A friend of mine recently spotted this on sale at Beaulieu and, seeing as the extension to my OO Gauge Layout is based loosely on the Croxley Green branch, I simply had to have it!
It is thought that this sign originated from Watford Junction in the late 1980’s and under BR’s Network SouthEast brand (another reason why I had to get my hands on it!). It shows the busy commuter route now ran by London Overground to Euston as well as the declining Croxley Green branch. But most interesting of all it shows a relatively short lived service to Liverpool Street via the North London Line.
After Broad Street station was closed in 1986, trains from Watford Junction were diverted onto the Great Eastern line at Hackney and onto Liverpool Street via London Fields. This quirk meant that for 6 years a service running out of Liverpool Street actually ended up on the West Coast Main Line.
The service was slow and unpopular and was being gradually run down by BR. By 1990 only 4 trains a day operated between Watford and Liverpool Street. In 1992 the service was withdrawn all together along with the closure of Primrose Hill which by this point was only being served by one train in each direction a day.
It’s at this stage that the sign is likely to have been removed from Watford Junction, although the service to Croxley Green continued until 1996.
Interestingly another copy of this sign exists and is apparently residing in a pub in Stockholm, Sweden! According to the post, the sign bellow could have spent some time in The Head Of Steam pub in Euston.
If you have any pictures of this sign at Watford Junction or any other info regarding it’s history, do get in touch.