This is an image of Dalston from Britain from Above taken in 1949.
This is the same area today from Google Earth.
In the Google Earth image, the Overground lines are marked in orange and Dalston Junction station is marked by a red arrow.
In the aerial image the following can be clearly seen.
1. The platforms at the old Dalston Junction station in the bottom right hand corner.
2. The A10 road stretching away to the North.
3. The Balls Pond Road stretching towards Highbury Corner.
I can pick out more, but then I live in a house that was built ten years ago and is or would be in the bottom left hand corners of both images.
My maternal grandmother, Harriet Martha Upcott, was born opposite Dalston Junction station in Dalston Lane in May 1871. In September 1894, she married my grandfather, Henry Millbank, who had been born in Clerkenwell in 1870. Census and other records show that in 1894 they lived at 29 Dalston Lane and then by 1901 they had moved to 90, Princess May Road in Stoke Newington. As Princess May Road is perhaps a kilometre from where I live now, I walked round all these places this morning.
In some ways, one thing that struck me as I walked in a semi-circle to St. Mark at the back of the famous Ridley Road Market was how intact the late Victorian terraces were. But why was 90, Princess May Road missing. Was it just development or did the Luftwaffe have a hand? I shall go to the Hackney Records Office opposite where my grandmother was born in the week.
It was a family joke between my parents, that my grandmother was born in the Balls Pond Road, when it was posh the first time around. The Balls Pond Road is the continuation of Dalston Lane towards Islington.
I can’t salso ever remember talk of Dalston, despite my mother having worked at Reeves. Stoke Newington and Islington were mentioned.
Further work to reduce the overall cost of the scheme and to minimise environmental impacts during both construction and operation has resulted in a potential change to the proposal for Crossrail 2 in this area. Rather than the route splitting at Angel with one tunnel going via Dalston and the other via Hackney, a single route would continue as far as Stoke Newington or Clapton, at which point the line would split, with one branch towards Seven Sisters and New Southgate and the other towards Tottenham Hale and Hertford East.
Before I discuss which of the two locations is served, I will make a few assumptions.
Crossrail is going to provide up to 24 two hundred metre long trains per hour, that can each carry up to 1,500 passengers between Whitechapel and Paddington as detailed here. Thameslink will also be using a frequency of 24 trains per hour.
So it is reasonable to assume that Crossrail 2 will have similar frequency and probably use similar trains to Crossrail, so there’ll be an awful lot of passengers on the line.
But they are proposing Crossrail 2 for the future not for 2014.
By that time the Overground will be running more trains and they will be at least five-car trains. Judging by the modular nature of the Class 378 trains, which have already gone from three to four and will be going to five coaches later this year, who’s to say what the length will be? The limiting factor is the length of platforms, but I think I read somewhere, that most stations could go to six. At those that couldn’t take six coaches, selective door opening could be used.
Station improvements will also increase the capacity of the system.
With the redevelopment of the Kingsland Shopping Centre and the various redevelopment between the two stations, I would hope that the walk between the two Dalston stations ; Junction and Kingsland, becomes a pleasant sheltered one past cafes and shops, rather than a precarious scramble up the side of a busy road on a crowded and exposed pavement. If the Dalston Kingsland station entrance was moved to the eastern side of the Kingsland Road, this would shorten the walk and mean that only one major road had to be crossed.
As the Lea Valley Lines will have been fully incorporated in the Overground by then, Hackney Central should have been combined with Hackney Downs to effectively be one station. I’ve believed for some time that the two stations should be made one, with a proper interchange to the buses. I suspect too, that the station improvements could be part of a large property development in the area, as could the improvements at Dalston.
So by the time Crossrail 2 is finished both Dalston Kingsland/Junction and Hackney Downs/Central could be two substantially developed stations with lots of apartments, shops, offices and leisure facilities, with the North London Line between them. At present there are eight trains per hour and an awful lot of buses between the two areas.
I think we can see, why the planners have virtually said that it’s an either..on between the two stations. Cutting out one station supposedly cuts a billion off the bill for the project.
