Friday, 12 June 2009

Victoria Station SW1

Victoria Station was built in two halves in 1860, the Brighton line on the right and the Dover line on the left. Despite their proximity, the rival companies refused to cooperate on an overall scheme.
And when, nearly half a century later, the termini were rebuilt on a much grander scale, the companies were still at war and brought their own architects in for their halves.
The Dover side was designed by Alfred W. Blomfield and W.J. Ancell, with sculpture by H.C. Fehr.
An arch at the centre is flanked by a pair of pavilions with broken pediments supported by pairs of mermaids to emphasise the railway's links with the ferry port and the naval base at Chatham. Each mermaid leans protectively over a ship.
The mermaids are all ideally beautiful (Fehr didn't do ugly) so they all look the same. Interestingly, the ships are all different. Two are under sail, one with a busty figurehead. Two are steamships, one a warship the other a ferry. Both are puffing steam rather uncomfortably into the poor girl's armpit.

1 comment:

CarolineLD said...

What brilliant timing - I seem to have spent half the tube strike gazing at these buildings while waiting for buses!