Dead Drunk

“Spirits served here” was the message above the cemetery stations of the London Necropolis Company (LNC), the sign was to show the mourners that they could have alcoholic beverages. I’d suggest it was also a good bit of comedy for permanent residents of Brookwood.

Drunken behaviour was reported but not specific to the stations, on one occasion in the 1850’s a caretaker refused to allow two mourners to board as they were too intoxicated. On another a ticket collector found a group of passengers were so drunk they were dancing around their carriage on the return journey.

12th January 1867 a Necropolis train driver had a liquid lunch at the local whilst waiting and when he returned was clearly incapable of driving. The fireman took over until they reached Waterloo and the driver was handed his notice.

The company said that they would supply all future train crews with a ploughman’s and beer for lunch. I think that’s a lunch many of us could agree too.

Other London funeral Trains

There were rival trains that ran between King’s Cross and the Great Northern Cemetery at New Southgate, started in 1861 that carried on for at least six years. The service ran from Rufford Street, N1 which is not demolished. It had the advantage of being only a fifteen minute journey.

Just like the LNC the King’s Cross terminus had it’s own mortuary facilities. The funeral trains there ended some time between the years of 1867 – 1873. The station at the cemetery end was then demolished In 1904.

South Station Chapel

The station chapel has been carefully restored by St Edward Brotherhood, who are an orthodox order of monks. They worship at the chapel and maintain a shrine there containing the bones of St Edward the Martyr.

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