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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tami in the News and on TV

Tami makes London News and BBC London TV

This almost feels like uncovering all the "cover ups" at
Stockwell, but finally we have managed to discover that Tami Brisset our stranded tube cop was in tonight's Evening Standard in the early edition and in later editions too, although the coverage was a bit smaller. They report on how she came over to take part in Tube Relief to raise money for the victims of London's bombings and now is "trapped" here.

Tami's Story makes The Evening Standard - photo by Jon Choo

and a later edition also reports Tami's story amid pictures of looting taking place:

Tami's story in later edition of the Evening Standard

Then Tami, who is an absolute star, was on BBC London News tonight on TV at 10.25pm with her story and wearing her Tube Relief T shirt to give us some awareness:

Tami on BBC London TV

Tami on BBC London TV

Tami on BBC London TV

Geoff has transferred the recording to some sort of streaming video and so you can watch it here. It's also here but only till about 1.30pm (GMT) 1st September. It's at about 3.48 minutes into the bbc stream.

Earlier, she was also on Virgin Radio today. Thanks to Jens Lindemann who was listening to this in Germany (of all places) and he's sent me through two recordings the first at 6pm and the next at 7pm with different parts of Tami's interview with Virgin.

Many thanks to "our man at the BBC" for telling us it was finally going to be on.

Good going Captain Brisset and have a safe journey back to the US tomorrow.

STOP PRESS - for the early birds amongst you Tami will be on national TV tomorrow morning on GMTV. Broadcast at 6.40am. Thanks to Jon Choo for that as Tami is staying with Jenni (Jon's girlfriend) before she flies off to the States tomorrow.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, August 31, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Entertaining Tami

Keeping up the spirits of our stranded
Tube Cop!

Just got back from entertaining Tami Brisset in Shepherd's Bush with Geoff, Neil, Helene, Henri and Nikki. Tami's situation at home in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina sounds pretty grim and it will be months before her life is back to "normal". But she's a very brave woman and hopefully we managed to take her mind off things for a few hours. If what we were talking about this evening comes to fruition tomorrow, a lot of Londoners will be seeing more of her.

I know she sends her thanks to the many, many people who have offered her accommodation, money, company, support, a mobile phone and countless other kind gestures. Right now, she just wants to get back to the States and who can blame her, but she certainly feels she has a "family" from the Tube Relief Challenge in London. Tami, I hope that everything is not a nightmare when you return home and please keep in touch with us all here.

She's just called us "her therapy group" and if eating nice burgers, talking about Pink Floyd and progressive rock, dead lizards, mardi gras, reading blogs as therapy, toast towers, pea barriers, banks opening on bank holidays, how to make "perfect" mashed potatoes, glamour photographers, cakes with dolls cooked into them, hOvercrafts, agrophobia, claustrophobia, and PTT (Post Tubechallenge Trauma) can be described as therapy, let's hope it worked.

Captain Brisset, we salute you.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, August 30, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

London Bombings Relief victims aid doubled

London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund

Evening Standard Headline - Bombings Relief FundThe London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund for the victims of July's deadly bombings in London said today that it will double aid payments to those worst affected and is working on further relief packages.

John Stoker, chief executive of the fund, said: "We are working on more assistance packages to help with the full needs of victims of the bombings and their families as they emerge over time and we plan to announce those soon.".

The fund will give families of the dead a further £5,000 on top of the £5,000 they received a fortnight after the attacks.

This is great news and we sincerely hope that the £11,000 we have already raised and sent (as of 26th August) through Tube Relief will be helping the total fund. We're condfident that we will make our target of £20,000 and if you would like to contribute to the fund please, please sponsor one of the many people who took part in the challenge last Thursday. Even though I was blogging the whole event, I managed to take part in a little bit myself, so if you feel like making a donation that would be great. Thanks.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, August 30, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, August 28, 2005

One of Life's Horrible Ironies

Tami in London while New Orleans in chaos with Hurricane Katrina

I'm sitting here at the moment with a head cold coming on and feeling sorry for myself, but at the same time I'm hearing the awful reports about the
hurricane in New Orleans. You probably know that Tami Brisset a Police Captain from New Orleans flew over from the United States to take part in Tube Relief (blogged in full detail below). It now looks as though the poor woman will be stuck in the UK for longer than expected due to the horrible events in her home town.

It's kind of ironic that she flew to London, a place that many people from the US are probably avoiding at the moment, specifically to show her support for Londoners and to tell the world that she is not afraid of travelling on the London Underground. And now, although separated from her family and loved ones, she's probably far safer over here than in her home town.

I'm sure you'd like to extend your thanks to Tami for coming over and also give your thoughts to Tami who is obviously worried about all of her family and friends who are being evacuated from New Orleans.

