‘Unknown’ Crouch Hill surfaces at Croydon

A STATION totem sign that was an unknown survivor will be going under the hammer at a Transport Auctions of London sale at Croydon on February 17.

It is from Crouch Hill, a north London station that was opened in July 1868 by the Tottenham & Hampstead Junction Railway and is now on the capital’s Overground system.

This railway, which initially ran from Tottenham North Junction to Highgate Road, had an early chequered life, but in 1888 extended to Gospel Oak. The Midland Region totem was obtained by the vendor when the signs were replaced in the early 1970s. One specialist totem collector told me: “It was only hearsay that one had survived.”

Two London Underground direction signs will also point the way at the auction. One is a very early 20th century ‘To the trains’ sign from one of the first Tube lines, and the second a pre-London Transport era street sign indicating the way to Kew Gardens station.

Other Underground memorabilia going under the hammer includes cab destination plates from 1938 Tube stock and a variety of prewar Underground maps, one of which is a Harry Beck first edition that carries what is believed to be Beck’s signature.

Steam era railwayana includes posters from all the Big Four, and a gaslight lampshade from Forest Row. This station was opened by the LBSCR on the Three Bridges-Tunbridge Wells Central line in October 1866, and just managed to celebrate its centenary before closing in January 1967. The auction, at Croydon Park Hotel, starts at 11am.

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