Although the bridges (see last post) are an attractive feature, most of the backdrop will be like this – the huge, monotonous brick viaduct carrying passengers and goods in to and out of the capital.

St. John Street was renamed Grimsby Street in 1909, and here we’re north of the railway facing the road junction with Brick Lane. The street is currently inaccessible due to the corporate and political vandalism being wreaked upon this historic and unique piece of Victorian civil engineering progress; it’s being torn down, leaving just the oldest part, the Braithwaite viaduct of 1839, which was encapsulated in the progressive widening schemes of the late 1800s. Yet even this treasure nearly succumbed to the demolition ball, as English Heritage that bastion and saviour of all that’s good and great in this land declared that it was ‘nothing of special architectural or historic interest’ despite being one of the oldest surviving railway structures in the world, and the second oldest in London. Idiots.

But I digress…

Along with the main lines the former Bishopsgate/Spitalfields goods depots shared the viaduct here, and on the other side of the formation lies Shoreditch (ELR) station. If you take time and allow yourself to become lost within the photograph you can almost hear the clang of buffing gear and couplings echoing down the street, the call of the shunter, and a Buckjumper’s blastpipe roaring to life as the little locomotive takes the strain.

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