Tami's comments have gone onto the BBC website for people who are affected by the hurricane:

I am here in London having completed a Charity Tube Challenge for the London Bombing Victims on 8-25-05 and unable to get home to New Orleans. I am a police Captain and feel totally helpless as I am unable to help my city and my family. I don't know where my family has gone. I came here to help raise money by completing all 275 tube stations in 20 hours with a group of UK citizens. I hope to have a home to go back to when I do get home. I appreciate all the prayers and support.

Tami Brisset, New Orleans in London now

Tami also posted a similar message on CCN's message board:

"I can only watch CNN and get the info I need and dread. I left my city and will not know when I can return or what it will be like. My new friends, (who now I call family) have given me support over the last day or so. Also, the kindness shown to me when people hear about my fears. I just felt I needed to write."

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, August 28, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tube Relief - 25th August 2005 - Official Blog

Today's the Day -
Tube Relief - Mass Tube Challenge for the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund

Tube Relief Charity Tube Challenge

Well, finally made it, today is the day when over 65 people from across the UK and overseas will be travelling to every station on the London Underground to raise money for the victims of London's attacks and also to show the world that they're happy to travel the Tube - "just for the hell of it". No record attempts today - even though the event is organised by co-bloggers, Geoff n Neil - the current Guinness World Record Holders who in May 2004 visited all 275 stations in 18 hours, 35 minutes and 43 seconds.

Today, this blog will attempt to follow the experienced tube-challengers and novices alike, from their 6am meet up at Amersham London Underground Station and give updates on their progress as they travel around the whole tube system in just one day, finishing in Upminster at about 1.30am on Friday morning! Regular updates - with photos, radio interviews and other coverage will be made, so keep visiting to find out the latest, and do give them a wave or say hello if you see them on your travels today.

Let's get Quizzical

OK, lets see how what sort of a tube challenger you would make? As they're all travelling the London Underground for a good few hours yet and won't be able to answer these questions themselves, you should all be in with a good chance. (Update - well all the challengers are back now, so just to say the quiz is also open to them - with the exception of Geoff and Neil) Just to make it a bit interesting there's a couple of prizes on offer too - you have to get all questions correct, in one attempt and then give a caption to two pictures. The two people with all answers correct and who are then judged to give the best captions will win either a copy of One Stop Short of Barking - Uncovering the London Underground OR Poems NOT on the Underground - A parody by Straphanger.

Answers in the comments please and you need to leave an email address to enter (how else will I know how to contact you about the prizes?) Obviously neither Neil or Geoff can take part.

1. Who is the challenger from Ann's black and white photograph?

2. The challenge started today at Amersham. Who wrote The Amersham Song?

3. The tubechallengers can use any form of public transport to get certain stations rather than go back on themselves. Where might you need to use a tram on the Tube Challenge?

4. Who are the only people to have ever recorded times for the Alphabet Tube Challenge? - ie beginning at a london underground station that starts with 'A' then moving on to one that starts with 'B' etc etc until you reach 'W'

5. Where are Geoff's recommended places to go to toilet during the challenge? (particularly for number twos)

6. Who set up the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund?

7. How much are the challengers hoping to raise for the Fund?

8. The challenge ends at Upminster station at about 1.30 in the morning. Where is the nearest night bus to Upminster?

9. Of all of the tube stations the challengers will be travelling around today - which is the only one does not contain any of the letters from the word "mackerel" in it?

10. The tie breaker question - please give a caption for

a) This picture of Neil


b) This picture of Geoff

Remember, answers in the comments please.

Enjoy!!!!! and now back to the regular updates.......


It's great to see that now the challengers are back they've joined the Flickr photo sharing group for Tube Relief and added loads more pictures. So please check out those too as well as all the ones in the updates below.

You may also want to see some of Neil's rather good pictures which are not part of the flickr pool. He's kindly let me reproduce some below:

Picture of Geoff copyright Neil Blake 2005

Picture copyright Neil Blake 2005

Picture of Neil in mirror copyright Neil Blake 2005


Lukas Hopwood has some video footage

Lots of people have been emailing us to ask if there is any video footage of the event and there is some by Lukas Hopwood here. Video 4 and Video 5 are particularly good as you see Lukas and Bjorn just missing their trains by seconds and in Video 5 which is a bit longer there's footage of them running past buskers at the top of an escalator. Be warned there's a bit of frustrated "language" in some of them!

Norman videoing at the Tube Relief party - Photo by Jenni Hardi

Also Norman Driskell is making a video of the whole event from start to finish and ws interviewing most of the challengers at the party on Saturday night (see below). So watch this space for details as to when or how that can be viewed.


