Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Sounds of the Underground

LU150 typeIt was hearing a song this morning that reminded me that today is the 150th birthday of the London Underground.

When I lived in the South East of England I was a daily visitor  to London. I daily caught the train to London from where I lived in Surrey and once I arrived at Waterloo I made a mad dash to the tube station.

Down the escalator I would rush to await the arrival of a tube going my direction. The warmth, even in the coldest of weathers was almost too warm, the sound of the tube approaching the station and the swoosh as the tube left the station. Recordings of "Mind the Gap" which emulated from the announcement system at The Embankment are all recognised signs with London.

Working in London all day and then more than likely having to stand on the way home because the train was full was fairly wearing and before long I was seeking accommodation near my place of work.  I never travelled into the City without my trusty tube map and from the state of the one that lives my study I think it could be 20 years old!

I loved living in London, I loved the busyness of the City, the accessibility to everywhere. It is probably the thing I miss most about living 200 miles south west.

There is a London Transport Museum which has for sale various items relating to the Underground, photos, maps, mugs and of course books. I recall when there was a series of poems was published and then they were displayed upon the inside of the tubes for passengers to read. This has since been published into a book, Poems of the Underground

A friend lent me some time ago a book which is based upon a game called Mornington Crescent. I have to say, I returned the book about a year later and was still none of the wiser, so if anyone happens to know of the game please let me know.

A very interesting article was published today in the Financial Times which gives some statistical and historical information.


  1. What a fun post! Thank you so much--I enjoyed every word and the postcard was quite interesting to my eyes.

  2. Yes. It's the smells I remember most about the underground when I worked in London. 150 years worth of grime and machinery. It sounds horrible, yet I loved the excitement the odour generated.


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