John Mitchinson is the most interesting person of Roger Burton. He took us to a defunct London railway to demonstrate the battle between Man and Nature.
I brought you somewhere I think is more than quite interesting. It’s a disused railway line in the north of London. It’s called the Northern Hight’s Railway and it runs all the way from Finsbury Park to Alexandre Palace and then beyond to Edgware. I say it runs, actually it doesn’t run anymore, it has been completely disused for nearly 60 years.
When I discovered this place it completely blew me away. I started walking it obsessively. All the way up to Highgate Wood and down again. What we’re standing on here is the old Stroud Green Station. It was last used in 1954 but in the 1860s when it was built London was the most important city in the world. It was centre of the industrial revolution. It was also this burgeoning metropolis with houses being built in all directions and railways being built to connect all those houses together.
Standing here you have this sense of the passage of time. This was once a bustling busy London station: People with Bowler Hats and briefcases going to work, going from Edgware in the North down into the city.
And then in 1950s it closed and now it’s this