A Fact For Each Station On The DLR

A Fact For Each Station On The DLR

Bank

The DLR concourse here is a whopping 41.4 metres below street level.

Tower Gateway

A short walk from Tower Gateway is the Tower Hill Sundial. It tells the story of London from AD 43, through to the early 1980s. Squint for long enough, and you'll find a miniature Margaret Thatcher, complete with handbag. She's wedged in between depictions of the Peasants' Revolt and the Black Death. Make of that what you will.

Shadwell

This was the site of the infamous Ratcliffe Highway murders in 1811 — which saw the death of seven victims, within a half-mile vicinity, within 12 days.  

A mini Maggie secreted on the Tower Hill Sundial

Limehouse

When filming scenes from Call the Midwife in the churchyard of St Anne's Limehouse, the cast and crew kept being interrupted by rowdy local drinkers. One crew member had an idea: they bought boxes off beer from a nearby offie and lured the drinkers out to neighboring grasslands, using the beer as bait.

Westferry

Need to get your Beetle seen to? Beneath Westferry station, there's an arch where you'll find a garage specialising in Volkswagens.

Poplar

The Lansbury Estate in Poplar is named after the former Labour Party leader George Lansbury. His granddaughter was a certain Angela Lansbury. She revisited Poplar in 2014, to curate a film festival.

Poplar actor: Angela Lansbury

West India Quay

Home to (as far as we know) London's only floating church. So everyone in the congregation is technically walking on water.

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf's One Canada Square has no rentable space on the 13th floor... superstitious or what?

Heron Quays

On 27 June 1982 Brymon Captain Harry Gee landed a de Havilland Canada Dash 7 aircraft on a small runway at Heron Quays — proving that a docklands airport was indeed viable. Fast forward five years, and London City Airport was operating its first flights.

Photo: maribogni

South Quay

This is the local station for the University of Sunderland (in London).

Crossharbour

Crossharbour's local pub is called Pepper Saint Ontiod. The name doesn't commemorate a spicy saint; instead it's a convoluted code: Ontiod stands for 'on the Isle of Dogs'. Pepper Saint, stands for Pepper St (or street), the road on which the pub stands. Whoever came up with this had clearly had a few.

Mudchute

Dotted around Mudchute farm, you'll find some strange looking concrete livestock pens. Their initial purpose was as pits for second world war anti-aircraft guns. A restored 'ack ack' gun can now be seen on the farm.

Mudchute. Photo: Julian Reid

Island Gardens

A ferry between Greenwich and what is now Island Gardens existed for over 400 years — among its regulars, the diarist Samuel Pepys. When the Greenwich foot tunnel was opened in 1902, the ferry went under. Not literally.

Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich

... is the longest name for a London station.

Greenwich

Outside Greenwich's National Maritime you'll find a bus stop labelled 'National Wartime Museum', There is no such place — not in London, at least.

Photo: John Westbrooke

Deptford Bridge

On 19 January 1877, Tanners Hill, near Deptford Bridge was the setting for a strange case of mistaken identity. As the Kent & Sussex Courier reports, at the wake of one Mary Scott, her daughters realised that the body in front of them was not that of their mother. Taking the body back to the Greenwich Union Workhouse, the daughters were provided with a second body... which looked even less like their mother. Soon after, it was found that Mary Scott was live and well. She has since, we presume, died.

Elverson Road

In 2014, Elverson Road was in the news for all the wrong reasons, when this bedroom — almost exactly the size of a single bed — was offered up for £74 a week to one lucky tenant.

Lewisham

...has the coolest McDonald's in the world.

All Saints

One of the beadles' staffs — apparently once used to keep children in order at All Saints Church (which gives the station its name) — is now on display in the church.

Langdon Park

Langdon Park DLR station is something of an art gallery in its own right; look out for polished stainless steel sculptures on the platforms (one with 'whoosh' written on it); text scrawled on the station canopy; and drawing that's part of the entrance's paving. It's all the handiwork of artist Kate Davis.  

Devons Road

The Widow's Son pub, next to Devons Road station, is home to one of London's stranger yearly traditions — the ceremonial placing of a hot cross bun in a net above the bar.

The Widow's Son

Bow Church

The church itself is home to a rather infamous statue of William Gladstone. His hands are often daubed in red paint; it's a tribute to when match girls from the Bryant and May factory allegedly cut themselves and bled over the statue, in protest against it being paid for out of their wages.

Pudding Mill Lane

There is a Pudding Mill River.

Stratford

...hardly has an original name. There are two in Suffolk, three in Hampshire, four in Buckinghamshire and 12 in the USA. To mention a few.

Gladstone and his 'bloodied' hands. Photo: Matt Brown

Stratford International

No international trains stop at Stratford International.

Stratford High Street

The local station of the John F Kennedy School, originally opened as the John F Kennedy Centre in 1964, following the president's assassination the previous year.

Abbey Road

Disappointed Beatles fans often rock up at this Abbey Road, rather than its NW8 namesake. So much so, this sign was created:

West Ham

West Ham FC played in the first ever FA Cup final to be held at Wembley. They lost 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers.

Blackwall

Before the Blackwall Tunnel was officially opened in 1897, a 'subaqueous luncheon' was held there, feeding 2,000 VIPs.

East India

...was originally called Brunswick Wharf.

Star Lane

We struggled to come up with something for Star Lane. And then we chanced upon this advert from The Stage in 1998. Yup, an address on Star Lane once offered singing lessons for life... for a one-off fee of £9.99.

Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Canning Town

On the Buses star Veg Varney was born in Canning Town, although his biggest contribution to London was opening the world's first cash machine in Enfield.

West Silvertown

Silvertown gets its name from a huge rubber factory that once stood here, owned by Samuel Winkworth Silver.

Pontoon Dock

Gets its name from the pontoons used to lift boats out of the water, so they could be repaired.

Reg Varney (pictured in the golfing cap) was born in Canning Town and made history in Enfield. Image courtesy of Barclays

London City Airport

The airport created what must be one of the (unintentionally) funniest marketing videos of all time.

King George V

...is not the most famous London station named after a King George, although you may not know it. King's Cross station gets its name from a short lived monument to George IV.

Woolwich Arsenal

The 16 cast iron figures that stand mournfully by the water at Woolwich Arsenal, are not — as many suppose — by Antony Gormley, but by Peter Burke.

Royal Victoria

People swim in the docks here all year round. Like we once did.

London City Airport. Photo: Javier Ayala

Custom House for ExCeL

...is the only London station that includes a brand name.

Prince Regent

As we've covered earlier on, King's Cross is named indirectly after George IV. Well, this station is named directly after him — Prince Regent was his title before he came king. Take that, Victoria.

Royal Albert

Home to the London Regatta Centre — look out for dragon boats on the water here.

Dragon boats at the London Regatta Centre. Photo: Andrew Smith

Beckton Park

A short walk from this station you'll come to a road called Savage Gardens. There's another road of the same name, close to Tower Hill. Neither give their name to the pop duo Savage Garden, who were inspired by a best-selling vampire novel. And we're OK with that.

Cyprus

It's named after the nearby Cyprus Estate, itself named to mark the British Empire's acquisition of Cyprus in 1878. Which now seems a bit cringeworthy.

Gallions Reach

Gallions Reach was where you would once alight to go skiing on a toxic spoil-heap.

Beckton

The station, unsurprisingly, takes its name from Beckton. Beckton, more surprisingly, takes its name from Simon Beck, governor of the Gas Light and Coke Company, which opened a gas plant here in 1870.

Last Updated 08 August 2017