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On 3rd February a revised repeat of a talk about the opening of the Piccadilly Line extension from Arnos Grove to Cockfosters will round off the celebrations of its 90th anniversary.

through trains commencing 13th marchHow the Piccadilly Line extension to Cockfosters was advertised in 1933 (Enfield West was later renamed Oakwood)

In March 2023 Southgate District Civic Voice (SDCV) got together with Enfield Council, Transport for London and the Mayor of London to put on a series of events to mark the 90th birthday of the northernmost stretch of the Piccadilly Line, running between Arnos Grove and Cockfosters and including some particulary interesting examples of underground railway infrastructure, notably the viaduct in Arnos Park and the remarkable integrated tube station, bus station and shopping parade at the heart of Southgate Circus.

In March this year Southgate Station will be 91 years old, but SDCV still have time to fit in a final 90th birthday event - a revised repeat of an illustrated talk by heritage managers from Transport for London. So if you were one of the many people who were too slow applying for a ticket last year, now's your chance!

The talk by Gareth Leslie and Edmund Bird - The Piccadilly Line extension north of Arnos Grove to Southgate and Cockfosters - will be held at 2.30pm on Saturday 3rd February at the Southgate Club, a couple of minutes away from the station in Chase Side (and itself boasting an interesting history, going back to 1820, or possibly earlier).

They will talk about this stretch of the line and Southgate station in particular, its renowned architect Charles Holden and its design and architectural features which have been recognised by Historic England’s Grade II* designation – one of only five at this grade on the 272-station network.

The presentation will also cover the challenges of maintaining and adapting a station of this age, distinguished architectural pedigree and outstanding heritage protection status while at the same time operating it as a modern transport hub. And we'll hear an update on the refurbishment project that is currently underway.

Everyone is welcome to this talk, which is free to members of SDCV. For non-members tickets cost £5 (including a non-refundable booking fee).

To attend the meeting, you must register in advance, but be aware that the tickets will probably go quickly!


202402 sdcv open meeting cropped

Singing Happy Birthday to Southgate's special station (Palmers Green Community 1 March 2023)

Happy birthday, Southgate Station! (Palmers Green Community 15 March 2023)

Today's the 90th anniversary of a Piccadilly Line extension (Ian's Visits 13 March 2023)

Celebrating 90 years of an iconic station (Enfield Dispatch 6 March 2023)

Southgate Station’s 90th birthday celebrated in style (Enfield Dispatch 13 March 2023)

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Neil Littman posted a reply
12 Feb 2024 08:27

For the second year in a row Southgate District Civic Voice hosted a talk by TfL on the history of the London Underground with a special mention about the extension of the Piccadilly Line from Southgate to Cockfosters. 
Appropriately, the talk took place at the Southgate Club within a stones throw of Southgate station on Saturday February 3rd. The event was sold out and attended by an enthusiastic audience of over 100 including some who had travelled far and wide. 
The event was a continuation of the 90th anniversary celebrations of the opening of the extension. Originally there were supposed to be two speakers however for personal reasons, one of them had to pull out at the last moment. Edmund Bird who has been Heritage Manager for Transport for London for over 20 years presented both his own talk and that of his absent colleague Gareth Leslie who is a Design, Planning and Heritage Manager.
The event was split into two parts. The first, was an overview of past and present history of the roots and beginnings of the London Underground network covering the people, places and transport across London and beyond from its inception in 1863, right up to the present day with the opening of the Elizabeth Line. 
This was followed by a look at how the network was extended in the 1930’s from Finsbury Park to Cockfosters and not built any further out due to rules relating to the Green Belt around Outer London which came in around the same period. The talk was illustrated with slides courtesy of the London Transport Museum, showing historic photos, posters and maps covering every era of its development.

After that, there was a question and answer session covering a wide range of topics. Some, including specific historical issues but many dealing with present day concerns such as; the introduction of more step-free access on the network, provision of toilets, the reduction of car parking at the outer-London stations the Piccadilly line due to property development projects, staffing levels and security at outlying stations.
Mention was made of the impact that was still being felt by the reduction in TfL’s revenue due to the pandemic and how passenger numbers have not yet increased to match pre-2019 levels. Edmund Bird said at one point that TfL have ‘no money’ but countered this later by explaining that TfL do receive funding for some key capital projects through grants from heritage organisation and other external sources.
On the positive side, among future projects mentioned were; the installation of toilets at Arnos Grove as part of a general renovation project, the refurbishment of the clock at Southgate Station and some step-free initiatives which coincidentally were reported in the local and national press recently.
A big thank you to Southgate District Civic Voice for hosting the event.