No Tube Challenge would be a Tube Challenge without a party afterwards for everyone to swap stories, compare routes, and generally eat drink and be merry. This was no exception and we had a brilliant follow up party on Saturday night. We had the whole pub (The George - well chosen venue, Neil) to ourselves from 7pm and it quickly filled up.

More publicity

What we did learn from chatting to people at the party was that there was much more publicity for Tube Relief that we originally thought - particularly on TV in London. People's friends said they saw it on BBC London TV several times. It was also mentioned on Capital Radio FM (one of London's largest radio stations). Someone said they also believed there was a small mention in Metro as we had originally been very surprised they hadn't seemed to have picked it up. If anyone saw or heard Tube Relief on any other London or national media could you let us know please through the comments. Cheers!

Geoff will also be on BBC World Service at some point on Wednesday 31st August. This is absolutely fantastic news and will give the challenge a worldwide audience (and hopefully more sponsors) after the event. Apparently the interviewer was signing him to slow down when speaking, so we're all looking forward to hearing that!!

Challenger Tube Map auction

The giant map was on display of any challengers to sign who had missed the signing on the 25th (so I quickly scribbled Annie Mole at Richmond). The map which had singatures of all participants will be auctioned on e-bay next week, with the funds going to the London Bombings Relief Fund.

We also got a chance to see polaroids of the people who checked in at the Euston pitstop with their time of arrival.

Photo by Jenni Hardi

Before food was served Geoff announced there would be fun and game afterwards with the prize giving for various achievements over the challenge and a tube map game. In the meantime we were able to chat, fill our faces and listen to Geoff's train and tube related mix of toons and music.

Prize giving

So onto the prizes. Mecca was on hand to give out copies of her book "One Stop Short of Barking - Uncovering the London Underground" to the winners and as one of the judges, I helped Geoff to announce the winners too.

Best PR & Publicity

It's not who you may be thinking, (our resident media whore Geoff), but we felt that one person had not only managed to get front page story on his local paper but also the resulting mention on his local radio's news the next day was a great achievement. So the prize went to 14 year old Jonny Lyon.

We also have a late entry for best PR from Paul Fraser-Webb and have decided to give an extra prize to Paul for managing to get on his local paper's billboard. Good call Paul

Paul Fraser Webb on Billboard

I'll try to get a book across to Geoff so he can let you have it later in the week.

Best T-Shirt

Although a lot of the challengers bought the official T Shirt, some wore others appropriate ones or designed their own. Although it was a case of slightly keeping it in the family we felt that Tina Marshall - aka Geoff's mum, deserved the prize for her great hand painted effort.

Picture by Ann / pixeldiva

Oldest challenger

Coincidentally we had managed to give a prize to the youngest challenger Jonny Lyon earlier, but we also wanted to give a prize to the oldest challenger, just to show that the challenge was great for the young and old. So it went to 63 year old Jeremy.

Jeremy with very useful Large Print Tube Map

Jeremy's shown here with a large print tube map, which not only was useful for him on the day, it also proved to be really interesting to challengers afterwards who had been looking for a large free map to chart their own routes on.

Best Injury

A strange category we know, but no tube challenge is complete without sore feet, aching backs, black bogey syndrome and tired muscles. However, we felt that the best injury should go to Chris Searle who got his head stuck in the train door as he was so desperate to take a photo of the Bromley-by-Bow roundel that he neglected to see these big sliding things coming towards his head! Ouch!

Chris Searle - Picture and copyright Neil Blake

Most sponsorship raised to date

Obviously funds are still coming in for Tube Relief, but we wanted to give a prize to the person who had raised the most so far. We could only judge this by looking at the Justgiving webpages and seeing how much people had raised on them (however, we know that some people are using the old paper sponsorship form route). So the prize went to Sam Cawley who has already raised an amazing £1,375 pounds (I think it's actually higher than that now as she hadn't updated her page last night).

Furthest journey in to do the challenge

I don't think anyone actually lived in Amersham where the challenge began at 6am on Thursday morning, so everyone had quite a journey to get there. But no one could beat Police Captain Tami Brisset who travelled in from New Orleans! Excellent effort!

Tami Brisset - Picture and copyright Neil Blake

Fastest Time to visit all 274 stations

Tube Relief was mainly about fundraising and showing the world that people weren't afraid to spend a day travelling around the London Underground system "just for the hell of it". Ordinarily the tube challenge is about seeing who can do it in the fastest time, so we felt we ought to acknowledge Tim and Tugs for doing this in 19 hours 10 minutes.

Best stories of the day

There were loads of funny stories and strange drivers announcements throughout the day, but in the end the prizes went to the following:

Team Billy

Alan Pryor is part of Team Billy and actually works for the London Underground at Earl's Court Control room. Towards the close of the evening his team were getting a bit weary and fancied a cup of tea. So Alan got in touch with his colleagues and arranged for five cups of tea to be delivered to the station they were arriving at.

