#142: Upminster 01/07/2022

Upminster Station

It’s almost three years since I first visited Upminster Station courtesy of the Overground on 24/07/2019, and again to the end of the District Line on 05/12/2019. Click the links to read my earlier posts.

But today, I’m here thanks to the c2c line as this is as far as I can travel using my Oyster card along the Tilbury, Southend and Shoeburyness lines. 

My efforts concentrate on Platforms 1 & 2; to be honest, not much has changed except the 1930s-built overhead footbridge along the middle of the platforms is closed as you couldn’t walk along it as there are parts where there is nothing to walk on. However, it looks like it’s having a total refurbishment.

The footbridge provided access between platform 1 and the two island platforms 2&3 and 4&5. However, TfL staff still have access to their signal box at the end of platform 6 from platforms 4&5.

Except for a new canopy, this is the original station entrance built in 1885. It has a certain simple charm and provides direct access to Platform 1 for all London-bound trains terminating at Fenchurch Street. The view below is taken from under the Station Road entrance standing at the very limit of Platform 2. 

Platform 2 is used for all the eastbound services. Does anyone know what these numbers and signs mean? These are on the island platform 2&3 used by c2c and District line trains.

The Station Road entrance opened in 1932 and is now the main entrance for foot passengers and a drop-off point for taxis.

At the very end of the station, there are sidings for Network Rail engineering trains, and this is one I spotted outside their c2c signal control centre, some 400m away along the end of the car park adjacent to the entrance to platform 1.

Several road/rail combo machines are parked in the car park, but these two convertible ‘cherry pickers’ caught my eye, each capable of carrying a maximum weight of 400Kg, or three people with equipment. 

Upminster

I feared retreading my steps from previous visits as I didn’t want to repeat what I had seen before. However, it was a  little inevitable as Upminster is simply a two-street town. Nevertheless, let’s try and explore this London outpost positively. 

Upminster has a white middle-class neighbourhood with well-appointed properties along all its main roads and side streets. The main road, Station Road, is where all the shops are and where you will find Upminster’s signature store, Roomes. Roomes is visible on the right here, with London buses in the foreground destined for Lakeside and Cranham making their way up the road.

The architecture is quite mixed, and the most recent development is M&S with flats, sorry, apartments above. I chatted with an elderly lady headed out of town around lunchtime, having just been to M&S to buy her lunch. She told me her daily routine was after lunch, she’d have a nap and then return to M&S to buy her tea. A routine that kept her mobile and active as she managed quite well to carry her shopping whilst manoeuvring along the pavement with her walking stick.

I did return to a few places, not to retrace my steps but to explore further or see what might have changed. First, to Clock House Gardens. Followers will know that it’s here I met Donald Trump. Well, I gave that name to a duck as it had a stylish bouffant just like its namesake. The wildfowl were aplenty, and the Canada geese were protecting their many chicks. It was a baking afternoon, and all the pigeons were roosting up high in the trees. This one seemed unfazed by the attention I was giving it.

I did discover a hidden gateway tucked away in one corner of the gardens. It turns out to be the entrance to the Clockhouse Bowling Club. The rinks looked immaculate, and I would have loved to have gone inside. Unfortunately, it’s been years since I rolled a biassed wood down a rink, as I once played for a local league back in the day. It mainly was lunchtime fun that turned into a serious team. We had a Welsh junior international playing for us, but I like to think we all played our part in winning games – we called ourselves The Grasshoppers!

I made a deliberate return to Upminster’s iconic windmill as I had read that it is nearing its long overdue restoration. Plans are in place for its full reopening in early 2023, although the visitor centre and gardens are open occasionally. Since my visit three years ago, the windmill has had its cap, sails and gallery restored – a wondrous sight. You can see it here by checking out their live camera or admire this photo.

Home to Upminster Cricket Club, Upminster Park is a great leisure and recreational space for all ages. There are tennis courts, children’s playground areas and vast open fields to picnic under the shady tree-lined avenues. There were plans for a fun day as the open land was marked with several sporting-themed tramlines. Ready! Steady! Go!

Picture of the Day – Window View.

Who would clean these windows? The footbridge from the Station Road entrance has a glazed feature which looks out over all the platforms. The chimney pot is that of the original station building and ticket office alongside platform 1.

This makes it my picture of the day as it’s like a window into the world, albeit somewhat faded and dirty. The view of the chimney pot is a reminder of the station in its heyday, and I’ve taken it in black and white as a reminder of days gone by.

  • Location: Upminster Station
  • Date/Time: Friday 1st July 2022, 11:19 am
  • Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture -f/8; Shutter Speed – 1/400; Focal Length – 46mm; Film Speed – ISO100

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