I used to wake up next to Boadicea. They say she’s buried under platform nine. I looked right into the station from my lovely room in Culross Buildings behind King’s Cross. And from the roof garden I thought I could feel the whole of Britain rising in an instant. The trains were going north; the Telecom tower buzzed into life. And yet on that roof, on a winter morning, with the 5.21 to Peterborough sliding out of the station, it was mostly the past that seemed to speak.
I really love that place. It’s a corner of London still mad with Victorian grandeur. For years now it has lived with the threat of demolition. But it doesn’t want to go. People believe it will last forever. You see the remnants of a place called Agar Town from up there. It disappeared to make way for the great railway terminals. From the roof of Culross Buildings you can see the world as it used to be: the gasometers built in the 1860s, the Regent’s Canal, the arch of St Pancras, the Great Northern Hotel. And down below there’s the cobbled streets. The German Gymnasium stands like some beautiful monument to the enthusiasms of the dead. I will always love this secretive London. Britain’s industrial past is nowhere more present than this. I still hear the sound of the trains as I sleep.