Paddington Station – The end of the line
Paddington Station, the end of the line! This modern marvel has served the Underground trains since the 1860’s and is just as important to London, as the changing of the guards! Paddington Station is one of the busiest London rail terminals. Last year over 35 million passengers passed through the station.
Paddington Station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the Victorian era’s leading architects. It was Brunel’s goal to see that passengers could travel from London to the docks in Bristol and from there, onward in one of his ships to North America. What an enterprising man!
What most people don’t know, is that the location itself has even more history, all forming part of the great London story. The Tyburn Gallows located less than a mile away was where criminals were taken for their hangings in the 1700’s. In the vocab of the day “Paddington Fair Day” meant a public hanging and “To dance the Paddington frisk” meant to be hanged!
Most people think of all the things that they have to get done when walking through a train station, but not Michael Bond. He was walking in a dream world most of the time, thinking of all the little adventures that Paddington Bear could go on! He created Paddington Bear on his way home from work as a BBC cameraman and the name came to him as Paddington Station was on his route home.
With the new movie, many more generations will get to love this beautiful bear. The new movie was shot at the station and there were 50 miniature statues designed by the people involved in the film to commemorate this. These statues were placed throughout London and called the Paddington Trail.
More than 350,000 explorers used The Paddington Trail website to plan their adventures around London! Even more took part in the trail of discovery, fueled by lots and lots marmalade sandwiches.
The statue designed by Michael Bond himself was placed on Platform 8. The statue made in 2000 by Marcus Cornish, stands next to a short escalator which leads straight to the only shop in the world which is exclusively dedicated to Paddington Bear!