Love it or loathe it, almost all Londoners have had to pass through Clapham Junction at some point in their lives.
Be it to get into the capital, to catch a train and withdraw completely into the English countryside – or merely passing through on the Overground – Clapham Junction sees around 430,000 passengers pass through it a day.
And with interchanges making up 40 per cent of journeys taken, it is the busiest station across the country.
In fact, it is a good mile away from the South London district- a brisk twenty minutes walk.
It is in fact located in the Thames-facing neighbourhood Battersea, a subject of low-level controversy perfect for dinner party small-talk fodder.
Unsurprisingly, the big brains behind the scenes at the London and South Western Railway – the company who first opened the station centuries ago in 1838 – did not name the station after a completely different area for conversation starters in the 21st century.
Yet the reason they did is just as bizarre.
Wandsworth Council, the local borough in which both Battersea and Clapham Junction is located in, says it is “pretty likely” the name was chosen to appeal to London’s middle and upper classes during the Victorian period.
Clapham during the 19th century was home to large numbers of the capital’s booming middle class, including novelist Graham Greene and composer Edvard Greig.
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It was a fashionable village, positioned perfectly beside Clapham Common, in which many of the park’s Victorian features – including a band stand and tennis courts- exist today.
Battersea, on the other hand, was more of a cluster of factories than a suburb; in 1840, two years after Clapham Junction was established, only 9,000 people lived there, and they were predominantly factory workers.
The area saw a considerable population surge by the end of the decade.
By 1910, residents had increased to 168,000, ironically due to the success of the station.
Whilst the 20th century saw efforts to change the name to Battersea Junction, these largely fizzled out.
But recent campaigning under the group name Love Battersea successfully persuaded Network Rail to install a sign at the station saying ‘Welcome to the Heart of Battersea’.
With “Clapham Junction” in considerably smaller letters underneath.
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