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

Monday, January 31, 2005

London Underground Song - The Video

You've heard the song, now see the flash movie If like just about every other Londoner with internet access, you've heard the
London Underground spoof song (blogged below 11th & 20th Jan) written to the tune of The Jam's classic Going Underground - well now there's a flash movie! Initially put together by Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads (with the co-operation of writers Dr Suman Biswas and Dr Adam Kay - incidentally rumours of Adam's death seem to have been exaggerated!!) has put together a great little flash movie to accompany the song. I particularly like the last image of the Oystercard alongside some KY Jelly - which illustrates - the brill last lines - "Take your Oystercard and shove it up your arsehole" .... Wunderbar!

There's been many videos uploaded since then and the one below is the best quality

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 31, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, January 28, 2005

Why haven't I come across this before?

London Underground RETRO photos

When I started
Going Underground in 1999 the only sites about the Tube were the official tube site and a few hobbyist sites and lots and lots of sites with pictures of rolling stock (trains to the unintiated). I'd never been wild about seeing rows upon rows of pictures of trains, especially if there was no story behind them. Then came a few sites with pictures of stations but it's only today through the excellent Londonist that I came across Londonstation.com. A few years ago G Goldwater, started taking black and white pictures of Tube stations and then hand coloured them in Adobe Photoshop. (Incidentally, I really can't remember when the seats at Hammersmith station looked like this picture below, so it's great that someone is recording old stations before they change beyond recognition)

Benches at Hammersmith apparently I never remember them looking like this

The results are really brill and give a great retro look to the stations. It may be because he's (apologies if G Goldwater is a woman) deliberately chosen older stations on the network before they get refurbished, but it's as though he's given them a lick of paint himself. I bet the Tube would love it, if they could tart up stations this way.

Chalk Farm

Anyway, G Goldwater received a grant from The London College of Printing for the work and has had exhibitions and been featured on radio and in print and is now asking people to send in anecdotes and Tube stories as it looks as though a book will be coming out. Well done. Check out all of the pictures at www.londonstation.com

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 28, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 27, 2005

What do station assistants do when they're bored?

Write poetry apparently

There's a lot of people who work on the Tube who look as though they're doing nothing. You might see guys and gals standing by the escalators making sure people don't get their feet chopped off or heels stuck. Or you'll give a cursory glance to those standing by the ticket barriers making sure the tickets go through or stopping fare dodgers or "double bunkers" or "slipstreamers" (I don't know what the real word for this is, but you know people who press up close behind you and try to get through the barrier on your fare). You might think "Jeesus what a dull job what must be going through their minds every day", well more than you might think.

Chris Gyrce, who works on the Misery Line (Northern Line) as a station assistant on escalator duty and "gateline" (official term for barrier duty - you learn something new every day) and carries a notebook with him - not for spotting odd or illegal behaviour or reporting defunct escalators, but to write poetry.

Chris said: "Prior to working at an open air station I used to be based at dusty, dirty, Camden Town. The poems that I'm submitting were written during moments of boredom while on gateline and escalator duty at Old Street/Camden Town (part of the Camden Town group)"

So with Chris's permission I've published one here:


Boredom and monotony are my
Well acquainted friends,
As I at the Gateline passenger tickets "mend".

Customers generally are honest and polite,
While I upon their tickets alight,
May I see your ticket, Madam/Sir,
As those gates "hum and whirr"

Father and daughter slipstream
Through the gates together,
Dad, can I see your ticket now or never.....
He hurls obsenities at me,
The worst of humankind maybe.....?

Some passengers gingerly place their tickets in the slot,
Fearful that the gate machine may "gobble" the lot,
Others are in such a hurry,
That their ticket "shivers" from the worry!!

Love in the ticket hall area,
Young couples, giggle, embrace and kiss,
A sight bored eyes do not miss.

I come across this brown-haired young lady,
With a query,
And I but weary,
Notice the multiple silver rings on her finger,
Can I see those rings I enquire?
A gradual smile belies her initial ire.

Perhaps we'll find the next Pam Ayres on the Tube.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 27, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


We've made the Bloggie finals again

Please, vote for us Best British or Irish Blog AND Best Topical Blog
Many thanks to all of you who nominated us for the 2005 Bloggies. Well the results were out this morning and The London Underground Tube Diary is in the finals for not one, but two (count em) two categories - Best British or Irish Weblog and Best Topical Weblog (funnily enough the same categories the blog made it into for 2004). I'm really pleased and I'm sure Neil n Geoff will echo this, we have some really stiff competition in both categories (especially the British or Irish category as I'm much more familiar with the blogs there - D'OH Greenfairy, and D'OH Londonist).

So more international and new visitors will be coming this way - hope you enjoy what you see and us Londoners aren't really too bad, once you get to know us.

