history, trains and diverse range of characters that have made Waterloo what it is today. Built in 1848 as a small station for the London Southampton Railway Company, Waterloo grew with that company over the years until by 1913 it had become a vast, sprawling and confusing mass of rails and platforms. A planned rebuilding was delayed the Great War, but began in 1919 and was completed in 1920 creating the core station we see today. More developments in the 1990s and in 2012 saw the station enlarged and renovated.
In this amusing, enthralling and engaging book, we meet the characters who have worked at Waterloo or who have used it. We see the key events in the history of the station. We look behind the scenes at the hidden warren of rooms and tunnels never seen by passengers. A fascinating and engaging book guaranteed to be of interest to all users of this mighty station.


ISBN        print        978-1-909099-72-2
        ebook        978-1-909099-73-9
Price                £9.99
Format            Paperback
Dimensions            B 198x130mm
Extent                176pp

About the Author

The author commuted on railways throughout his entire working life with some 25 years spent on the daily grind to and from Waterloo Station. He knows the station and its personnel well. His knowledge of enthusiasm for Waterloo are unequalled.
John Fareham is the author of the Bretwalda book “Heroes of the RAF: Guy Gibson” and other works.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Our author Beatrice Holloway has established her new website.

Our author Beatrice Holloway has established her new website.

Beatrice Holloway, B.A., B.Ed. has always been interested in history, especially when new information clarifies, confirms or questions the past. With the help of a lottery grant she has written and had produced a play; an eighteenth century scandal for which she was awarded a Certificate of Merit for Contributions to the Arts.

Her first novel ‘A Man from the North East’ published privately, details the  social life of the 1930’s. 'Elusive Destiny', her latest novel was written because of a remark she heard –‘I’ll see you in the next life’.

Between novels she has published poetry, short stories, two children’s science books and had children’s short fiction included in an anthology.

Beatrice lives in London, is a retired teacher and enjoys her large family and circle of good friends.

Monday 4 November 2013

Hayes Literary Festival

Our author Beatrice Holloway (centre) at the Hayes Literary Festival with her new book "Storysharers".