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Pedley Street ghost station reopens after Covid lockdown with trips back to Victorian London

PUBLISHED: 15:49 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 23:29 14 September 2020

The old Shoreditch station in Pedley Street, off Brick Lane, before it closed in 2006. Picture: Archant

The old Shoreditch station in Pedley Street, off Brick Lane, before it closed in 2006. Picture: Archant

Archant

The ghost of an old Victorian station closed down in Spitalfields 14 years ago has been shunted down the line to reopen as a restaurant further down the street which had to shut for six months because of the pandemic emergency.

Pedley Street station... restaurant in railway arch reopening after Covid emergency. Picture: Funicular ProductionsPedley Street station... restaurant in railway arch reopening after Covid emergency. Picture: Funicular Productions

The Murdér Express reopens with new Covid safety precautions on October 2 at Pedley Street, the original name of the Eastern Counties Railway station off Brick Lane that later became the Shoreditch terminal of the East London Line closed in 2006.

The restaurant is set up as a 21st century dining carriage with Victorian furnishings transporting “passengers” with a full head of steam back to the 19th century, departing from ‘Pedley Street’ to the fictional town of Murdér in France.

Actor and scriptwriter Craig Wilkinson and production director Ed Borgnis have come up with the Murdér Express with their Funicular Productions theatre and storytelling company.

Pedley Street station train schedule to mystery destination. Picture: ArchantPedley Street station train schedule to mystery destination. Picture: Archant

Diners are joined by characters such as East End costermonger Frank and music hall singer Vesta Tilley in the dining car lit by period table lamps and a menu created by 2017 Master Chef finalist Louisa Ellis.

The restaurant is now Covid secure after six months in the sidings, with temperature checks for the diners, sanitiser stations, perspex screens, reduced seating under social distance guidelines and staff wearing PPE.

‘The Murdér Express’ opening October 2 runs till January 31, booking online at Design My Night.

End of the line...  the old Shoreditch station in Pedley Street, off Brick Lane, before it closed in 2006. Picture: ArchantEnd of the line... the old Shoreditch station in Pedley Street, off Brick Lane, before it closed in 2006. Picture: Archant

Times of “departures” vary from Funicular’s ‘Pedley Street Station’ at Arch 63, off Vallance Road.

The original station opened in 1876 joined the London Underground in 1913 as part of the Metropolitan Railway, later reverting to its original “East London Line” tag.

But it was the least used of all Underground stations with only 1,100 passengers a day and had a skeleton weekday rush-hour service, closed Saturdays and only opened for a few hours on Sundays for Brick Lane’s famous street market.

Sign of the times past... Shoreditch 'roundel' of the old East London Line terminal that terminated in 2006. Picture: ArchantSign of the times past... Shoreditch 'roundel' of the old East London Line terminal that terminated in 2006. Picture: Archant

It finally closed in 2006, replaced by Shoreditch High Street in 2010 when the East London Line reopened after refurbishment and extended to Dalston.

Craig Wilkinson and business partner Ed Borgnis are blowing the whistle on the old ghost station with their Pedley Street railway arch eatery nearby, serving steamed up virtual trips back to Victorian London.


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