Anyway, it's up you the voting public now to cast your votes - you have until January 31st - use your vote and tell your mates and their mates. If we win we'll share the KitKat that's on offer as one of the prizes. Thank you once again.

UPDATE - Just received the following email from the organiser:

My apologies, but I'm sending out another mass e-mail since a lot of finalists have been asking about the status of the Bloggies site. This is my first year hosting the Weblog Awards on a different server, which is why I got caught with too little bandwidth. I arranged today with my host to get some extra for the next month, so the site's back online, plus the voting has been extended to February 3 to make up for the downtime. So now voting can really commence. :)


; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 25, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 24, 2005

I'm such a creep

This got mention in last Friday's Evening Standard, but I've only just remembered to blog it.

The posters for the new 'Creep' film (as discussed below - 17th Jan) have been banned from London Ungerground stations in case they "Frighten customers".

I kid you not.

Er.. Hello! [Taps on glass] what is the what coming to when LU now want to censor a poster which to me isn't at all offensive.

But the posters for this film haven't been banned from NR stations (and hence I saw this one at Epsom on my way in this morning), but this also means that you will get them at places like Waterloo where there are NR trains and LU trains.

Does anyone else think it's a bit stupid, or does anyone agree with this?

Anyway, looks like I'd better go and see it now to see what all the fuss is about!

UPDATE FROM ANNIE - The ban has been lifted now following "Intervention" from the
Evening Standard. BTW we're still arranging a mini blog meet to go and see the film - it looks like the 3rd February is the date - if anyone wants to come and see it with us please email me or leave a note in the comments. Nice review of the film here:

"The London Underground; the tube � our capital city�s 250 plus miles of mainly antiquated and filthy tracks and tunnels. We hate it. We hang from roof handles like monkeys, jam packed in ancient rolling stock full of enough sweat to drown an elephant. It�s hell. Well, at least we think it is....."

; Posted by Anonymous Monday, January 24, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 20, 2005

London Underground Song - the writers

We know who wrote it I'm sure most people have now heard the famous
London Underground Song written to the tune of The Jam's Going Underground. I've just received an email from Jakob Whitfield from Imperial College who wrote: "I noticed that the (by now infamous) rude tube song has been featured on your weblog. (11th January below) I thought you might like to know that it's from an album of comedy/parody songs written by two medical students at Imperial College, Adam Kay and Suman Biswas. More info and details on ordering the CD can be found at http://www.amateurtransplants.com"

The London Underground song is track 8, nestled between The Menstrual Rag and Mr Burton. Cheers Jakob now that will put a stop to the rumour that it was our very own Neil and Geoff.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 20, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Mobile Phones on the Tube

"Don't advertise your mobile to thieves"

Says the byline on this ad campaign you've probably seen on the Tube at the moment.

Although it should say "Just change your ringtone to Mozart and it will scare off the thieves" if the Tube really want to continue their classical music crime crack down (see 13th Jan entry below).

My mobile is so old that no one in their right mind would want to steal it, although I was slightly aware than when I was taking the picture above, I was using and advertising to all and sundry my whizzy new Samsung digital camera. But why are those ads limited to mobile phones? Perhaps there should be a whole set of ads saying "Don't advertise your IPod to thieves", "Don't advertise your camera to thieves", "Don't advertise your bag to thieves" - in fact "Don't get on the Tube with anything of any value"

I much prefer the spoof ads that appeared a while back which might make people more aware of their Tube mobile phone usage.

Taken by Donald McGarr from Tube Prune's website

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 20, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Knowing me, not-knowing-you

Have you ever spotted somone on a tube train, thought that they looked familiar but couldn't work out why?

Happened to me on the Central line where I saw a middle-aged woman that I thought that I knew, then thought "Well she must be famous" but still couldn't work out where I knew her from.

It took me a good 20 minutes of my journey to eventually realise it was the woman that had played Alan Patridge's assistant, Lynn, in "Knowing me knowing you", actress Felicity Montague, and also (according to IMDB) the same actress that played the mother of Bridget Jones in the 2001 film.

Trouble is, after about the tenth time of me staring at her to try and jog my memory, she stared rudely back at me with a "Haven't you worked out who I am yet? and please stop staring at me!" kind of look...

I know we've "done" famous spots on the tube before here, but anyone else seen anyone vaguely famous recently?

; Posted by Anonymous Tuesday, January 18, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 17, 2005

Funny airport announcements & Creep

Do the tube drivers have some competition?

