Day School: London's Great Railway Stations

Ref: C3744350

This day-school reviews the great London termini of the rail network that radiates out to all parts of Britain and the Continent. These famous structures, many built in the Victorian period with all the panache and ambition of that era, still play a major role in defining the London of today. The great iron and glass train sheds of St Pancras, Paddington and King's Cross provide massive exemplars of the work of iconic engineers such as Barlow, Brunel and Cubitt. The hotels and facades fronting most of these stations were designed by the nation's leading architects including Scott, Hardwick and Blomfield. Students will review the chequered history of these stations since those heady times, explore the literary references and art associated with each, and assess the best and the worst of the changes wrought by changing requirements, world wars and the latest styles deployed by modern architects and engineers.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Education Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available-contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

The course explores London's great railway stations and studies their history, design, architecture and art. These buildings have become famous and revered through their key roles in literature, films and in so many of our personal stories.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Outline the planning constraints which determined the locations of the Termini around the centre of London.
  • List three of the major London Termini that are still little changed from the Victorian era.
  • Identify the great engineers, architects and designers responsible for building (a) Paddington and (b) St Pancras stations.
  • Cite a 19th c. play that refers to "the Brighton side" of Victoria station, and modern day series of books about children who travel to school each term via King's Cross station.
  • Describe the two major statues at St Pancras, and the messages they are intended to convey.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The booklet "Discovering London Railway Stations" by Oliver Green is an ideal introduction to this subject.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • The tutor's courses on the architecture and art of the London Underground and on British Architecture are appropriate follow-on courses for students on this course.

Download full course information sheet

Day School: London's Great Railway Stations

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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