Railway Goods Yard Invoices

Dates: 1915 and 1916

These invoices relate to the busy activity at the Somers Town Goods Yard, where goods from across the country were logged. The Somers Town Goods Yard, on a site including where the British Library and the Francis Crick Institute are today, was begun in 1883 , after slum clearance, and was finished in 1887. It was two-storied. As in the station next door, trains arrived on the upper level and the goods were then lowered down, by hydraulic lift, to street level, where vehicles would collect goods to distribute around the city. It dealt with produce from across the country, including milk, fish and potatoes and coal. The lift was run by the railway – it had six boilers, which heated water to power a steam turbine. Water was pumped into an accumulator tower. and the effects of pressure and gravity would power cranes and lifts.

In 1968, the coal depot closed and in 1970, the southern area of the goods yard was demolished. After a couple of decades the British Library occupied the site.

By Esther Leslie