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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
If you like this you'll LURVE One Stop Short of Barking, the fun and informative book about travelling
on the London Underground.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bob Mazzer Underground Photography Exhibition

Very excited that Bob Mazzer's seminal debut exhibition entitled
Underground opens 12th June 2014 at Howard Griffin Gallery. The exhibition runs until 13th July 2014.

Part of a unique 40 year project, there's something very special about how Mazzer has captured people on the London Underground. "Every day I travelled to King's Cross and back. Coming home late at night, it was like a party and I felt like the Tube was mine and I was there to take the pictures." said Mazzer. "No one ever protested, or ever complained, or ever tried to stop me. So I kind of felt by accident that everyone thought it was cool."

Thanks to camera phones we're very used to personal and intimate shots like this now, but these images with their raw and grainy effect have a retro modern day history book feel to them. Seeing shots of people with cigarettes is reminder of how much the Tube has changed since the eighties. No smoking, no mobiles, no free papers.

Mazzer admits the Tube looked "pretty grotty" when he fist started. "The stations were rough and that has a character which comes over in the pictures. I think people identify with that and it gives it this historical edge." He's a little melancholy about the current system with lights that are "neon and there's no atmosphere."

The Howard Griffin Gallery has salvaged an entire decommissioned Tube carriage from TfL. The seats have been arranged in the gallery to subliminally encourage visitors to recreate the scenes and situations in Mazzer's photographs.

The free exhibition opens at 6pm on 12th June and opening night expected to be very busy. Howard Griffin Gallery, 189 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6HU - nearest station - Shoreditch High Street on the Overground.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 11, 2014 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, January 10, 2014

No Trousers on the Tube Day 2014

Just as the temperatures are falling, true to form it's the fifth, annual
No Trousers on the Tube Ride. Get ready for trouser-less fun on Sunday 12th January 2014. As part of the Global No Pants Subway Ride, last year over 150 brave/chilly travellers made their way around the London Underground sans trousers. This year over 500 people are already signed up to take part.

No Trousers on the Underground 2013 - photo - immiharmz

As usual the requirements are simple:

1) Willingness to take trousers off on the Tube
2) Ablility to keep a straight face about it

Full details are on the Facebook page but in a nutshell the plan is to turn up at an allocated spot in Chinatown at 3pm where you will be divided into groups. The aim is to then travel from Leicester Square Tube and go around another seven zone one stops as nonchalantly & casually as possible with no trousers on.

As Rammi one of the organisers says "You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, “I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt.” Wear two pairs of underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable. Don't wear anything overly close-fitting (so no thongs, banana hammocks or mankinis) or kilts without anything underneath. We don't want people to be disgusted.
We want this event to be fun and safe for everyone, so anybody found to be removing more than their trousers will be kicked off the train and reported to the British Transport Police and station authorities.

No Trousers on the Underground 2013 by Gabi Torres
Even if you're not brave enough to take part, the organisers are welcoming people who want to take pictures or blog about the event.  If that's you, contact Rammi or any of the organisers listed at TheStiffUpperLipSociety

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 10, 2014 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 06, 2014

Tube Kultura - Seven London Underground Mavericks

On Wednesday January 15th 2014 look out for a fun evening of short talks from people who've carried out inspirational activities connected to the London Underground.  Tube Kultura is organised by Andy Green of Tubeinspiration and seven people will each have seven minutes to tell their stories.

I've covered many of them on this blog before and this looks like a great way to see them all in one night for just a fiver.

Shaun Buswell who created an orchestra from strangers who met on the Underground
Geoff Marshall @GeoffTech who holds the current world record for the Tube Challenge 
Adham Fisher @directiontravel who does the Tube Challenge around the world including Paris & Chicago
Ben Langham @benphaze who makes music using sounds from the Underground & wrote a song with every Tube station named in it
Gabrielle McDonald a poet who works on the Underground
David Nevin an artist who works on the Underground - who staged exhibitions of art from London Underground staff
James Wannerton who created a Tube map based on taste.
Andy Green of Tubeinspiration who teaches creativity using the Tube as his classroom

There's also live music from some of the best buskers on the Underground and a free prize draw of a creative thinking training tour of the London Underground courtesy of Tubespiration.

The night runs from 7.30pm-9.30pm on Wednesday January 15th 2014 at Toynbee Studios, Aldgate and you can book tickets here.

You might also like:
Subway Challenge in Chicago
Sounds of the Underground
Tube Staff that make you smile

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 06, 2014 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Decorations on the Tube - 1922

Here's quite possibly the most festive London Underground in carriage decorations you'll see.  Back in 1922 someone had the bright idea to decorate Tube carriages with real Christmas foliage and pine cones.

Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The carriage would have been filled with lots of lovely pine smells. Great way to mask out the normally damp coat / sweaty / smoky Underground odours of the day. Some commuters may have left their journey with pine needles on their hats and coats, but that's a small price to pay for some great festive spirit.

Even with the image
enlarged I can't work out which line this is.  Maybe someone would like to hazard a guess.

Thanks to Georges P for bringing this to my attention who originally saw this on Vintage everyday

Merry Christmas!

; Posted by annie mole Friday, December 20, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Steam Trains on the London Underground - December 2013 Trips

Here's a date for your diaries.  For the first time since 1992 and maybe for the last time ever, London Transport Museum will be running steam trains to Uxbridge along the Metropolitan line on Sunday 8th  December 2013.

The recently restored Metropolitan Locomotive No.1 and the Victorian ‘Jubilee’ carriage 353 will team up for the last time this year in a grande finale to the 150th birthday of the London Underground.

Five special journeys will take place between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Uxbridge.  It's a very rare opportunity to experience steam along this particular route and in all likelihood the last time this will happen on this stretch of the line.

Metropolitan Loco No.1 will pull the train from Harrow-on-the-Hill to Uxbridge, while you'll have the chance to witness the power of a Class 20 diesel on the return leg. You have the choice of making the journey on London Transport Museum’s 1950s ex-British Rail 4TC coaches or the meticulously restored 1892 ‘Jubilee’ carriage.

The video below gives a overview of the restoration of the Jubilee carriage.

There will be five trips with prices as below:

• Metropolitan ‘Jubilee’ carriage 353: £25 (Unfortunately children under the age of 11 aren't allowed to travel in the 353 coach)

• Former British Railways 1950s 4TC carriages: £15

A free limited edition souvenir brochure is included in the price of the ticket. Children under the age of 3 can travel free of charge, but will need to sit on their parent's or guardian’s lap.

Tickets can be booked at London Transport Museum's website or by calling 0207 565 7298.

Related post
Steam Train on the London Underground for 150th Tube Anniversary Celebrations

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, November 10, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Handmade London Underground Line Tube Socks

Like the Tube? Like socks? You'll have seen Tube map socks before, but you can now show your love of the London Underground with socks that match the colours of the Tube's lines.

It came from an idea Kim Walker had a month or so ago, and is now happening - thanks to the people he works with at Mint Digital.

Tube Socks are being handmade in a small factory in the South of Wales as I write this, and they'll be on sale and on your feet just in time for Christmas.

Until then please feel free to share with all your London, Tube and sock loving friends...more news when the shop launches...

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, October 27, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, September 27, 2013

New Tours of Aldwych Underground Station November & December 2013

Some new dates for your diaries!
London Transport Museum are running their highly popular tours of Aldwych Tube Station.  The tours start on 7 November 2013 and run until 1st December 2013 and will involve groups of up to 40 people being escorted by volunteer tour guides into the ticket hall and then down to the platforms and inter-connecting walkways of the disused station.

Aldwych roundel
 Tickets must be booked in advance at www.ltmuseum.co.uk or by calling 020 7565 7298 and cost £25.00 (£20.00 concessions). All tickets include a free entry to London Transport Museum to be used within one month of the stated Aldwych station tour date.  This is definitely an occasion when you should "book early to avoid disappointment".

Alan Perryman's pictures show the popularity of the tours and some of the beautiful old posters still preserved the Tube station walls

100_0140 by Alan Perryman

100_0128 by Alan Perryman

Other photographs from pencefn from previous tours show a view looking south at the Eastern platform and the disused lift shaft.

Eastern platform by pencefn

Bottom of the centre lift shaft by pencefn

Please note you'll need to be reasonably fit to do the tour as there are 160 stairs and no working lift.

More information about the tours can  be found on London Transport Museum's website.
You might also like
Aldwych Tube Station - Blitz Tour
Photos of Ghost Tube Station Brompton Road Tour
Old Tube stations could be Re-Opened 
Old Posters found at Richmond Station
Guided Tours of Tube Poster Artists at Museum Depot Acton

; Posted by annie mole Friday, September 27, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, August 19, 2013

London Underground Pop Up Themed Pub opens in September

More celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the London Underground now include the opportunity to drink in a Tube themed bar.  After a successful pop-up at the London Design Festival last year, Camden Town Brewery are installing a micro-brewery and bar at

Running from  the 19th - 22nd September 2013 you can apply for free tickets for the bar at The New Sorting Office on New Oxford Street.  The pop up bar will be serving the new Metropolitan range of beers named after the first steam trains that ran on the London Underground.  These were especially created for London Transport Museum by Camden Town Brewery.

