tourlondon – a new link for this site


I received an email today about a site called tourlondon, asking me to link to them, which I am delighted to do. This little piece, in addition to the links I have put in on the home page is to set the stage for introducing you to more of their stuff. 


Here is a screenshot of the of the top portion of the homepage of this site:

I am delighted to connect with this site, which looks excellent to me, and I look forward to working with them in future.

The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre


This post came about because I was given a horse brass that relates to this establishment. I will explain in the course of the post my justification for including it on a site devoted to London Underground. 


It was only natural that I should check further for details of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. I discovered that it is based in Aylesbury and that it looks like an excellent museum. Click on the picture below to visit their website:


So what is this attraction doing on this site? There are two linked justifications for its inclusion. In my post about the Metropolitan line I have referred to the fact that that line once extended a lot further than it now does. Even after the sections beyond Aylesbury were closed, Metropolitan line trains continued to serve Aylesbury until the 1960s. In my post about the Central line I went in to detail about my vision of a London Orbital Railway. 


The Metropolitan line in its glory days.


In my vision the Metropolitan line would be pared back to the Uxbridge branch and the Chesham branch, the latter extended to Tring, with the Watford branch being wholly incorporated into the Orbital Railway, and the Amersham branch forming the start of a northwestern spur from the Orbital Railway which would extend to the old terminus at Brill, and thence to Oxford to link up with mainline railways there. There would possibly also be scope for reviving the old Verney Junction branch and extending to Milton Keynes, although with the Watford link this is very much an additional option rather than a central part of the vision.

As part of the Oxford spur there could be a station specifically for the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, with tickets to that station including admission to the railway centre – after all how better to arrive at a railway centre than by train arriving at a station that is structurally part of the centre? 

Here is a second picture of that horse brass:



The inspiration for this post came from a post on estersblog, which I link to by way of one of her splendid pictures at the end of this introduction. I will briefly mention by name all the stations that are within walking distance of Greenwich proper (North Greenwich, in spite of the second part of it’s name does not count), then I will provide links to some of the main sites that Greenwich has to offer, and I will conclude by describing a hypothetical day trip from King’s Lynn, where I now live to Greenwich.



When the Docklands Light Railway first opened its southern terminus was Island Gardens, thought it has subsequently been extended south, via a new station at Cutty Sark to Lewisham. In addition to Island Gardens and Cutty Sark there are two mainline railway stations which are within walking distance of these attractions, Greenwich and Maze Hill. Having paid lip service to all four stations, and acknowledging the value of Cutty Sark station for those whose mobility is restricted, I serve notice that only two of these stations will receive further mention.


The whole area deserves to be explored properly, but here are four places particularly worthy of mention:

  1. The Cutty Sark – how many ships get to have a station named in their honour? This tea clipper well repays a visit and is a good starting point. For more about this attraction click on the image below to visit the official website.
    Cutty Sark
  2. The Gipsy Moth pub. Right by the Cutty Sark is a high quality pub where you can take refreshment before heading off to the other attractions. Click the picture below to find out more at their website:
    Pub in Greenwich
  3. The National Maritime Museum – set in a lovely area of parkland that also includes my final attraction, this museum has added many new exhibits since my last visit. Click on the image below to visit their website:
    A detail from 'Emma Hart as Circe' by George Romney ©Tate, London 2016
  4. Last but by no means least of the Greenwich fab four is the Royal Observatory which also now houses the London Planetarium (and if the latter is as good as it was in its Baker Street days you are in for a real treat). Click on the image below, which I took as part of my paid employment while imaging an old album that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons’ April auction, to visit the website:


While there is little to be done about the King’s Lynn to London and back element of the journey except hope that there are not too many disruptions, there are lots of public transport options for getting to and from Greenwich, and this section of the post gives a route with a couple of variations that involves no going back the way we came. 

Alighting at King’s Cross, I would head down to the Northern line platforms and get a southbound train to Bank, where I would change to the Docklands Light Railway and travel to Island Gardens (not Cutty Sark), from where I would start the pedestrian section of my journey. Alighting at Island Gardens, no longer satisfactory as in the days of the original elevated terminus, I would pass under the Thames, by way of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to arrive at my first attraction, the Cutty Sark.

Once I had finished looking round the Cutty Sark I would head to the nearby Gipsy Moth pub for a pint of something decent before heading to the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory in that order. If possible I would sample the Planetarium while there.

For the journey back to King’s Cross I would head to Greenwich railway station, take a train to London Bridge, where I would head for the Jubilee line and catch a train heading in the direction of Stanmore. There are three possibilities for completing the circuit to King’s Cross from here:

  1. The quickest option, but also the one I would be least likely to take, would be to change at Green Park to the Victoria line (the interchange is long and often unpleasantly crowded, as is the equally possible interchange to the Piccadilly line at this same station) and travel north to King’s Cross.
  2. The middle option, and the one that I would be likeliest to take, is to travel along the Jubilee line as far as Baker Street and then ascend the escalator to the Metropolitan/ Circle/ Hammersmith and City line platforms, travelling east from there to King’s Cross.
  3. If time allowed and I was feeling so inclined I might stay on the Jubilee line until Finchley Road and make the cross-platform interchange to the Metropolitan line there.


