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NLR 1870 Bow Street Station
In 1870 The Engineer published detailed illustrations of the North London Railway station at Bow. The illustrations inlcude sectional drawings of the buiilding as well as the frontage.
"BOW STATION, NORTH LONDON RAILWAY
The portion of the North London Railway commonly called the Bow Station is situate in a cutting, and the station platforms are used as junctions for the interchange of passengers and general traffic between the North London Railway and the Tilbury and Gravesend lines on the one side and the Fenchurch-street branch of the Great Eastern line on the other. The front elevation, as shown on p. 152, faces the Bow-road; the architectural treatment of this facade in a simple round arched style, but withal having a tone of elegance, very different indeed from some "almond toffey" piles built in London and miscalled architecture. The Bow Station is not a costly erection by any means, brick being the material chiefly used, with stone dressings. The bricks used for facings are Shoebury stocks of Yellow tint; Allen's white Suffolk to the door and window openings, cornices, &c. being in many cases also employed.
Portland stone is used for the window cills, cornices, string corbels, caps, archivolts, lintels, and other dressings, as also for the two staircases to the assembly and reading rooms, the spandril steps of which are each 5ft. 6in. in length, pinned 6 in. into the wall at one end and supported by a wrought iron stringer at the other end. Into the treads of these steps Hawksley' s patent treads are let and we can affirm that they are a vast improvement on the smooth stone tread of the past, on which, or rather off which one was so likely to slip when running in a hurry to catch a departing train. No doubt Mr. Hawksley, if he be not too high in his price, will find many proprietors of stone steps adopt his useful tread.
The building, as we have said, is good outside, and inside it is in our opinion as good an example of what a railway station should be as any one we have ever seen. The station proper is arranged with sets of waiting-rooms, communicating one with the other by means of the staircases before described, and a foot-bridge crossing the railway. On entering the station by the principal door you find yourself in a spacious hall, having a booking-office at the one side and a refreshment establishment on the other. Also a telegraph office is erected within the hall, thereby providing accommodation for all the requisite departments.
The floor over this or rather the first floor of the building, has been designed so as to form perhaps the most unique assembly-rooms in the metropolis; and we are informed that the employees of the company propose forming the nucleus of a mechanics institute the meetings of which will be held in the new room to which easy access can be obtained from the reading room and library, also formed within this building. The room or lecture hall, a plan and section of which we give on p. 156, is amply provided with a commodious orchestra, platform, &c., approached from a retiring room at the back. The seats are so arranged that 1000 persons can be seated with comfort to themselves, but we think 1500 or 2000 persons could be accommodated by another arrangement of the seats. However, we are not in a fault-finding mood with the Bow Station, therefore we shall only offer the suggestion in all friendliness. The building throughout is of a very substantial character, the floors being fire proof, upon "Phillips” plan that is to say, with concrete and iron laths. The roof of the lecture hall is open, and the timbering stained and varnished and supported by wrought iron arched ribs on a semicircular form. The hall is lighted by sunlights, and heated, as is the building generally, by hot water.
The whole of the works have been admirably carried out under the direction of Mr. T. Matthews, the company's engineer, and Mr. E. H. Horne, architect, North London Railway. The contractor for these works, the late Mr. Hedges, builder, of Bow, died just as he finished the work. The clerk of the works was Mr. Tester."