Since I became interested in the history of St. Pancras Station and Hotel my learning has taken me in many directions.
Firstly the woman in charge of filming in the building at that time (1996) gave me a copy of Jack Simmons, St. Pancras Station. It was this excellent book that set me off on a journey which still continues today. Using references in Simmons’ book, I went on to read E.G. Barnes, The rise of The Midland Railway 1844-1874; F.S. Williams, The Midland Railway; C.E. Stretton, The History of The Midland Railway; C.H. Ellis, The Midland Railway; G. G. Scott, Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture; Kenneth Clark, The Gothic Revival; R.F. Jordan, A Concise History of Western Architecture.
I read these books at the R.I.B.A. Library, where I had access to the greatest collection of architectural books, but I was struggling to find information about the hotel.
I visited the National Archives at Kew and was able to read the minutes of the Southern Construction Committee of the Midland Railway.
This gave me more of the information I was looking for. I joined the Midland Railway Society and was able to visit the Roy F.Burrows collection up in Derby, with many artefacts and photographs, as well as meeting some great people that have given me insight and a sense of their pride in The Midland Railway.
I visited The National Railway Museum in York, where they have an inventory from the Midland Grand as well as some artefacts. I read many books on the Victorian era and particularly those associated to Scott. Firstly, Scott’s inspiration: A.W.N. Pugin.
Then other notable Victorians: I.K. Brunel; Joseph Paxton; John Ruskin; Thomas Hardy; Herbert Minton; Florence Nightingale; Tennyson; Dickens; Palmerstone; Joseph Swan, William Armstrong; Robert Stephenson; Mary Shelley; Elisha Otis; Henry Bessemer; Thomas Edison; Michael Faraday and many more.
I studied the architects and architecture of the period; the Art and artists; Church architecture and liturgy; the Christian religion; Railways; Victorian poetry; Politics; Mythology; Heraldry; Britain at war; London geography and geology; Masonry; Victorian style; The Monarchy; Furniture; Gothicism: the list seems to be endless!
Throughout my years at St. Pancras I was lucky enough to meet several people and relatives of people that worked in the hotel as well as members of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s family.
As well as all the research, I have received fantastic encouragement and information along the way – notably and firstly from Mrs Lynda Nolan of London and Continental Stations and Properties; Jason Moyce; Malcolm Holmes; Roy F. Burrows; Glynne Waite; Roderick Shelton; Angus Boag; Brian Day; Alastair Lansley; Robert Thorne; Simon Bradley; Kenneth Powell; Charles Brooking; James Bunyan; David Wilde; Hugo Chance; Paul Childs; Michael Czerwinski; Lord & Lady Fink; Hadyn Davies; Steven Brindle; Sir Terry Farrell; John Harrison; Martine Garland; Jim Hawthorne; Brian Duffus; Geff Francis; Jane Hilling; Geoff Mann; Elizabeth Hirst; Tom McGlynn; Gene Mitchell; Andrew Rajan; Ray Willis; Nigel Lowey; The Baroness Rawlings.
There are many others to whom I am very grateful, and especially the former Chaplain to St. Pancras International, The Reverend Jonathan Barker. There are too many specific sources to mention!
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