The bar itself is designed by Michael Sodeau, and will have some wonderful London Underground heritage station tiles on display (which I first heard about on Ian Visits blog)

The tiles look so well suited to pubs, it'll be interesting to see whether they pop up in other pubs around London after this.

Special  LED Lighting, suspended on Underground line coloured textile cables, by Nud Collection, will complete the Tube themed  look as well as seating inspired  by original Underground moquette patterns but given a whole new contemporary feel.

Opening hours for the pub are Thursday 19th - 10am - 8pm, Friday 20th 10am - 7pm, Saturday 21st 10am - 6pm and Sunday 22nd 10am - 4pm.  Don't forget to apply for tickets, rather than simply turning up.  I certainly look forward to enjoying a bottle of Fowler Wheat beer.

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Gordon Ramsay Opens Tube Themed Las Vegas Restaurant
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; Posted by annie mole Monday, August 19, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drive a Cardboard Tube Train

Ever wanted to drive a cardboard Tube train through Kensington and Chelsea?  Sounds improbable. However, you're in luck this weekend as a cardboard train designed by William Alexander will be picking up passengers on a new "spur" linking the District Line to the Central Line. 
It's a free performance piece by Fitzrovia Noir running from Wednesday 24 July to Saturday 27 July, from 10am-11.30pm and 12.30pm-2pm, with 4pm matinees on Wednesday and Friday.

"By ‘picking up’ passengers on this people-powered train along the way, the artist-driver will establish imaginary overground routes through public spaces with an innovation that responds to 150 years of underground travel in the capital." says the blurb for the event.

No booking is required, so if the weather's dry (cardboard trains don't run well in downpours) it should be an interesting experience.

Full details are at Fitzrovia Noir's site or on the Facebook  page for the event.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, July 04, 2013

270 Tube Stations in one A-Z of the Underground Song

The Tube's been referenced countless times in songs. Whether that's generic references such as in James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", The Jam's "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight" or specific stations such as Warwick Avenue. However, there hasn’t been a song to name every single station. Until now.

Image by Adham Fisher

Ben Langham is a London Underground engineer by day and a station music master by night. He collects recordings behind the scenes of the Tube – sometimes from  hidden tunnels and disused  – and transforms them into songs for his
Tunnel Sounds project. I blogged about his unique concept some while back but it also caught the attention of BBC Breakfast and CBS News.

For the 150th anniversary of the London Underground Ben felt this called for something very special. A-Z Of The Underground is a hypnotic one-off piece interchanging hip-hop and electronica featuring Kate Mullins (Puppini Sisters), Jaggi and AFS.

Real sounds recorded on the Tube have been edited and layered together with guitars, bass and punctual production based around the Central Line of rhythmic vocals acknowledging all 270 stations. The song can be downloaded for free, or however much people want to pay for a limited time only

So next  time you take the Tube, listen to this audio tour of the tunnels and you might end up with plenty of extra spring in your Stepney.

You might also like
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Cally Road Tube Artist Inspires Song
Kim Wilde serenades train commuters  

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, July 04, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, June 24, 2013

Heathrow Express Celebrates 15th Birthday with giant train shaped cake

While the London Underground is celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Heathrow Express celebrated its 15th birthday with the aid of some cake.  A large train sized cake.  Coming in at 4 metres long, 1.5 x 4m x 2m and taking over 30 hours to install it was on display at Paddington station today.

A team of 15 bakers used  industrial cake mixers, copper moulds, blowtorches and spirit levels to engineer the cake in-situ at the station. It's made of sponge, fondant icing and chocolate.

Keith Greenfield, Managing Director of Heathrow Express said: “Building an enormous carriage-shaped cake with its flavours inspired by the Heathrow Express journey felt like a fitting way to celebrate our 15 years of service. We hope that passengers are able to enjoy a slice as they pass through on their way to or from the airport.”

Come on TfL now it's your turn to make a replica Tube train cake for your anniversary celebrations.  

Imperial Mint Wharf Cake - Gary Morrisroe
Photos by Gary Morrisroe 

We had a giant cake Tube map a few years ago for National Baking Week and perhaps the cake could be installed at Swiss Roll Cottage station, or maybe Victoria sponge Tube or even Charing Hot Cross Bun station.

Related posts
Tube Train Cake
Tube Map made from Cake

; Posted by annie mole Monday, June 24, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lego Tube Maps - 150th London Underground Birthday Celebrations

Fans of Lego rejoice. To mark the London Underground's 150th anniversary, five the Tube maps through the years have been created entirely out of Lego.

