The Meeting Place in London


Not being able to travel for some time now, I decided to review my favourite photographs made while travelling in recent years. This one I made while I spent several hours at St. Pancras International (London) 2015 stuck there during transit to Luton airport. With much time to spare but not enough to sightsee London at some other place on a rainy day, I had plenty of time to make the perfect shot. It was one of those occasions when you can make a couple of photos, go elsewhere, come back later and try again till you have this one in your camera.


The Meeting Place, a statue at St. Pancras International railway station, London.


The official name of this nine-meter tall bronze statue by Paul Day is ‘the Meeting Place’. The statue is situated directly at the front of the Eurostar platform at the St. Pancras station upper floor. You can see it when you get out of the train and head towards the exit, but you do not realize how huge it is till you get closer and closer to it. Only when you approach it directly, you have to hold your head up tight. Behind the statue, you can admire the internal facade of the magnificent building of St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel built Victorian style.

St. Pancras International in London is one of the most beautiful railway stations in Europe. While making all those photographs there, I had an opportunity to sightsee it thoroughly inside and outside. The station is hosting Eurostar trains on its first floor with the entrance situated at the ground floor, Thameslink connections situated underground, and high-speed trains with platforms situated at the ground floor close to the exit from which you can see another famous London railway station which is the Kings Cross railway station. It is practically located across the street from the St. Pancras station. You can take from there trains heading to many other directions … as well as visit Platform 9 and 3/4 boutique with plenty of souvenirs from the Harry Potter world >>>.

The Meeting Place statue was unveiled a decade ago during the re-opening ceremony of the station after it was carefully refurbished, and at the same time the official launch of the Eurostar trains in London. Eurostar trains are high-speed trains that connect London directly with Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Standing just beneath the statue you can well observe people ascending and descending Eurostar trains. Watching people getting in and out of the Eurostar trains, I was thinking to myself ‘someday maybe’. And a year later after a week spent in Northern France, I decided to leave my company earlier and … on the way home make a detour via London taking, of course, the Eurostar train. From London to Paris it took me only slightly above two hours. Even if I counted in the time needed for the check-in at Gare du Nord in Paris (it is still international travel beyond Schengen), it was the fastest way to travel between those cities.

On that day I managed to eat for breakfast in Paris, make some beautiful shots at the Louvre in the morning light, be on Champs Elysees around noon, come back to my hotel to pick my bag and later catch a train to London, arrive in London just in time for lunch, visit the Platform 9 3/4 boutique, take a train to Luton and catch a plane. After less than three hours I was eating for dinner with my parents in Warsaw.

As I was descending the Eurostar train at St. Pancras I was hoping to have a good view of the Meeting Place statue. But I was wrong. To get to the exit from the platform, you have to take moving stairs that take you from the first floor to the ground floor. Going closer to the statue, you simultaneously get lower, so you lose the view. To have the best view of the statue, you have simply to stand beneath.