Alan Arthur Jackson

Usually books were signed Alan A. Jackson. Born in North London; joined Civil Service in 1939; spent much of his career in HM Treasury; retired 1982; volunteered for RAF in 1942; married in 1949; three daughters; 8 grandchildren: dust jacket 2nd edition London Termini. He died on 21 February 2009.His interest in railways was stimulated by his father and grandfather, both of who had worked for the Railway Clearing House. As a boy he watched the trains on the Great Northern main line. Alan Jackson specialised in the history of railways in the London area and the interaction between them and suburban development. In theory, the railway companies were proscribed in what they could and could not do, and property development was one of the forbidden activities, although developments in shipping tended to be better known. In the case of shipping several railways, notably the Caledonian, established related companies for these endeavours. The Wembley Park Estate Company and later the Metropolitan Railway Country Estates provided the engine for housing developments alongside the new lines. Obituary in J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2009, 36, 111.

London's Metropolitan Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1986. 416pp. + plates.
An excellent history with copious notes. Rather thin on mechanical history, but nonetheless essential reading for the locomotive historian. Even today, the Metropolitan line is unlike the rest of the London Underground network. The rolling stock and the train services share much in common with the suburban services now operated by a plethora of train operating companies, and which for a time had shown a coherence as Network Southeast. Non-stop running is a common place. Stations in the main reflect a semi-rural environment rather than the Frank Pick urban creations found on the other lines which are almost entirely urban in character: the termini at Cockfosters and Uxbridge are the nearest which Pick got to escaping from this urban concept which was great in itself and has now re-emerged on the Jubilee line extension.

To a great extent the present Metropolitan reflects its history: a history which was intimately related with its mainline neighbours. The Great Western and Great Northern, and later the Midland, wanted access to the City and the Metropolitan provided this for both freight and passengers. As late as 1965 I remember arriving on the Circle Line platform at King's Cross just too late to have seen a freight rumble through – the smoke was still wafting around the platforms. In the immediate post Second World War period there was plenty of steam activity around the yards at Smithfield. The completion of the Inner Circle, in association with the Metropolitan District Railway, produced a new sort of railway: one which was solely concerned with passenger traffic, and one which was eventually to revolutionise the nature of certain key cities across the world, including Paris, New York and Tokyo. Anyone who has experienced any of the other mega-cities which lack this provision will know the chaos that ensues, such as "allow at least three hours to reach the airport".

The Metropolitan and its intimate neighbour did not get on all well and this antipathy was heightened by the presence of Watkins and Forbes on their respect Boards. Forbes had already bankrupted the LCDR in its feud with the South Eastern: he now kept the Metropolitan District in a constant state of poverty. Watkins was also noted for being belligerent and ambitious. Chief amongst his aspirations was the aim of linking the frontiers of North Wales, where his political ally Gladstone lived, with Paris via a Channel tunnel. He already controlled the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire and the South Eastern, the Metropolitan would fill one strategic gap. Thus the Metropolitan's escape from its urban dungeon owed something of the need to link Manchester with Paris (writing this it seems utterly improbable that its is still not possible to travel between these two cities by train although all the infrastructure is now in place).

"All footplate staff under the age of 50 as well as the younger guards and under-guards were invited to retrain as motormen for the electric trains. Older men, aged 60-75, 108 in all, were pensioned-off as they were thought unlikely to acquire the new skills."

"Invention of the description Metro-land (sometimes printed Metro-Land) was claimed in later years by James Garland, a copywriter in the Metropolitan publicity department. He told Dennis Edwards how when away sick with influenza in 1915, he had jumped out of bed with excitement when the word came into his head." A note (p. 350) examines the claim more closely.

"So successful was the Wembley Park estate that from 1919 onwards the Metropolitan Railway was compelled under the 1914 agreement to pay the Estate Company the maximum sum of £700 a year related to increases in revenue at the station."

"The onset of the 1917 air raids prompted a substantial movement of frightened Londoners into the suburbs and country around, including those areas served by the Metropolitan from the beginning of October."

In the case of the Uxbridge branch: E.P. Seaton was in charge of construction, with the 34-year old A.W. Pearson as his resident engineer. Harrow & Uxbridge Railway Act of 9 August 1899. "Metropolitan papers of 1898 give some indication that extension beyond Uxbridge had not been ruled out." By August 1903 the Metropolitan had subscribed to the H&UR the full £200,000 authorised by the 1899 act for construction..."

Gives full details of the capital, and extra capital needed to complete the line.

Apart from the Roxeth Viaduct, a deep cutting at Uxbridge Common and another shallow one between Ruislip and Ickenham, the branch passed through fairly level heavy clay mostly put to grass for the forage of London's horse population. Its steepest gradient was a long section of 1 in 95 from just outside Rayners Lane Junction towards South Harrow."

Chapter notes are very full and informative:"Clark was appointed ‘assistant architect to the engineer' of the Metropolitan in 1910 at the modest salary of £175." The notes include odd pieces of data, such as the loading gauges, train services (e.g. on which trains the Pullman cars worked.. Extensive bibliography; reasonable index

London's termini. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1969.  2nd ed. 1985. London: Pan Books, 1972. 395pp.
A magnificent history: includes some diagrams and a full bibliography.

"But behind the scenes great plans were being made. As early as 1933, at the annual dinner of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Sir Josiah Stamp, chairman of the LMSR, had flown the kite, mentioning the difficulty of rebuilding Euston without demolishing the Great Hall, and wondering if he would be accused of vandalism if he scrapped Scott's St Pancras ‘obsolete as an hotel and useless as offices'..." 1935 announcement that Euston would be rebuilt: hotel and office frontage on Euston Road. On 12 July 1938 Sir Josiah Stamp threw a switch at Euston which set off charges at Caldron Low to release 100,000 tons of limestone for the new station. Intended new station would take over St Pancras traffic.

Index in form of main entries under stations: BLACKFRIARS followed by sub-headings (bridge; opened...) PADDINGTON has largest entry

Does not use "African village" to describe clutter at King's Cross. Each station has its own Chapter: except Blackfriars, Ludgate Hill and Holborn Viaduct.

"Over the entrance he [Sir Blundell Maple] placed reliefs portraying two females, one with helmets and iron brassière, the other hatless and draped, one breast negligently exposed. Goodness knows what he read into this little bit of symbolism...A further touch of the bizarre was the cycle track on the roof." Hotel Great Central.

Chapter 16 covers period 1969-84: the new Euston; electrification at King's Cross and St Pancras, but pre Thames Link

includes approach lines

Fenchurch Streeet: "It seems that as long as the trains could not be seen or heard, their [the trains] working on the Sabbath, even if sinful, was permissible—an interesting illustration of Victorian moral attitudes." The whole distance between Minories and Fenchurch Street was enclosed.

{need to find Ronald Knox quotation}

mentions chaos at Paddington during WW2 when station had to be closed for three hours as could not cope with demand for travel to West Country for holidays.

London's local railways. David & Charles. 384pp.
Reviewed by Michael Harris in Rly Wld., 1978, 39, 571.
London's Metro-land. Harrow: Capital History, 2006.144pp.
Housing development as instigated by the Metropolitan Railway.
with Croome, D.F., Rails through the clay. 1962.
The railway dictionary. 4th ed. Stroud: Sutton. 2006.
"book remains an essential reference work": Tony Kirby J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2006, 35, 449.