As plans for the Bakerloo line extension gather steam, many will be excited about the prospect of an Old Kent Road station which would be built where Lidl currently is.
But did you know that, 100 years ago, just an eight-minute walk down from Lidl, there was another Old Kent Road railway station?
Opened on August 3, 1866, the Old Kent Road Railway Station sat at the road’s southern end – where it becomes New Cross Road.
It was on top of a viaduct and bridge crossing the street, with lines running to London Bridge Station and what became Surrey Quays Station on the East London Line.
Southwards, there was a line running towards Queens Road Peckham Station.
In 1870, it was renamed the Old Kent Road and Hatcham. North of the station site is Hatcham Road and south is a small park called Hatcham Gardens.
In 1917, with fuel scarcities gripping Britain – then three years into World War I – the station closed on New Year’s Day, as a money-saving measure. Sadly, it never reopened.
Four years later, according to an April 1921 Western Gazette article, a woman gave birth to twins outside the station.
In December 2012, a track at the rail junction was reopened, meaning trains were running across the station’s tracks for the first time in almost a century.
Sadly, there are doesn’t appear to be any surviving photos of the station and details about the role it played in daily life are also sparse.
One witness to the whole story does however survive in the form of a Victorian post box next to the old station site.
It’s fairly grubby, and the model is clearly the ‘Victorian Type A Letter Box’, which was rolled out in 1879.
So Victorian passengers hopping off at the Old Kent Road Railway Station would have undoubtedly posted letters through its slot.