So which will get built?
It’s very much a case of who pays the money gets the tune.
But I think as Hackney Central/Downs will be the better connected station, it might well get the vote.
But remember one of the rules of the planning of large and expensive projects. What gets delivered in the end is often very different to what was originally proposed. Look at the simple example from Crossrail, where the line was originally planned to run to Maidenhead, but was extended to Reading, in March 2014.
So what could happen to change the scope of Crossrail 2?
The Overground has a problem of not enough capacity, which is partly made worse by all the freight trains travelling along it. So will a radical solution be made to remove most of the freight trains away from the Overground? This problem is going to get worse as more ships call at London Gateway, so sending more freight trains on the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines (GOB) will be increasing unpopular, with both TfL and residents. Although hopefully in a few years, the noisy Class 66 diesel locomotives, will have been replaced with quieter electric ones.
But one solution could be incorporated into the Overground that would make the one station in Hackney work better. And that would be to reinstate the Eastern Curve at Dalston Junction to enable trains to go between the East London Line and Stratford.
The more I think about it, to make a one station concept work, freight must be removed from the North London Line. Read what the London Gateway Wikipedia entry says about distribution, which says trains will go partly at night on the GOB.
Rail logistics partner DB Schenker Rail (UK) plan to run four intermodal trains per day (mainly overnight) via Barking and Gospel Oak to the West Coast Main Line.
What will the residents living by the GOB, think of the noise at night?
Payday lenders have had a lot of bad publicity today. So Oakam in Dalston decided to fight back.
I suppose the only guy doing well is the guy on stilts.
Perhaps we need more street performers on the High Street.
Dalston featured in a report on BBC Breakfast this morning.
It was all about payday loans.
It is almost impossible to walk down the Kingsland Road without falling over the endless number of boards offering loans on the street.
All loans no matter where they are from, should be properly registered on a central database, which is then checked for anomalies and excessive borrowings.
The FCA is imposing new regulations as reported here on the BBC.
But no matter what regulations are tabled, it will not stop people borrowing at rates, they can’t afford. So the new regulations will probably turn out to be a business opportunity for loan sharks.
This tragic tale from Biggleswade, shows what you get when you mix two men of my age, shopping and an argument over parking.
You certainly don’t get any behaviour like this on the Dalston omnibus to or from Waitrose at the Angel. The most outrageous behaviour I saw, was a guy laughing at two ladies sitting beside each other who were probably about fifty years old; one black and one white, who’d both hurt a leg and their hospitals had furnished them each with one crutch. Everybody saw the funny side! Especially the ladies!
I do wonder sometimes, why people bother with driving. I miss it like a hole in the head!
I’ve actually never been to Asda and if you get killed in their car parks, I doubt I will now!
Everybody is getting into the swing of the Dalston House.
These two pictures show someone enjoying himself.
The idea is basically very simple. a fake house front has been created on the ground and a large mirror at 45° has been placed so that if you say sit in the windows of the house, you can see yourself sitting in the reflection.
It was fascinating and many of those exploring it, seemed to feel they were children again.
One of the best things, was seeing the expression on a three-year-old’s face as he walked towards the mirror, seeing himself sticking out of the wall.
I can see that this simple idea being replicated all over the world.
My mother used to work at Reeves just round the corner and she used to tell a tale about how an enormous German bomb in the Second World War, destoryed a lot of the area. I checked at the library and the whole site, where the Dalston House has been built was a bomb site. They have a copy of the LCC Bomb Damage Book, which is a must-read book, for anybody, who lives or is thinking of living in an area of London that suffered bombing.
And to make everything even better, there is no entry charge to see this unusual work of art.
You just turn up and play! But they do limit the time you spend walking up and down the house to five or six minutes!
Between the two Dalston stations is a brownfield site, with just the vent from the rail tunnel underneath.
The white plastic appears to be protection for trees. But they might not be.
This area could be converted into a lovely walk between the two stations and to the Arcola Theatre