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The Welsh Dragon from Paddington – UK Rail Journeys – Series 1 – Episode 1
In ‘The Welsh Dragon from Paddington’ I start with a look around this amazing Grade 1 Listed railway station. Simon Jenkins, in his book ‘Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations’* awards it 5 stars and starts his description by telling us that ‘there is magic in the air at Paddington’. First I walk down the ‘premium’ Platform 1 which oozes history.
* Please Note – Simon says that this is a Railway Station; it is not a Train Station!
You can find out more about this wonderful book by clicking here.
Click on a ‘thumbnail’ to view the photographs that accompany this podcast:
A famous bear:
The first thing I find is a bench dedicated to the famous bear named after the station. He’s sat there eating a marmalade sandwich and I’m not sure whether he’s waiting for the Brown family or just trainspotting.
At the station entrance from the Elizabeth Line station on to Platform 1 there is also a statue to Paddington Bear.
In 1863 Paddington becomes the western terminus of the Metropolitan Railway. This is the first underground railway in the world and links Kings Cross, Euston and Paddington stations.
Today there are two Underground stations at Paddington. There is one for the Bakerloo, District and Circle (towards Victoria) lines in Praed Street and another, for the Hammersmith and City and Circle (towards Hammersmith) Lines at Bishop’s Bridge Road.
The Great Western Royal Hotel:
The Victorian railway companies were operators of grand hotels. There are examples at many of the mainline stations in London.
Brunel’s dream is that people will travel from London to Bristol. They then board the SS Great Britain and travel to America, but, before setting off on the journey they need a night at a grand hotel in London. Today you can leave on the Heathrow Express, and fly to America. Same dream, different transport!
Hilton operate the hotel today, you can find more details here.
So much history, so much to see – the clock, the triple oriel, the War Memorial and the grandeur of the woodwork. Stop for a moment, look upward and marvel at the structure.
Look at the photographs and listen to the podcast to find out more about the station and our departure.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If so, please join me in two weeks time when we journey west from Paddington, through the London suburbs on the Welsh Dragon.
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