Quite liked the above sign from the tube, as it says please support the buskers "in the usual way", what's that the tube officially acknowledging a formerly illegal practice or supporting an illegal practice as "usual". I'm confused!!!????
OH JOY - Just stumbled across the author Neil Gaiman's blog. Neil wrote the truly bizarre and imaginative book and TV series Neverwhere about a strange underground world which features characters named after tube stations. In London Below, feudal law rules, and all sorts of creatures exist. It is a fantasy world with mythic beasts and people wearing Victorian clothes, and speaking in the appropriate Victorian tongue - rather like the history of the tube itself.
Saw my first official London Underground busker at Piccadilly Circus. It was quite weird really as I could hear some really loud music and I thought, wow - whoever that busker is, has managed to smuggle some top speakers onto the corridors. Wonder if it's an official one? And lo and behold it was. In fact two tube staff had just finished taking some official pictures of him and where clearing away their tripod when I walked past.
The busker himself was playing guitar and was quite good. He was on a little semi circular picture of a wooden floor trying to give the impression that he was on stage and Carling's logo's were stamped across the "floor". So it would appear that the bottom of the escalator on leaving Piccadilly Circus from the Piccadilly Line is an official busking position.
I'm waiting to see the first "wars" between official and unofficial ones......watch this space.
However the BBC website which reports the news is pondering for a new commercial use for the 75 year old service. Looking at the picture of it above, nothing immediately springs to mind apart from giving a tube system to mice. As it only seems large enough to carry midget sized people. It would also keep the mice in Anthea Turner's books happy.
PS .....Totally not tube related but too funny not to mention in passing. United Kingdom nil points Eurovision Song Contest 2003 Results - I can't stop laughing.
Anyway the auditons or the busking will be sponsored by Carling. Good one. Basically if you drink enough Carling lager you will develop a mad urge to sing "Streets of London" or "Wonderwall" to complete strangers whilst strumming away on an out of tune guitar.
"Going Underground again. And here is Annie Mole's Going Underground Weblog. Annie is the webmaster of the 'Going Underground' website and is now probably mad at me because I questioned the aesthetics of the main site. The blog looks great, though!
Mad, moi???? Oi matey, "content is king" allright - yep I'm crap at web design, yep the site takes ages to load, but hey if someone wants to redesign the whole site for free I'd be happy to let anyone have a go. Seriously, no offence taken. Glad people find what they want from the site even if they have to search a bit and get used to the navigation (don't say what navigation?)
I must apologize to Jag Minhas who sent me a link to his story about it taking him 9 hours to get home on the day before I broke my leg. It was the night (30th Jan 2003) that London got 4 centremetres of snow and ground to a standstill. People were stuck on motorways for hours and many people at my office the following day had tales of how it took them hours to get home too. I broke my leg in two places the following day and the world took a bit of a back seat when I wallowed in the fact that I would be in plaster and using crutches for the next six weeks.
So to recitify the balance all power to Jag Minhas who has complained to everyone you could possibly think of to try to find out why it took him 9 hours to get home. He's written to London Transport, Mayor Ken Livingstone, and even the Met Weather office and he's published all the replies on his site
Jag said: "I have emailed just about everybody who I think are representative of the collective responsibility of transport systems of London. I even emailed Annie Mole - the spiritual thought leader of the London Underground system - but apart from a couple of politically spun responses from Mayor Ken�s office - I have had little back from anybody. Alas - it seems nobody is interested."
Since then Jag has had a number of responses, so people are interested in a way, but possibly not prepared to do anything about it.
Well Jag I hope this entry has helped a few others to see your efforts now and it's great that your site has had many visitors from around the world. Give Grumbletext a try too - let's shame the system into some action.