Here to end the post are some maps:

We start with a picture showing the Docklands Light Railway and it’s connections, as this line bulks large in the story of this post.
This picture shows the whole area featured in my hypothetical day trip.
A close up of the area of interest from a public transport point of view.
A close up photo of part an old A-Z map page.



The Archaeology of the Elizabeth Line (nee Crossrail) – Video


The good folk at the Museum of London, easily walkable from St Pauls (Central line) and Moorgate (Northern, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and mainline railways) are running an exhibition on the the archaeology of the Elizabeth line, which is built on an East-West axis through London and because of its depth also cuts vertically through millennia of fascinating history. As an introduction to this new exhibition they have produced a spectacular…




For more about this fascinating new exhibition and about tunnel archaeology please visit the appropriate page on the Museum of London’s website by clicking here.

Big Wheels Old and New


This post was inspired by a number of lots that will be featuring in James and Sons’ next auction (20th – 22nd February, 1st two days at James and Sons’ premises in Fakenham, third day at The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich).


This structure, from the top of which Windsor Castle was visible on a good day, was open between 1895 and 1906 (hence the green coloured heading – it closed before the Piccadilly line opened,m meaning that the only public transport link would have been the District line). More about this wheel can be found here.

Lots 1286-90 inclusive and also lots 1294-5 in the auction are tokens/ medallions from this wheel’s period of operation…

If this gallery has tickled your fancy, a click on the image of lot 1286 reproduced below will take you to a full auctuion catalogue:

Lot 1286


The nearest experience to this you can enjoy in the capital today is on the London Eye, which is near Waterloo, and hence can be reached on the Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines, as well as mainline, national and international railways and by boat.

For more on today’s version of a gigantic wheel visit the official website.

Wigmore Hall


This post is inspired by Charlotte Hoather who has just produced a blog about attending two concerts at this venue, of which I also have fond memories. She was able to take advantage of an offer whereby she gained admission to these concerts for £5 each because of a Sunday offer which is open to people under 35 (alas, no bargain admission for me these days!).


This venue is located very close to Bond Street station (Central, Jubilee and when it finally opens Elizabeth (aka crossrail) line), and is also close to a number of other stations. Here, courtesy of google maps, are a couple of pictures:

wh-map whpic


You will note from the map above that as well as Bond Street, Baker Street, Regents Park and Oxford Circus are all within easy walking distance of Wigmore Hallwhich gives the following connections instantly:

Baker Street: Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, plus Marylebone mainline railway station.

Regents Park: Bakerloo line.

Oxford Circus: Bakerloo line, Central line, Victoria line

These connections leave three London Underground lines uncovered:

Piccadilly line: depending on the direction you are coming from either change to the Jubilee at Green Park or to the Central at Holborn and head to Bond Street.

Northern line: This one is trickier because there many different possibiities, but boiling it down I would say that if coming from either of the two branches at the northern end of the line get on a Charing Cross branch train and change at Tottenham Court Road to the Central line, if starting from a station at the Bank branch other than Bank (in which case get the central line) or London Bridge (in which case get the Jubilee line) change at London Bridge (Jubilee route is quicker than Central) to the Jubilee line (nb, given the number of extra stops and the fact that you would be alighting at a less close station it is not worth changing to the Bakerloo at Elephant & Castle, although the non-change route from that station merits consideration. Finally, if coming from the southern end of the line there is no question: Change at Stockwell and take a Victoria line train to Oxford Circus.

District line: At the extreme eastern end of the line a change to the Jubilee line at West Ham is obvious, while if slightly less far east the cross-platform change to the Central line at Mile End is recommended. If approaching from the West or Centre a change at Westminster to the Jubilee line will serve. Finally, if you are on the Edgware Road branch a change at Notting Hill Gate to the Central line is a possibility, as is a change at Edgware Road to go east to Baker Street – do not be tempted by the supposed interchanges at Paddington, the District & Circle line platforms with this designation are Paddington in name only.

Leaving aside Marylebone which is already accounted for, the main arrival points into London have connections as follows:

King’s Cross: Either Circle/ Hammersmith and City/ Metropolitan to Baker Street or Victoria to Oxford Circus.

Euston: Victoria to Oxford Circus.

Paddington: Hammersmith and City to Baker Street (the Bakerloo line route is one stop more and the platforms are further away, since those of the Hammersmith and City line are structurally part of the main station).

Victoria including coach station: Victoria line to Oxford Circus.

Waterloo: Jubilee line to Bond Street

Blackfriars: District/ Circle to Westminster and change to the Jubilee line.

London Bridge: Jubilee line to Bond Street

Fenchurch Street: District/ Circle from Tower Hill to Westminster, change to the Jubilee line

Liverpool Street: Central line to Bond Street or Circle/ Hammersmith and City/ Metropolitan line to Baker Street.

Moorgate: Circle/ Hammersmith and City/ Metropolitan to Baker Street.