The lost London Underground station where you bought your tickets at a cricket ground


If you look hard enough, you can find some bizarre facts about London Underground stations and those that have been abandoned, lost and disused.

There are stations that were used to deliver milk and store frozen foods, some that are being used to heat people’s homes and one that was built entirely so people could have a game of golf!

One of the most bizarre ones however is a station where you could buy your tickets in a cricket ground before you got on the train.

This little-known lost station of course is called Lords and has the same name as the historic cricket ground nearby.

READ MORE:The last ever journey made by the iconic Routemaster London bus

Strangely this abandoned station was actually only called Lords for a very short time though.

It had been opened as St John’s Wood Road in 1868 before being renamed as St John’s Wood in 1925.

Finally it was named Lords in 1939 shortly before the outbreak of World War Two.

But the building of the new Bakerloo Line with a new station called St John’s Wood (originally Acacia Road) nearby, meant the station was no longer needed and soon closed.

It was hoped that Lords could still have been opened up for important cricket matches but the war got in the way of that. Especially when the station was covered in debris from air-raids in 1940.

Flash back to 1869 and the very first St Johns’s Wood Road station was opened on the Metropolitan and Saint John’s Wood Railway.

It had signal boxes and two wooden platforms – later replaced in concrete.

The street-level station building stood at the South side of St John’s Wood Road close to the junction with Park Road. It was a tiny single-storey building of yellow brick.

It was initially part of a passing place for trains on a single track railway but the line from here to Baker Street was soon doubled so trains could run in either direction.

The station however would get extremely busy when cricket matches were held so a wooden hut was erected inside the ground itself where people could buy their tickets.

Clearly the station itself was just far too small. And by 1914 as the railways began to suffer from competition from the buses, it began to look run down with paint flaking off the walls.

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Despite this, the station still remained very busy in the cricket season and temporary booking halls had to be used.

Plans were gradually drawn up for a much larger station with a large six-windowed ticket offices and a new shop and refreshment room to either side.

The smartly refurbished St John’s Wood Road station – even this couldn’t cope with the cricket crowds

This flashy building was to cost a whopping £14,000.

The new station was completed in 1925 and looked very plush. It had white Faience tiling on the front that became popular at many stations.

There was a sparkling illuminated sign above the entrance saying ‘Metropolitan Railway’.

A stylish double-faced clock was positioned above the entrance. There were also two kiosks and a book stall operated by none other than WH Smith & Sons.

Two flats on the first floor were rented out – one of which having a bedroom for a maid. A mezzanine floor above the platforms provided space for garages which were rented out to locals to park their cars in.

These were built using metal frames beneath the over-arching station canopy.

But despite all this, overcrowding still remained a problem in the cricket season. When the Australian team were due to visit in 1926, more improvements had to be made to try to cope with the ridiculous queues.

Bizarrely outside the cricket season though the station wasn’t at all busy and opening hours were reduced to 9.40am to 5pm.

The platforms were however extended at the Baker Street end to cope with longer trains.

Passengers waiting on a platform at the newly-built St John’s Wood Underground station in November 1939. The Bakerloo Line station effectively replaced Lords. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

But the end was spelled out for the station in 1935 when the LPTB got permission to extend the Bakerloo Line from Baker Street to Finchley Road.

One of the new Bakerloo Line stations was to be called Acacia Road and was to occupy a site between St John’s Wood station and Marlborough Road.

With this plan underway in 1936, St John’s Wood Road was given the new name of Lords.

Lords station officially opened in June 1939 just months before the outbreak of war, but as explained above, it would be short-lived and it wasn’t to survive the horrors of the conflict of 1939 to 45.

The station did survive the war, but demolition soon began.

There is now no trace of the station building at all – which given how unique it was is a massive shame.





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