Back from Geneva yesterday and you'll be pleased to learn I didn't break anything in the first ever time I was on skis. We had the pleasure of flying with EasyJet whose uniforms make the Tube uniforms look like they were designed by Stella McCartney. However, we had one of the flight attendants who was full of jolly japes and announcements throughout the flight home. We were actually 15 minutes early landing at Luton and our wag of announcer said:

"You'll be pleased to know that your flight is landing 15 minutes ahead of schedule. doubtless you will late on other flights, so please feel free to use this as a credit for the future."

The only other good thing about this flight (apart form the price) were a couple of articles in their inflight magazine. There was a lengthy feature on buskers on the Paris Metro and a more relevant to us a review of a film called Creep which is coming out in the UK on the 28th January.

I remember blogging briefly about Creep in (
February last year) when Sheriff Ken's paper The Londoner reported a bit about the making of it. Basically, it's the story of a woman who falls asleep on the Tube, finds that she's missed the last train when she wakes up and the station is locked. Cue a creepy train which she boards and then she meets a load of psychos and weirdos and it's a Brit flick horror with lots of running aruond Tube carriages from the sounds of it.

A viewer's IMDb review Creep wasn't too hot, but hey, funnily enough I like this sort of thing:

"Run Lola Run meets Halloween with a touch of Jeepers Creepers on the underground. And on a budget. A patchy schlocker with a smattering of tension but no real scares"

There is a trailer for Creep here and the meticulous Hwyel Williams from the Hidden London Underground Stations website has done an analysis of the frames featured in the film trying to locate precisely where each shot was taken. Those who like that sort of thing can see his full analysis here.

From Hwyel Williams site

By the way, doesn't her skirt look like it was made out of the upholstery of the Olympic bid Tube trains seats?

I'd be quite interested in seeing the film myself as we haven't had a film based primarily on the Tube since Sliding Doors and Tube Tales. If anyone fancies coming along with me, let me know - I'll see if my partners in crime Geoff and Neil and others are up for it too.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 17, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 13, 2005

How to stop crime on the London Underground

You do wonder about the Tube sometimes

Certain stations on the London Underground get a lot more violence and anti social behaviour than others. So what do the Tube think is the best way to stop or lessen this. More police? More CCTV? Private security guards? Dogs? Guns? No it seems to be classical music.

In one of the articles where you think someone at the Evening Standard has been spending the afternoon on drugs, we learn that playing classical music on the Tube is enough to send thugs off screaming, holding their ears, saying "No More Pavarotti, I can't stand it."

The Standard wrote: "LU used the music at Elm Park station, on the eastern end of the District line, where gangs were hanging around and assaulting staff and passengers. A spokeswoman said: "The theory behind it is that the youths were unfamiliar with this type of music and didn't like it. They certainly didn't like Mozart or anything by Pavarotti. The gangs just disappeared."

Goodness knows who came up with this theory on the Tube - it sounds like something out of Monty Python.

But I wonder if this work on other types of crime? Are people with classical music playing ringtones less likely to have their mobile phones nicked? Should your car alarm play Vivaldi?

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 13, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Bollocks to all this......

.......I'm off to Geneva. In the spirit of Bridget Jones I'm on a mini-break long weekend in snowy Switzerland - Geoff n Neil, please look after the blog while I'm away.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 13, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Going Underground (The alternative version...)

Oh dear! I have to blog this. No I do, really.

It's rude, it's full of the nasty 'F' and 'C' swearwords, and it's horrible about people who work on the tube, so don't say you haven't been warned - and don't flame us!

But I couldn't not let you hear this.

Illustration by Russell Becker from One Stop Short of BarkingIf anyone knows who did it - who recorded it? Etc.. please let us know!

(Having just played it again, I should just re-iterate that it is quite rude, and I'm not agreeing with the words that are sung... just having to say that again as I bet there's someone that still misses the funny side of it, and takes massive offence!)

Update from Annie

Not surprisingly some of my friends sent me this too - I wondered why lots of people had been searching Google looking for London Underground spoof song.

It's top must have been done in response to the ridiculous frurore about Jerry Springer The Opera. Well done to whoever did it.

; Posted by Anonymous Tuesday, January 11, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Here is the news

We've all had the annoyance of having someone read our newspaper over our shoulder. Once, on an overground train, I even had someone trying to read my magazine that I was looking at, but recently I've been getting more annoyed about people who 'steal' your newspaper the moment they think you've finished with it.

This morning coming up the District Line, I get to Fulham Broadway. I've finished reading my copy of one of the more popular daily tabloids, and tuck it away between myself and the glass partition. It's squeezed in next to me. Tightly. It's in my personal space still. I close my eyes, and nod off.

The next thing I feel is someone tugging at it, and as I open my eyes there's a middle aged woman leaning over from the seat oppposite pulling at it!

"Do you mind?" I say with some indifference. "But you've finished with it!" she exclaims, and so taken aback by her perseverance (she's still tugging away at it), I let her have it.

Surely you should at least wait until the person had stood up, or even got off the train before you take their paper? What is the correct 'tube etiquette' on taking someone elses reading material?

I've decided I'm going to print out some signs that say "I'M TOO CHEAP TO SPEND 30p ON MY OWN PAPER", and stick them on the back, so that hopefully they'll hold the paper up as they read the inside, and the rest of the carriage can see it...

; Posted by Anonymous Tuesday, January 11, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 10, 2005

Happy Birthday to the Tube

142 Years Old Today and just as fast!

Well the Metropolitan Line the world's first ever, ever Tube line opened up to the public on the 10th January 1863. The Metropolitan Line was completely screwed up this morning in order to commemorate this historic occasion.

Even at that early stage things didn't go exactly to plan:

"It appears that arrangements have been made for opening this line on the 10th [of January] for public traffic, but as the 1st of October, the 1st of November, the middle of December have been announced from time to time as the probable date of opening, it is presumed that no one will feel disappointed if a further postponement should take place." said
The Times somewhat sceptically.

On the actual day of opening The Daily Telegraph reported:

"Of the general comfort in travelling on the line there can be no question, and the novel introduction of gas into the carriages is calculated to dispel any unpleasant feeling which passengers, especially ladies, might entertain against riding for so long a distance through a tunnel."

Not sure when gas in carriages has ever been particularly pleasant - perhaps it was laughing gas, of which we could all do with some on this wet and miserable Monday.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 10, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, January 08, 2005

It could be you

Good luck to all lottery players

Not sure if some advertsing copywriters are getting lazy or if they just saw the VSO ad about how your day was going on the tube and thought - "Fab idea, let's use it again for the lottery". Whatever it worked for me, although I'd already bought a lottery ticket but it was news to me that I could buy lottery numbers by text.

And if you're wondering what VSO ad I was referring to, remember this one

I know it's different but it has that same idea about it of everything going surprisingly well with your journey or day.

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, January 08, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Olympic Training Part 2

So what happens when we don't win the bid?

As you can see by the picture I took on the DLR yesterday, yet another person a bit hacked off with the Olympic bid stuff that's being literally shoved down our eyeballs on the tube.

Read in this morning's Metro that we'll find out in exactly six months time on July 6th whether or not we have won. The greatest potential stumbling block to London getting it is apparently our transport system. On February 16th there's a a three day fact finding tour by the IOC (International Olympic Committee), so perhaps Ken thinks that by throwing stickers all over the place and hurting people's eyes with
nasty yellow seats on the tube, that the delegates won't notice how long they've been waiting for trains.

So what's going to happen to all of those lovely Olympic Bid trains in July when (sorry, Freudian slip) if, we don't win the bid?

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 06, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

On this day ...did you know?

Here's a random fact for you - it was on this day (5th January) in 1964, that the Underground installed its first ticket barrier ... a bonus point to the first person that can tell me at what station it was at!

A second bonus point as well to anyone that can tell me at what station the first electronic train indicator was installed at!

Answers in the comments later!

; Posted by Anonymous Wednesday, January 05, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 03, 2005

Piccadilly Questions

Just a couple of things I noticed whilst at Green Park station yesterday.


H4 has ceased to exist. As you can see, a lot of time was spent placing these stickers over the posters on the Piccadilly line. You'd never know T4 even existed in the first place with quality work like this.

But then:

Could someone tell me when they started putting "Hillingdon / Uxbridge" as a destination instead of just "Uxbridge"? I know that historically the residents of Hillingdon have had their run ins with LU in years gone by (with regard to the "Swakeley's" suffix to the nameboards at the station and the new waiting room back in the 30's) but surely they haven't managed to persuade them to put their name on the platform indicators as well now have they?!

; Posted by Anonymous Monday, January 03, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Live Tube Train Departures

When will the other lines be done?

Regular reader Jon Allen sent me a note today as he'd just discovered the live dot matrix departure times that you can download for the
Bakerloo Line. I'd already blogged this last April (OHMIGOD I can say last April now)

It's funny that other lines were supposed to follow "in the next few months" - with the Victoria Line and Northern Lines coming next. Well, we're at least eight months down the line and still nothing else.

However if you hop along to Tubetrackyou can download a desktop programme that has the Bakerloo Line and the DLR (most handy for me) and National Rail and the Dublin DART times on it, if you're so inclined. It's a top idea as they guy who wrote the programme said: "Do you work or live close to a Bakerloo tube, DLR, DART or UK rail station? Rather than making a mad dash and then facing an indefinite wait at the station, check Tubetrack for your next train. Then pop down to the station when you're ready!"

I love the way the DLR one has a cute name DAISY - (Docklands Arrival Information SYstem).

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 02, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE