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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
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on the London Underground.

Friday, October 29, 2004


Beware of dodgey cash machine at tube stations! I just got this forwarded to me in an email this morning, and thought it was worth passing on ...

"Please be aware that gangs of criminals are targeting the cash machines on LUL premises. The pictures below were taken at Hammersmith Dist & Picc station on 21.10.04. The first picture details how the Barclays cash machine normally looks.

The criminals have been fitting portable card readers to the machines which clone the card details. The second picture details how the cash machine looks after the cloning device has been fitted with double sided tape."

Please ensure that all station staff are aware of this scam. If you become aware that a device has been fitted to a cash machine on LUL property, please contact the BTP immediately. Customers should be discouraged from using the machine until the arrival of the police. If the area is covered by CCTV the machine should also be monitored in order that those responsible are seen if they try to remove the device."

; Posted by Anonymous Friday, October 29, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Err, what he said.

I'd also like to point out that I'm not actually living in London at the moment (temporary arrangement till the new year) so my tube stories are a bit thin on the ground.

However, if I could crave your indulgence for one post only, I'll go off topic and talk about something else - Wetherspoons.

Can someone please explain to me why Wetherspoons have merged their food menu with (or indeed changed it INTO) the Lloyds No. 1 menu which is rubbish?

Whereas before you had nice sizeable chips you've now got stringy things that stick together whilst cooking and go cold very quickly too. The switch to the Lloyds menu also means the Aberdeen Angus Pie has been removed and to be honest I consider this a disaster. Whenever I ate at Wetherspoons, it was usually the carbohydrate-laden, gravy-sodden pie which I ordered. But now they've deprived me of my very raison-d'etre vis-a-vis going there, I'm afraid I shall have to withdraw my custom.

Does anyone else feel as aghast as me at this needless change or is it just me being a stick-in-the-mud as usual?

(By the way, this post IS loosely tube-related. We went to the Penderel's Oak in Holborn to meet young Annie last week just after myself and Geoff had been running round on the tube - see the alternative tube challenges section of his his website).

Umm, here's a picture of me recreating one half of the Aldgate East picture from the Tube 7 attempt back in May (and not very well because it wasn't even the same sign and I'm standing on the other side of it and Geoff had to take the picture so he couldn't even be in it), just before we went of to Wetherhellhasmypiegone (geddit??!!) for dinner:

; Posted by Anonymous Friday, October 29, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Disruption to service

Don't panic. We haven't gone on holiday with Annie (She didn't invite us .. tsk!), but we've just been too busy, er... catching the tube to remember to do the blog

Anyway, I'm sure Neil is about to post something up any moment now . . .

; Posted by Anonymous Thursday, October 28, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, October 22, 2004

Bollox to all this, I'm off to Goa

Annie's winter break

I've not had a proper holiday in the sunshine this year and tomorrow am off to Goa for two weeks, so the blog will be left in the capable hands of Neil and Geoff. They've promised to do all the usual things like watering plants, making sure the post isn't piling up outside, keeping an eye out for men with stripy T shirts and bags with "swag" on them, etc etc.

I must also apologise if the blog has been taking an age to load for some of you. I've absolutely no idea why it is doing this. I emailed Blogger/Blogspot who weren't much help and I've left a message on the Yahoo Group for Blogspot - if anyone has any ideas as to the problem I'd really like to know, it's only been happening this week and nothing new has been added to the template, so it's a mystery to me.

Anyway, please be gentle with Geoff and Neil and I'll "see" you in November.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, October 22, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Tube profits soar - but by how much?

50 million quid or a 100 million quid

Depending on which paper you read (
Evening Standard - �100 million) or which media you watch or listen too (BBC - �50 million), Tubelines & Metronet are making a fook or a lot of money whichever figure you believe.

I know it's slightly inane to say where is it all going - some fat cats pockets (the chief exec of Metronet gets paid �552,000 a year) - but have we really seen any major improvements to the tube since the public private partnership changes?

As far as I see on my journeys there are no extra trains, they're not particularly any more efficient.

"Tube Lines - (one of private maintenance firms) - announced it had its best quarter-year performance since it took over the lines.

But it added signal failures rose by almost 50% from 22 August to 18 September, compared with the same period in 2003

And yet only last week Sheriff Ken Livingstone announced that Tube fares would have to go up over the next five years to help fund extra investment - D'OH, D'OH, D'OH

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, October 20, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, October 18, 2004

Today's Metro Momentos

Driver's announcements in Metro

Well it's only taken five years, but hurrah - the driver's announcements from goingunderground.net have made it into Metro, on the back of Mecca's book (D'OH - she had so better share her royalties with me). However, as sod's bloody law would have it the company that does my domain forwarding decided to go slow today and the forwarding has been down most of the morning - D'OH, D'OH, D'OH - anyway back up again now - so if you managed to find this blog through Metro after reading the announcements, welcome to you all. And also many thanks to Fiona Macdonald the editor of Metro Commuter - she does read the blog and I've given her column some mixed reviews in the past, but it appears she's taken it all in good spirit and finds it amusing.

Top Ten Drivers' announcements in Metro - click to see the full feature

Tube Haikus

Also on the Metro Commuter page, following the special Metro did for National Poetry Day, they've been "inundated with shining examples of commuter verse". Here's a few of my favourites:

Damn the Circle line
Counting minutes ticking by
Killing life's lost time.

I'm offered her seat
but reject her kind insult
This journey's aged me

The train is filling
Why does your bag need a seat?
I am getting stressed.

More haikus are welcomed at commuter@ukmetro.co.uk.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, October 18, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Elephant & Waterloo

I go through Waterloo several times a week - but not often going down onto the Jubilee line, so it's taken me a while to spot this - anyone know why there is an elephant here? Just wondered.

And back to Notting Hill Gate - where everything happens - including misleading information from LU. Take the display board on the southbound platform for the District & Circle lines. It lies - blatantly!

When I was waiting there the other day to go to Wimbledon, I noticed that it scrolls the message "For Kensington Olympia change at Earl's Court" it says - which, if you think about it could mean that you'd let a circle line train pass, wait for the District one, change at Earl's Court, then change and wait for the Olympia one.

But Olympia trains start at High St. Ken (the next stop down), so surely it would be quicker sometimes to take a Circle (if one came first) and change at High St. Ken?

And it was for me that day! I got the Circle (within 1 minute) ran over to platform 3 and got the Olympia train within a minute, and then changed at Earl's Court and got a train down to Wimbledon which had come down from Upminster - quicker than If I'd of waiting for the Wimbledon train at Notting Hill ... surely?

Finally, a quick abuse of my privileges here as I request something to you all - I need to find a location to take a photo of one of those colourful iPod posters - at a tube station. There was one at Latimer Road the other week, but by the time I'd got back there with my camera it had gone - so can anyone think/tell me of a place that they've seen recently where a tube train & iPod advert combine? Please let me know in the comments ...

; Posted by Anonymous Sunday, October 17, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Notting Hill : Where everything happens

Ok, now I normally dislike posts that don't have a picture to go with them - but today I totally forget to bring my camera with me (normally have it in my pocket all the time), so did not get the chance to take a picture of any of things that I'm about to talk about! Grrrr.

I was down Notting Hill Gate this afternoon, where a funny thing happened.

Actually the point is that within the space of about 2 minutes, loads of 'typical' funny tube things happened.

Firstly, as I approach the gates, the left-handed woman in front of me does that trick where she puts her ticket in, and the gates to the side of where she's standing open up and she's all confused until I point out to her what she's done.

Secondly, just a couple of seconds later as I go through the gates behind her - a complete t*sser follows me through the barriers on my ticket, and runs off down the stairs!

