Mostly Tidy But Ends In Chaos

INTRODUCTION

The title for this post comes from a cryptic clue in Saturday’s Times Crossword (I was solving the ordinary clues but noticed this particular clue). I will give the full clue and its solution at the end of the post.

FROM PURPLE TO GREY VIA BROWN

The station that answers the clue was opened as a Metropolitan line station in 1880, then in 1939 the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line opened, and in 1940 Metropolitan line services were withdrawn from this station. In 1979  the Jubilee line was opened, comprising new track from Charing Cross to Baker Street and then taking over the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line. This station is connected to a large depot.

It serves a residential area which contains very little of note.

Here are some map pictures for you:

The modern connections of our station.
The modern connections of our station.
From the digrammatic history.
From the digrammatic history.
The first o two pictures from its days as a Metropolitan line station.
The first o two pictures from its days as a Metropolitan line station.

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THE FULL CLUE AND SOLUTION

The full clue read “An area of London, mostly tidy but ends in chaos”. The solution is a place that starts with the first three letters of the word ‘neat’ and finishes with the letters of ‘ends’ shuffled about – Neasden, home to to a major depot and nothing else of significance.

Amazing & Extraordinary London Underground Facts – Book Review

INTRODUCTION

I spotted this book in King’s Lynn library and of course had to take it out. Here is the front cover:

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OVERALL IMPRESSION

The book is crammed with interesting information,  and covers every line in detail as well as going over the history and some of pre-history of London Underground. I am very glad that I did borrow it, and have enjoyed dipping into it on a regular basis while it is in my possession. However, I have some…

QUIBBLES

I am going to start with the coverage of the East London line (which was still part of London Underground when the book was published although it is not now). In covering this line Mr Halliday states tat the Brunel tunnel under the Thames is the oldest object on the system having opened as a pedestrian tunnel in 1843. I have no quibble with his dating of the tunnel, but the stations that now form the northern end of the High Barnet branch of the Northern line opened as main-line railway in 1842, one year earlier than the pedestrian tunnel.

When covering the Central line Mr Halliday fails to mention that original eastern extension of that line beyond Liverpool Street did not end as it does today at Epping, but continued to Ongar (this is another former main line railway incorporated into London Underground, and opened in that guise in 1856). This leads me to another minor area of disappointment:

OVER-ORTHODOXY

In talking about the early history of the Metropolitan Mr Halliday mentions the Brill branch and the envisaged extension of this branch to Oxford but does not seem to consider that by opening up connections at both ends this could actually have boosted the use of the line. Similarly, when mentioning the former Aldwych branch of the Piccadilly line he does not consider the possible use of this under-used branch as a starting point for an extension into southeast London and west Kent. As mentioned above I regard the failure to even mention the stations beyind Epping on the Central line as inexcusable, and this too could be a discussion point – in my own post on the Central line I have advocated an extension to Chelmsford and another connection to mainline railways. Nevertheless, for all these issues I conclude this post (apart from some more pictures) by restating that this is a very useful and interesting little book.

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Wigmore Hall

INTRODUCTION

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!).

WIGMORE HALL

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:

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GETTING THERE

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.

 

Student Central

INTRODUCTION

On Saturday I attended an event at Student Central, formerly known as the University of London Union (ULU), on Malet Street – for more details please click here. Student Central is walkable from many stations, and as it is far more than just a student venue, this post aims to set out these various connections.

STATIONS FROM WHICH IT IS WALKABLE

Student Central is walkable from the following stations:

OTHER CONNECTIONS

For those coming into London from outside, the best routes from the main places at which you would arrive and which are not within walking distance are:

  • Finsbury Park if on a stopper from Cambridge or Peterborough – straight choice between Victoria to Euston or Piccadilly to Russell Square
  • Moorgate – Metropolitan/ Circle/ Hammersmith & City to Euston Square or Northern to Euston
  • Liverpool Street – Metropolitan/ Circle/ Hammersmith & City to Euston Square or Central to Tottenham Court Road.
  • Fenchurch Street – Circle line to Euston Square.
  • London Bridge – Northern line to Euston
  • Victoria (including the Coach Station) – Victoria line to Warren Street
  • Waterloo – Northern to Tottenham Court Road
  • Paddington – Hammersmith and City to Euston Square – do not be tempted by the fact that the District & Circle lines have a station officially designated as Paddington – the Hammersmith and City platforms are structurally part of the main station.
  • Marylebone – walk to Baker Street and get and eastbound train to Euston Square.

Here to end this post is a map showing Student Central…

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Tottenham Court Road

INTRODUCTION

I used this station on my way back from an event I attended at Student Central, Malet Street, London this Saturday (click here for more details).

PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Tottenham Court Road station opened as part of the Central London Railway, now the Central line, in 1900. In 1907 the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway, now the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line, opened a station called Oxford Street, which was renamed Tottenham Court Road to match the CLR station in 1908. The site has been the subject of extensive building works as part of the creation of what will now be called the Elizabeth line, but which was originally known as East-West Crossrail in its planning stages and then as Crossrail.

This will be a link route, approaching London from the direction of Reading, with a tunnel section through central London and then taking over the existing TFL route to Shenfield, from where trains will be able to run to various destinations in further flung parts of the East of England (and mutatis mutandis for the Reading end of the plan and Western England and Wales).

A scheme that started life three decades ago as a plan for new tube line between Hackney and Chelsea will in due time become a second cross-rail scheme linking the southwestern main line railways with those to the northeast of the capital.

As part of all these goings on Tottenham Court Road now has two smart and futuristic new surface buildings.

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To finish this post here are a couple of map sections…

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Above the Piccadilly Line (Posters)

INTRODUCTION

On Saturday I had cause to be in London for the day (click here for more details). Engineering works interfered with my journey, and finding myself on a stopping train I alighted at Finsbury Park to change to the Piccadilly line.

A NEW POSTER THAT STIRRED A MEMORY

The first southbound train that arrived was doing so after a significant break, and was therefore packed. Following my own advice tendered in a comment posted on Charlotte Hoather’s blog I therefore waited for the next train, which was following hard upon the heels of the packed one and duly got a seat. Just inside the train I noticed this poster…

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Which reminded me more than a little of this one in my posession…

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My replica of an old poster is larger and more detailed but covers a smaller area, stopping short at Hammersmith rather than featuring Heathrow. The basic idea, of showing people what is available directly above the line on which they are travelling is common to both posters. I feel that for all the comparatively small size of the modern poster only showing the Science Museum for South Kensington is reprehensible – both the other museums should certainly be shown and possibly the Royal College of Music as well. That said, there should be more such posters – every line should feature one. Here to finish is a juxtaposition picture…

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The Museum of London

INTRODUCTION

In this post I will talking about a well known London attraction and giving some information about its transport connections.

THE MUSEUM

This museum contains artefacts from the whole of London’s history and has some stuff from longer ago than that. I visited this museum many times when I lived in London. I will mention three highlights, a window that looks out on to a section of the Roman walls, a cross section of a street from the surface downwards, showing where stuff of various ages is to be found and the Lord Mayor of London’s carriage, which is on display there except when it is out on parade. This latter gives me on opportunity to advertise publicly a London Transport themed poster which is lot 737 in James and Sons’ October auction (Wednesday 26th, The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich – starts at 10AM, so this item will go under the hammer at about 3PM, if you would like to bid online click here).

