Site: Oakwood Station (1 memorial)
N14, Branley Road
This long inscription includes the intriguing text "When the station opened in 1933 a commemorative bronze plaque was fixed to the ticket hall wall claiming 'This station is the highest point in Europe in a direct line west of the Ural Mountains in Russia'".
This is a very odd fact to put on a plaque in 1933. Is it even true? This topographic map shows that the station is at 282 (or being generous and taking the top of the hills just to the east) 318 feet. Going west you pass over mainly low-lying parts of England (apart from Epping, parts of which are at 397) , and then the famously low Low Countries. After that a westerly route would have to cross land which is generally above 400 feet, up to at least 900 feet. Perhaps there is a line which would pass along valleys, etc. but it seems very unlikely.
So we doubt the truth of the statement, and wonder whether the plaque ever existed at all. Did some joker in the modern-day plaque-creating team win a dare?
2023: Stephen Brasher (who is clearly as intrigued by this height factoid as we are) wrote: "I'm looking at the newspaper archive for 1933 and have found a piece referring to the new Enfield West station which states as part of the general description " ...is situated at a height of 275 feet above sea level on the ridge which divides Enfield from Barnet..". (Richmond Herald 15th April 1933). So it does look like something was made of this fact at the time. It seems it was linked very closely with the housebuilding that accompanied the building of the extension. At least one of the adverts for the new housing trumpeted as one of the benefits something along the lines of ‘a panoramic view that will never be changed’.