Thirdly - as I get to the bottom of the steps there is a guy with a megaphone (except he's not actually using it) saying "Jesus is coming back sooner than you think!", and is handing out leaflets to people as they get to the bottom, inlcuding the LU cleaner who takes one and starts to read it!

Fourthly - I run and jump on a train that is pulling in, and as I do so, a confused tourist is saying "This train Ealing Broadway?", and everyone ignores her, so she repeats herself a couple of times until the guy nearest the door says "Naaah love - West Ruislip innit".

Fifthly - as the doors are closing, a suited type run and squeezes onto the train. Then the electronic announcer says "This train is for .. West Ruislip", at which point he looks all annoyed and looks up at the line map. "He's going the wrong way!" I think, and sure enough at Holland Park, he gets out and crosses over to the eastbound platform.

Ticket problems, doubling up, preachers, tourists and going the wrong way all in the space of two minutes! And that's why I love the tube.

I've got another Notting Hill ramble to do - about how LU complete misinform you to your possible detriment - but I'll save it until I've got my camera and can take a picture of what I want to talk about. Probably tomorrow. Until then ...

; Posted by Anonymous Wednesday, October 13, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Hammersmith seats

Most confusion for tourists

Just in case you don't read all the comments on the entries (shame on you), you might have missed the fab picture that
Makali took of a seat at Glamoursmith (Hammersmith)

His friend and fellow blogger Bruce tells the story of the "creative vandalism" and is amazed that two of the people with him sat down without spotting it first of all.

It rox! Many thanks Bruce for drawing our attention to it.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, October 12, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, October 11, 2004

Has living in London corrupted you?

London Quiz

Capital FM launched one of those "you know you're a Londoner when...", "how much of a Londoner are you?" type quizzes today -

This one's rather titillating (for want of a better word), but includes a few tube related questions to work out just how much of a corrupt Londoner you are:

Have you ever taken a train without a valid ticket?

Have you ever?
  • Given a travelcard to a ticket tout
  • Bought a travelcard from a ticket tout
  • Been a travelcard ticket tout

    Ever been sick:
  • In the back of a cab
  • In your handbag / briefcase
  • In a tube station
  • On a moving tube train

    Ever got the first tube home from a night out?

    Which of these sounds the rudest?
  • Going down the Old Kent Road
  • Hanging out on the New Kings Road
  • Being taken round the M25 to Feltham
  • Heading south of the river after midnight
  • Switching to the Bank Branch of the Northern Line
  • Riding the DLR to Mudchute

    I was 31% corrupt which I think is quite good going considering I've lived in and around London for all of my life, it's not corrupted me that much. Although I've travelled a lot without a valid ticket, I've never bought or sold to a ticket tout. Never got the first tube home. Also never thrown up on a moving tube train or in my handbag or the back of a cab.

    ; Posted by annie mole Monday, October 11, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE
  • Random mutterings

    I haven't posted for a while have I? ("Hurrah!" I hear you cry").

    In amongst trying to find somewhere to live, attending film premieres and gala luncheons in my capacity as a celebrity and what with it being end-of-year time at work I've been quite worn out.

    I regularly catch a train from Charing Cross to either New Cross or Lewisham to get home from town but yesterday I was somewhat bemused to look out of the window just after leaving Waterloo East to see that we were going round the connecting loop to Cannon Street. At first I thought some dopey signalman had set the points wrong but the driver then came over the PA to tell us that due to engineering works at London Bridge station we had to go into Cannon Street where he would change ends and then drive us back out to London Bridge. The pointwork just west of London Bridge station prevents trains from crossing over from the "middle" tracks to the "left hand" tracks (platforms 1 and 2) if you're coming from Charing Cross, thus the slight detour into Cannon Street.

    I wouldn't have minded except I was now at the very front of the train instead of the very back so I had to walk all the way through it to be in the right place for the change to the DLR at Lewisham. Tut.

