A Visit to the Dentist Reveals an Architectural Gem – Newbury Park, Essex

I had the misfortune to break a tooth Thursday evening, it’s now patched up thanks to my marvelous dentist. Now his surgery is close to Newbury Park Underground Station which is a great example of London Transport’s visionary approach to architecture in the capital, even if the project was only part finished.

Bus garage at Newbury Park Station, Essex

The huge concrete arch was designed by Oliver Hill, and opened (if that is what you do with a massive concrete arch) in 1949. It was originally planned to be part of an integrated bus and underground station, but the new Central Line Tube Station got scrapped due to post-war economies and naturally it still hasn’t been spruced up since then over 60 years later. When the Central Line was extended from central London to this part of Essex in 1947 it essentially joined existing suburban railway track and stations to the underground network. Typically the existing British Rail track that linked this station to Ilford was removed and the land sold off for building, demonstrating the remarkable lack of forethought and vision that is just typical of the idiots who run our transport infrastructure.

Another view of the copper sheathed arch at Newbury Park Station, Essex

That being said the bus garage with its copper sheathed roof won an architectural merit award at the 1951 Festival of Britain,

Festival of Britain Plaque

and the blue winner’s plaque is still proudly on display.

Just down the road from this adventurous piece of post World War II design is Ilford War Memorial Gardens, where this rather beautiful statue stands as a memorial to local people who fell during World War I.

Memorial to the fallen of the Great War, Newbury Park

The bronze statue was created by Newbury A Trent and was unveiled in 1922. Remarkable coincidence the sculptor’s first name and the location don’t you think?
To those readers unfamiliar with the local geography, Newbury Park is part of London’s eastern overspill into the neighbouring county of Essex. It’s mostly residential with a bit of light industry and retail parks.

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