Notes: Blake Hall station was first opened by the Eastern Counties Railway on 1 April 1865, serving principally as a goods station taking agricultural produce from the nearby farms into central London. It was named after Blake Hall, a country house located a mile or so to the north east of the station in the village of Bobbingworth, and inhabited by a family of substantial local land owners. The station was built as part of the landlord's agreement to build a railway through his land.
The Ongar branch was taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board as part of their 1935 New
Works Plan to extend tube lines to the outer suburbs. Initially steam locomotives operated by British Railways for the Underground ran a shuttle service from Epping to Ongar from 1949 to 1957, when the line was electrified and taken over by the Underground's Central Line. British Railways continued to run a freight service over the branch until 1966.
The station subsequently became known as the least used on the entire Underground (not surprisingly: fare subsidies provided on the rest of the underground system were not provided on this part of the line due to the failure of local government agencies for Essex and London to agree their respective public transport responsibilities, and Blake Hall station was located a considerable distance from any substantial settlement). By the time it was closed on 31 October 1981, the station was reported to have only seventeen passengers a day. The entire Epping to Ongar branch was closed 13 years later, on 30 September 1994. The station building still exists (it has since been converted into a private home), as does the now reopened line passing it; but the small coal depot at the western end of the station was closed in the early 1960s, soon after the line's electrification, and the passenger platform has now also been demolished.
Other web sites: The
Holden F5Locomotive Trust