    Anyway, Geoff sent me some pictures this morning of us tooling around at Canary Wharf station (he doesn't often go out there so it was like being a tourist for him) and here's one of us looking into the camera for no reason whatsoever. This picture was taken a few hours after we'd done the running-off-the-train-in-a-convincing-way-for-the-cameras photoshoot at High Street Kensington.

    ; Posted by Anonymous Monday, October 11, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Thursday, October 07, 2004

    Bloggers End of Year Party

    First signs of Xmas

    OMIGOD - you know it's getting near to festivities when people start talking about arranging Christmas parties and parts of the UK blogging community are starting to do that now. Rich Wild from
    funjunkie.co.uk organised last year's (if you want to see comments from fellow partygoers) and I was SOOOOOO in two minds about going to it. But in the end I did and had a fab time. So if you want to meet other bloggers in the flesh rather than cyberspace pop along this this page and express your interest, no date has been set yet but it's likely to be late November/early December. Doesn't matter how long you've had your blog for As Rich said if you could pimp or mention it on your blogs that would be fab too.

    Second sign of Xmas

    On Monday I saw the infamous Santa having slash poster on a tube carriage

    (Adopting Noddy Holder scream) It's CRRRRISSSSSSMAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSS

    ; Posted by annie mole Thursday, October 07, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    Distances between stations tube map - UPDATE

    Ask and someone will come up with it

    Amazing - only after putting this request out a
    couple of days ago, Ian Dolby has spent a few hours with the tube map and Clive's distances between stations to bring an excellent and handy map which shows how far tube stations are from each other.

    Click to see full map

    So coupled with the map that shows walkways between stations and the geographical Tube map you'll have a good idea whether you should just leg it between stops rather than taking the tube, or if you just want to see how far you've covered going from Cockfosters to Clapham South.

    Cheers Ian - it's brill. Hopefully, we won't get aksed by the powers that be at the LU to take this down (see what happened to the South London Tube Map - well spotted Diamond Geezer) as it's not actually manipulating the map.

    ; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, October 06, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Monday, October 04, 2004

    London Transport Haiku Returns

    Metro published more commuter's haiku(s) (does haiku have a plural?) this morning. There was a very clever one about blackberries and comparing the bluetooth ones with the more familar fruit variety.

    Sorry I can't remember it and I left my Metro behind as I was running late for a meeting.

    I'd love to know how many entries they actually get for things like this, they were on a bit of a roll when they asked for entries last year.

    But if you're in the mood to see a whole collection of haiku that are just tube related
    this page is great.

    I particularly like:

    Pumpin' drum-n-bass
    MiniDisc? Shut the fuck up!
    Tinnitus be mine


    Ignorant lardarse
    Let me get off the tube now
    Or I will kick you

    ; Posted by annie mole Monday, October 04, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Friday, October 01, 2004

    Distances between stations map???

    Map week

    Harry Beck on TV last night. Me and Will Dyke were at the Ken Garland lecture on Harry Beck and the map last night too, and although in a church hall it was actually interesting. It was back at my old stomping ground of Kew and run by the Kew Society, so it had many active Kew residents who had actually campaigned to get the North London Link included on the tube map (I believe this is the only mainline route showing on the tube map, even though Beck suggested more could be added).

    Harry Beck spoof tube map

    Even Beck did his own spoof tube map (above from the book
    Mr Beck's Underground Map). Ken Garland thought it was pretty hilarious but I think it helps to know your way around electrical circuits diagrams, which he based the Tube map on.

    Just had an interesting question by email though which someone may know the answer to: Richard Durkan would like to know where he can get hold of a map which shows the mileage between the different tube stations.

    I don't think one exists - there's lots of debates about geographically correct tube maps and I've seen a map that shows walkways between tube stations - but distances??

    Incidentally, one of the most interesting things I learnt in last night's lecture is that Transport for London are commissioning a London Bus Map and are looking to invest over �50 grand in the design. Makes poor old Beck's initial twenty guineas (a few hundred quid at the time) for his map pretty damn paltry.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, October 01, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE