Daniel Wright: “(Leslie) Green’s stations originally used lifts (and emergency stairs) to get passengers down to platform level. This was a time before the introduction of escalators to London’s Underground network. Green considered even the lift signage as worthy of his attention, and he designed Art Nouveau wrought iron grilles (see above) to cover the lift machinery and display the lift numbers…similar examples can be found on the inside of several of his ticket halls.”
“Mornington Crescent is a London Underground station in Camden Town in north west London, named after the nearby street. The station is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line, between Euston and Camden Town. It is in Travelcard Zone 2.
The station was opened as part of the original route of the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (now the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line) on 22 June 1907. The surface building was designed by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London‘s (UERL’s) architect Leslie Green in the Modern Style (British Art Nouveau style). Prior to the station’s opening, the name of “Seymour Street” had been proposed. After opening, it was little used. For many years it was open only on weekdays, and before 1966 Edgware-bound trains passed through without stopping.
On 23 October 1992 the station was shut so that the then 85-year-old lifts could be replaced. The intention was to open it within one year. However, due to lack of funding and the state of neglect, the station remained closed for 6 years.
A concerted campaign to reopen the station was launched, with pressure from Camden Council, and assistance from the popular BBC Radio 4 panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. The show frequently features the game Mornington Crescent, which takes its name from the station.
During the station’s rebuilding, the original distinctive light blue tiling pattern was restored to the station (though taking into account modern fire safety requirements). The ticket hall was reconstructed and the original emergency stairs closed. A second lift shaft was converted (losing the unnecessary extra two lifts) into a staircase on one side and a series of station facilities on the other.
After substantial refurbishment, the station was reopened on 27 April 1998 by the regular cast of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue(Humphrey Lyttelton, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden). A memorial plaque to the late Willie Rushton, one of the longest-serving panelists, was installed at the station in 2002.
Since its 1998 reopening, the station has been open at the same times as most other stations, including weekends, in an attempt to relieve the pressure on the increasingly busy nearby Camden Town station.”