I realised I’d had it easy up till now, experiencing no real problems finding a station beginning with letters A to H. Finding a station beginning with I was a little more challenging. I did however have a stroke of luck. We had a wedding to attend in London and that meant I could widen my search area. Hence I stumbled upon I for Iver. It is west of London, on the GWR mainline, some 14 miles from Paddington. I did some homework on Iver and failed to come up with anything that would entice my wife to accompany me on the journey so instead she spent the morning at the V&A museum and I headed out to Iver.
If I told you how I had tried to sell the idea of Iver to my wife you may begin to understand why I failed. Firstly I’d had to admit that the train station isn’t in Iver at all and she faced a walk to get to the town. Then I described Pinewood Studios (but we weren’t allowed in there) and Heatherden Hall, a mansion where the agreement to form the Irish Free State happened to be signed (don’t think we are allowed in there either), and Richings Park which is where RAF Bomber Command used to be briefly in WWII before it was destroyed – can’t go there wither as it has been developed into housing. And that’s why I went on my own.
The was construction work ongoing at Iver station when I arrived. May be it was all part of the handover of the station from GWR to Crossrail. It certainly had me confused when I was looking for the Sidetracked – Iver geocache. I found the Grand Union canal and went for a stroll along it but to be hones canals don’t look their best in February, all rather grey. From there I headed the half mile north towards the town centre. I stopped off to explore St Peter’s church and read a bit about its history which goes all the way back to Saxon times. The history included the interesting fact that in the Eighteenth Century the churchwarden made payments for killing a wide range of ‘vermin’ —polecats, stoats, hedgehogs (porpentines), and sparrows.
From the church I headed north up Swan Lane to find a couple more geocaches and admire the houses. Returning to the church I then went west into the centre of Iver. If I’m being honest with you I don’t find a lot there to explore or write about. The old pub looks nice, there is a village sign and the local restaurant try and make a play on words with their names. I wandered back to the churchyard and ate my lunch musing on what other properties in the town may have been called. Would the GP have been Iver Temperature and the dentist Iver Toothache?
I scampered back down to the station, caught the train back to Paddington where I met my wife before we caught the train back to Cardiff.
Date of visit: 25 February 2019
See progress to date: A-Z of Railway Stations