Forest Hill Society: Crystal Palace High Level Line

Forest Hill Society: Crystal Palace High Level Line.


Spencer Road Halt; Then & Now

*leaves on the Line*

Just behind the houses on the other side of the road is an old disused railway line. It ran from nowhere you’ve ever heard of to somewhere you wouldn’t want to go & was one of the plethora of tiny branch lines built in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Spencer Road Halt was built with the idea that passengers could transfer to the main London Brighton Line by walking approx a quarter of a mile to the West. This did not work & the halt was closed in 1915. The line itself remained in use until the early 1980s, when in off peak, there was one train every 2 hours of 2 coaches in one direction only. To return you waited 2 hours for one in the opposite direction.

In early 1900s



& 2014



Some of the track bed to the North has been utilised by London Tramlink & if the envisaged extension to the South ever comes to pass, it is likely that this stretch of  land would be levelled & pressed into service once more.

Waddon Ponds

After Wandle Park, seen in an earlier post, part of the River Wandle can be viewed at Waddon Ponds which act as one of the sources of the River. I have never previously visited the Ponds despite passing very close by on many occasions when visiting nearby motor trade counters or a parcels depot. The Ponds are tucked away down a narrow  road off the main A23 (Purley Way)….surrounded on three sides by suburban  housing & on the fourth by a small complex of light industrial type units.  The main entrance is in Mill Lane & that gives a clue to one of the former uses.

The Ponds are home to a variety of waterfowl. A great number of geese but also ducks, coots & moorhens.


They do, however,  rather congregate around the viewing/feeding platform on the Western bank.

The grounds generally are very well kept with no evidence of the sort of misuse often experienced by urban parks.



At the southern end the main pond splits into two short stubby “fingers” each bridged at the point of the join, which allow a pleasant circumnavigation of the water. The two smaller ponds formed, made for a  tranquil backwater feel in the evening sun…



The geese, at least, find it restful


Generally the “natives” are friendly


The banks have recently been re-planted to stabilise them which explains the wire fencing designed to be geese proof so they do not eat the new plants….


View from the main entrance