The old London Underground station in Hertfordshire once known simply as ‘&’

When it comes to the London Underground, there’s plenty of fascinating trivia that’s always bound to raise some eyebrows.

This could be perhaps one of the oddest of them all.

The railway line in question is the London and Birmingham Railway which first ran through Bushey back in July 1837.

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Demand on the line increased, so the station in the Herts town was created on the Bakerloo Line.

Bushey was a stop on this line from April 1917 all the way up until September 1982, MyLondon reports.

Underground services first arrived here on April 16, 1917, when the Bakerloo Line was extended from Willesden Junction and right out to Watford Junction.

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But interestingly enough, the station’s name was suddenly changed to a symbol during the Second World War from 1939 to 1945.

This is because during the war years it was felt it would be a good idea to paint out the signs on railway stations so they couldn’t be seen..

This was so that if invading German troops landed in the UK, they would have a hard time of it finding out where they were.

A pretty clever idea really.

In the case of Bushey & Oxhey, the interpretation of the rules meant that the names were painted out, but not the &, so the station became known affectionately as ‘&’ or ‘Ampersand’.

This wasn’t the only concession to the war though. Actually, a small gun emplacement or ‘pillbox’ was set up at the station under the viaduct, between platforms two and three – presumably meaning we’d actually have to shoot at the Germans at some point rather than relying on them simply getting confused.

The station was renamed from Bushey & Oxhey to just Bushey, in May 1974.

But things still weren’t as they should be as the station is actually situated in Oxhey, so the German invaders still would have been confused if there had been any.

The station sign boards weren’t actually updated with the new name until well into the 1980s.

Unfortunately though, the golden age of the Bakerloo Line calling here was not to last.

Bakerloo services to Watford Junction were reduced in the 1960s and cut back in 1982 to go only as far as Stonebridge Park.

Services as far as Harrow & Wealdstone were gradually restored from 1984, and in 1989 the present all-day service was instituted.

Bushey station then closed to Underground traffic on September 24, 1982, when London Transport closed the Stonebridge Park to Watford Junction section of the Bakerloo Line.

Bushey remains as a busy Overground station though with services to Tring, Watford Junction and London Euston.

Services there are operated by both London Overground and London Northwestern Railway.

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