Each map is made from 1,000 Lego bricks and they aim to show how the Tube map has evolved from 1927 through to a first look as to what it could look like by 2020.

The maps, can be seen at Kings Cross St. Pancras (for the 2020 map), South Kensington (1927 map), Piccadilly Circus (1933 - Harry Beck's original map), Green Park (1968 map)  and Stratford (2013 map) Tube stations this summer, before moving onto permanent homes at London Transport Museum.

Lego tube (London underground) map  by Ben Sutherland
Photo by Ben Sutherland

They've  certainly come on a long way from the interpretation of the Lego Tube Map at Legoland Windsor (pictured above) and the Lego maps made by Duncan Titchmarsh in 2007

Lego Tube Map by talltim10

Mike Ashworth, Design and Heritage Manager at London Underground, said: 'LEGO have done a wonderful job of recreating our internationally recognized Tube map. 

'I'm sure our customers of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy looking at the five different LEGO maps that show the history and development of the Underground. 

 'The 2020 map at King's Cross St. Pancras shows the new stations and rail links we want to deliver - we hope this fun LEGO map will inspire the young engineers of the future to help deliver our vision.'

You can pick up a leaflet at the stations where the Lego maps are displayed with  details on how to build your own London Underground logo or 'roundel' out of Lego bricks.

You might also like
Lego Tube Map
Tube stations made from Lego - Acton Depot Open Weekend

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Robb Stark from Game of Thrones on the Tube

SPOILER ALERT for Game of Thrones fans .... don't read this is you haven't watched the latest episode of the show .... or have somehow managed to survive several days on the internet without knowing what has happened.

What happens to kings who've just been murdered?  Apparently they end up on the Bakerloo Line.  Robb Stark or rather the actor who plays him, Richard Madden was spotted on the London Underground recently, looking rather pensive.  Stark very recently met a grisly end in a massacre on Game of Thrones much to the shock of many viewers. 

Photo by @DannyBlahBlah
As it looks as though @DannyBlahBlah took this when the weather was a tad more inclement than it is now, one can only assume it was before his very recent demise was broadcast. 

All Robb aka The King of the North needed was for some Tube "joker" to say "Cheer up mate it might never happen" and then he could have turned around and said, "It already has, I've just been brutally murdered".

Alex Kingston on the Tube 2
Dr Who's Alex Kingston spotted by me on the Piccadilly Line

Let us know if you've spotted any other bored looking actors who play sci fi or fantasy characters on the Tube as there seems to be a growing "club" of them.

Related Posts
Tardis or Tube? Alex Kingston spotted on the London Underground
THE Doctor Who Tube Map
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The Sun says Rihanna's becoming "greasy haired trainspotting Anorak" & obsessed with the Tube

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 05, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tube Map Poster for Chelsea Flower Show's 100th Year

100 years of the Chelsea Flower Show and 150 years of the London Underground.  To mark both occasions the Underground has issued a special poster showing the Tube map with its lines represented as common and unusual flowers.

The Jubilee line is represented by grey Hydrangeas, Bakerloo line by a Chocolate Cosmos, the District Line by green Chrysanthemums, Piccadilly line by blue tulips, black pansies for the Northern line, red roses for the Central line,  Himalayan Blue Poppies for the Waterloo &City line, maroon Lilies for the Metropolitan line,  blue geraniums for  the Victoria line and  brightly coloured ornamental Allamanda Cathartica for the Circle line. Gerberas are used for two lines - pink for the  – Hammersmith & City line and cheery orange ones for the Overground.

It's the first time the Tube map has been used in a poster for the Chelsea Flower Show and works really well as previous images from the 1930's were a bit unadventurous in  comparison.

It would be great if Sloane Square Tube had some floral arrangements in it to celebrate as well.  Although as it's pretty much underground, the flowers wouldn't get much in the way of natural light. 

Pinner London Underground Station Garden Winner 1966
Pinner London Underground Station Garden Winner 1966

Last year Finchley Central's station garden was entered into The Chelsea Flower show and there were over 140 entries for TfL's London Underground in Bloom competition in for the best station garden. Displays ranged from the Olympic rings and herb gardens to Japanese meditation-style spaces and beehives.  Back in 1966, 3000 flowers and plants were so resplendent in Pinner's station garden you could hardly see the station name.

The current poster for the Chelsea Flower Show will be available from London Transport Museum shop in Covent Garden Piazza or online at the following link.

You might also like
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Fruit and Veg added to Tube Garden competition  

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE
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