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS
FOR THE MUSEUM OF LONON

This post will finish with a map showing where the museum is located. It is effectively in the centre of a triangle formed by Barbican (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle), Moorgate (Northern, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle, mainline railways) and St Paul’s (Central). For those visiting from outside London, according to where you arrive my suggestions would be as follows:

  • Euston – choose between heading for the Northern line, Bank branch and travelling to Moorgate or crossing Euston Road to Euston Square station and getting an eastbound train to Barbican.
  • Marylebone – take the short walk to Baker Street and get and eastbound train to Barbican
  • Paddington – head for the Hammersmith and City line platforms, which are structurally part of the main station and get an eastbound train to Barbican (do not be tempted by the District and Circle line platforms, which are so far distant that they should not be classed as part of the same station).
  • If you arrive by coach: some inbound coaches to London call at Marble Arch, in which case you can take an eastbound Central line train to St Pauls, otherwise you will arrive at Victoria Coach Station, in which case…
  • Victoria – while you could travel round the Circle line it would be quicker to take the Victoria line to King’s Cross and change, either to get a Hammersmith & City/ Circle/ Metropolitan train to Barbican or a Northern line train to Moorgate.
  • Waterloo/Waterloo East/ Charing Cross: another two way choice – the Jubilee line to Baker Street and change to an eastbound train to Barbican or take the Waterloo & City to Bank and change to the Northern or Central lines for the journey to St Pauls or Moorgate respectively. Please note that given that the station there is on the wrong branch of the Northern and the Bakerloo lines you are indubitably better off walking across the Thames to Waterloo to begin your underground journey (although north along to the northern to Tottenham Court Road and changing to the Central line is a possibility).
  • London Bridge: Northern to Moorgate (a mere two stops, definitely not worth changing to the Central at Bank, especially given the labyrinthine layout of that station).
  • Fenchurch Street: get a Circle line train round to Moorgate (you do not save enough walking time for the extra stop to Barbican to be worth it).
  • Liverpool Street: you could simply walk from here, but a westbound Circle/Metropolitan/ Hammersmith & City line train to Moorgate is also a possible (the descent to the Central line is not worthwhile IMO).
  • Moorgate: you are already there, but there is a point of interest – the section of line from Finsbury Park to Moorgate has twice been part of London Underground, once administered as part of the Metropolitan line and once as part of the Northern line.

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The Institute of Education

INTRODUCTION

This post features a London landmark which is particularly well served by public transport. There will be links to several other posts in appropriate places, and I have a couple of satellite maps to share as well.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE

Although it was independent for a long time, the Institute of Education is now part of University College London’s (UCL) seemingly ever expanding empire (UCL owned/ run buildings nowadays occupy a significant proportion of Bloomsbury). More information about what is generally available at this particular site can be found here. Although I visited the institute a few times in connection with an autism research project for which I was a subject my main involvement with the place has been by way of the Marxism Festival which has made use of this building for all save a few of the years since I first attended it (in 1995, when I was on the team). Back then we used only three venues in the building for meetings, the Logan, Jeffery and Elvin halls. This year, when the institute was one of only two buildings used for the festival (the other bieng the Royal National Hotel, across Bedford Way) these venues were augmented as meeting rooms by Clarke Hall, Nunn Hall, and various rooms on the upper floors (including one set aside as a designated quiet space). For more about the most recent incarnation of this festival click here.

THE TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS

While the closest station by some margin is Russell Square on the Piccadilly line, Euston and Euston Square are both also within ten minutes walk (Northern, Victoria, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, London Overground and National Rail between them), with Warren Street (Northern and Victoria) and Goodge Street (Northern) also near at hand, and King’s Cross comfortably walkable (as I can confirm from experience). In addition to the above, Euston station has out front what is effectively a bus station, and buses travel from there to most parts of London.

TWO SATELLITE VIEWS

To end this post here are two satellite views obatined by use of google maps, first one showing the transport connections in the close vicinity of the building:

IOE and local stations.

And a closer view shwoing the building in more detail:

IOE Close Up

The institute numbers its floors (or levels as they call them), starting at 1 and ascending. Bedford Way adjoins level three, while the courtyard on the other side gives access to level four.

A Topiary Roundel

INTRODUCTION

The roundel, used in various colour schemes to denote aspects of London Transport is oine of the most famous symbols on the planet, and this post features one highly unusual example.

HORTICULTURAL DISPLAY IN CENTRAL LONDON

This little piece of topiary sits just outside Euston station, on one of the busiest streets in Britain’s busiest city…

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