For many years the condition of the arcade above the District Line station at Victoria deteriorated; however, in 2019 Transport for London started a two-year project to restore and refurbish the shopping arcade. The completion of the scheme was marked at the National Railway Heritage Awards when TfL was presented with the plaque for the Great Western Railway Craft Skills Award at the ceremony held at Merchant Taylors’ Hall on 1 December 2021.
The plaque awarded was formally unveiled at Victoria Underground station on Wednesday 15 June.
The ceremony was attended by members of the NRHA committee and representatives of TfL and of the contracting team who were responsible for the fine work.
Speaking on behalf of the TfL Commercial Development team, Nigel Pickup welcomed attendees before handing over to Gareth Powell, TfL Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, who explained the importance of the project to TfL and the value of the heritage estate. Following this Edmund Bird, TfL Heritage Advisor, described the historic context of the arcade in the 20th century history of the station and the subsequent works to preserve the historic estate as part of the modern transport environment; he then handed over to Malcolm Wood, NRHA Awards Manager and Trustee, who explained the work of the National Railway Heritage Awards, complimenting the TfL team for the success of their project and also recognising not only Great Western Railway for their support of the Craft Skills Award, but also all the other sponsors who continue to give much-valued support to the operation of the National Railway Heritage Awards.
Gareth Powell and Malcolm Wood then unveiled the plaque.
The plaque after its unveiling at Victoria station with, from the left, Gareth Powell, TfL Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, Tim Hedley-Jones NRHA, Clive Baker, NRHA, Malcolm Wood, NRHA, Nigel Pickup, TfL Commercial Development team, and Edmund Bird, TfL Heritage Advisor. Luca Marino/Transport for London
The arcade, which was built in 1911 for the District Railway, is located above the concourse of the London Underground District Line Station. It had been on a downward spiral for many years with an uninspiring commercial ambience. The project has restored the frontages to the shop units and the interior finishes, most notably the ceilings which have been restored using an original District Railway colour scheme. The granite plinths have been restored to a high standard. The citation for the award read: ‘The work undertaken at Victoria is exemplary in terms of retaining, restoring and celebrating Britain’s railway heritage. The arcade now exudes quality and is unrecognisable from its condition of just a few years ago.’