Zone 6

Yes, another oneWelcome to the other end of the line.

The terminus at Uxbridge was conceived and designed to mirror that at Cockfosters, so it makes sense for me to salute them sequentially.

There are differences between the two, but not substantially. Uxbridge is slightly taller and longer than its crosstown cousin, but keeps the same overall shape and sensibility. Statistically it is four times busier than Cockfosters, but is still just as elegant and, despite the hubbub, just as atmospheric:

IlluminatingI know I’m a sappy simpleton, but I find the way these massed ranks of regal arches diminish and fade into the distance really rather special.

If you can forget the bustle and sidestep the people loitering not for a train, or to meet someone, but just for the sake of it, there’s a bewitching ambience to Uxbridge station.

The presence of stained glass, which I’ve already mentioned, makes the whole place feel slightly hallowed. Except nobody departs to another life, or a hole in the ground, from Uxbridge; the most they can hope for is a swift connection to Rayners Lane.

Go in peaceUnlike Cockfosters, this isn’t the one and only station building to have existed in this location – or to be precise, in and around this location.

The first incarnation of Uxbridge station was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in 1904, north of where it is now. The second and current incarnation dates from 1938. Regular readers will have no trouble guessing whose estimable hands were responsible for drawing up the blueprints.

Holden back the yearsDespite being dozens of miles and countless stations apart, Uxbridge and Cockfosters help remind you what the Underground is and always should be: one network, serving one London, whose similarities are greater and stronger than what many, especially London’s one newspaper, would often have you believe.

Colour me smittenI think this might be the only station on the Underground that has stained glass (though I’m more than happy to be proved wrong).

The three panels sit above the exit and are only visible to people leaving the station: a fitting location for what is essentially a translucent multi-coloured equivalent of a “Welcome to Uxbridge” slogan:

Which window shall we go through today?They were created by the Hungarian artist Ervin Bossányi, who emigrated to the UK in 1934: just four years before Uxbridge station was rebuilt in its present form to a design by Charles Holden.

During a hugely successful career in this country Bossányi would make stained glass for, among others, the University of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum and York Minster.

But the three designs he produced for Holden must count statistically as his most viewed – and perhaps simultaneously, like Oliver Hill’s bus station at Newbury Park and Eric Aumonier’s archer at East Finchley, his most under-appreciated, by virtue of their home being not an imperious seat of learning or popular tourist attraction but an ordinary railway terminus.

Of course I would argue that Uxbridge is anything but ordinary, and I’ll return to rave about some of its other stunning features another time.

For now I’ll merely sing the praises of this trio of handsome gems, which depict, from left to right: the arms of the old Middlesex County Council, an institution abolished by Tory minister Keith Joseph in the early 1960s; the arms of the Basset family, esteemed local landowners of centuries’ standing; and a historic emblem of Buckinghamshire.

And were there ever need for a more contemporary representation, may I suggest something to do with Press Gang, which was filmed in Uxbridge and which remains the finest children’s TV drama series ever made.