Whilst going on my regular journey through Harrow on the Hill station, it dawned on me how old the station must be, steeped in history, and one of the most commonly used stations in the borough has to have quite a significant history right? well, I decided to take a look a little deeper.
The station was opened simply as ‘Harrow’ on 2 August 1880, when the Metropolitan Railway was extended from Willesden Green.
To put this time period into some perspective, this was around this time that the first-ever cricket Test match was held in Britain and Queen Victoria was the ruler of the country, indeed a different age and things have progressed a lot since then!
Harrow on the Hill, conveniently, has two entrances, one on Station Approach leading to Lowlands Road and Harrow Hill, and one on College Road, next to the bus station and opposite the now St Anns Shopping Centre towards Harrow Town Centre. The station has six platforms in total.
The station’s name was changed to ‘Harrow on the Hill’ on 1 June 1894. As with some other London Underground stations, this was due to marketing and in particular because of a dispute with governors of Harrow School at the time who made objections during the planning stages.
On 15 March 1899, The National Rail service began running from Harrow on the Hill as the Great Central Railway on the former Great Central Main Line, an intercity route that and provided new destinations for Harrowvians to travel to such as Leicester, Manchester and Nottingham.
In 1966, the year England won the World Cup and Beatlemania was sweeping the country in full swing, the passenger service north of Aylesbury ceased due to the Beeching Axe, the British Government’s attempt to reduce the cost of running British Railways for the country.
Last year, Harrow-on-the-Hill became London’s 91st step-free tube station, meaning that a third of Underground stations across the capital are now step-free. The lifts at Harrow were expected to be completed back in 2020 but were delayed due to a certain pandemic at the time.
Whilst many of you will no doubt use the station on a daily basis travelling to and from work or school, you’ll no doubt see that it may have indeed lost a little of its charm since opening, but if you actually take a chance to delve into its history, Harrow on the Hill station is one of the nicest in London – and the fruit and veg stall at the bottom deserves a shout out too for their amazingly fresh produce.