VISUALISING VICTORIA: Nottingham’s lost station

Visualising Victoria is an 11-12 minute video made by me and two friends – Lee Wright (railwaymaniac.com) and Rosie Abbott (rosieabbott.co.uk). It’s an attempt to demonstrate how Victoria Station fitted into the Nottingham environment we know in 2016.

Although it uses maps and digital models, Visualising Victoria is not an attempt to try and replicate the majestic design and craftsmanship that was reportedly evident in Victoria Station. I feel that would be impossible to reproduce, and producing a pale imitation would be deeply disrespectful. Rather, the idea is to help people understand the physical position of the former station.

I’ve had a casual interest in Victoria Station for a couple of decades, reading a great deal about the site and poring over hundreds of photographs. As someone who never actually saw Victoria, I always found the story slightly frustrating, and I couldn’t picture a clear overview of the site in my mind. I attempted to consolidate what I’d learnt in an article I named Nottingham Victoria: The story of a slum, a station and a shopping centre (available on Kindle here). Although enjoyable to write (and, hopefully, read!), I found it hard to express the scale of the station in words. Several years later and I have acquired amateur skills in graphic design, crude animation and basic 3d modelling, and it occurred to me that I almost had enough in my locker to represent the station and surrounding streets visually. Without Lee’s tireless research and jaw-dropping knowledge, however, I could not have proceeded, and if the visuals weren’t graced by an enchanting and entirely original piece of music composed by local singer-songwriter Rosie, I feel it would barely be watchable.

Visualising Victoria is a historical document. Since it features photographs taken a couple of months ago, it is growing more and more out-of-date as we speak. Urban environments do not remain static for long, but I hope the video will help to preserve the memory and understanding of this important and occasionally overlooked chapter of Nottingham’s history.

Scott Taylor, August 2016.

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