Two entries in one day again! In this case, it’s because I came across a story of great interest and I thought it was blog-worthy.
You may recall my entry on St Pancras a little while ago. If not, here it is. http://londonparticulars.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/st-pancras-more-than-just-a-pretty-facade/
A point I touched on briefly was the fact that in order for the station to be built, a certain amount of slum clearance was necessary, with literally thousands of residents of the area moved on with little or no compensation. Of course, that wasn’t unique to St Pancras. In the mid-nineteenth century, when the grand Railway Mania was at its height, it was pretty standard practice for anyone in the way of the railways to be swept aside regardless. After all, the people building the railway were Very Rich (or at least, hoped to become so).
Fortunately, in these enlightened days, that sort of thing is but a distant m – Oh. That’s not right. I’ve just been informed that Crossrail have been using similarly underhand tactics to drive people out of the way of their line. But surely that can’t be right. I wonder what the ever-reliable Evening Standard has to say on the subject?
Why, it appears that Crossrail officials have been trampling into people’s houses, refusing to show ID, bullying and harrassing those unwilling to sell and offering to buy their houses for considerably less than the land is actually worth. I mean, I’m no enthusiast for Soho, but Christ, what a bunch of dicks. I’m surprised they didn’t go the whole hog and bellow “I’ve won! I’ve won! The deed is done!” when the land was signed over, lightning flashing in the background. The whole thing was so shoddy that Boris Johnson himself was forced to don his cape and step in to tell Crossrail that they were a bunch of rotters and someone ought to show them up.
HERE IS A NOTE FOR YOU CROSSRAIL. It is no longer the 1840s. You cannot keep pulling that shit.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Crossrail has pissed people off. Music fans and homosexual party animals alike will no doubt recall the dearly-departed Astoria on Charing Cross Road, demolished to make way for this steel-and-concrete bastard.
I wonder what Crossrail has to say for themselves? Let’s look at their news page.
Hmm. No mention. Funny that.