Apprarently it caused a slight delay to the District Line, but the "5 very tired challengers who were waiting for their cups of tea to be bought down by an un-named member of staff." said "And a damned fine cup of tea it was too!"

Picture by Matt

Chris (Moley) and Phil

Although the challengers were officially allowed to collect funds while travelling on the tube (they had flyers advertising what they were doing so people could donate in their own time), Chris and Phil found money being thrust into their hands from an unlikey source - a beggar.

The beggar on the train had asked them what they were doing and he said "Oh well done guys. I make a lot of money out of the begging on the tube and it was awful what happened at Russell Square, here, have a fiver". Obviously Chris and Phil turned his kind offer down, but we bet that's the first time a beggar has tried to give money to the train's passengers!

David Scard & Ric

David Scard and Ric arrived at Finchley Central on a High Barnet train which then departed.

They spoke to the station assistant (SA) to enquire when the next Mill Hill East train was, which was described as 19 minutes. This would really affect their progress getting back, so they looked very disappointed, as they had told him about the challenge. The SA then went away, (unbeknown to them, spoke to the control room) and came back and told them that the next train to arrive would be re-routed to Mill Hill East in 2 minutes time.

When it arrived, the driver announced the sudden change and massess of people poured off the train to await a High Barnet service and five people got on the train to Mill Hill East!!!!! How amazing is that????

Pete Lupton

We opened up the prizes to the floor in case anyone else had any other stories that we hadn't heard of. I can't remember now for the life of me what we ended up giving him a prize for, but sheer audacity and record number of attempts at saying "what about this?", "what about this?" we gave a prize to Pete - mainly to shut him up!

Pete Lupton - Picture and copyright Neil Blake

Pin the station on the tube map

We then played a variant of "pin the tail on the donkey". Geoff had printed up a giant tube map with all the station names removed. The party split into teams of two and had to pick a station name from the hat and they had five seconds to put that station name in the correct place on the map. This proved to be surprisingly difficult considering you would have thought they knew the system like the back of their hands. Even Geoff didn't get his one correct - and it was his game!!!

Photo by Jon Choo

Fundraising to date

Obviously money is still coming in, but we wanted to give the challengers an idea of how much had come in so far from the Justgiving pages, as this is the only way we have at the moment, at knowing what was raised. As of 27th August we had raised £10,890 - so that's almost eleven thousand pounds not including money that people have on their traditonal paper sponsorship forms, plus money that will be coming in over the weeks to come. We feel sure that we will at least get to our target of twenty thousand pounds - and if you would like to help us reach that, please visit this page to sponsor someone online. Many thanks.

I need to get some more vitamin C inside me now as I'm getting the beginnings of a cold (it's not a hangover, honest guv)!

But I'm sure you'll see many other reports of the party around the net and you can also check out the pictures in the ever-growing flickr group for Tube Relief.

UPDATE Friday 26th August - Post Challenge publicity

In case you didn't know, Geoff has been out and about like the true media floozy he is, getting more interviews after the event which is all great news. Apparently he was on the BBC World Service at some point on Friday and also had interviews with other radio stations. We'll try to collate them all in one place eventually.

But we have another media star in the making with Jonny Lyon - not content with getting front page news in his local paper. Fourteen year old Jonny was also featured in his local radio station news - Mercia FM on Friday with news of him celebrating the challenge - you can listen here. Well done Jonny - and watch out Geoff!

Group Shot at Upminster - the end of a long day

Group picture at Upminster

More pictures from Helene of the very final parts of the day

Nikki, Billy Abbott and another team member

Fimbi has found a goody bag and her teammates look weary

Chris and Andy looking tired

Chris and Andy at Upminster

Our tubecop Tami Brisset from New Orleans

Tami at Upminster

An amazingly perky looking team! Sam, Steve and Chris.

Sam, Steve & Chris

More signing of the giant tube map

More Map signing

Yet another alert looking team - Norman & Matthew

Norman and Matt

What did this poor woman do to deserve a child like Geoff?!!!

Name Tag

Peter & Nikki

Peter and Fimbi at Upminster

[1.30am - Update] - The last hours...

Well it's been a very, very, very long day and the challengers are now reaching Upminster the final station and have been I suppose for the last half hour or so. They've then got the journey back home. Blimey.

I suppose it was impossible for me to report on the event without doing at least a bit of it myself, so at 9pm I decided to meet Geoff and Neil's team at Richmond station which is near to where I live. Originally I'd only planned to take a few pictures, take them some rubbish late night food (chocolate, crisps and jelly sweets) and go home, but tube challenging is somewhat infectious and I ended up spending about an hour with them. The results you can see below - (see the notes on the tube map here to see how much/little I did!)

Here they are getting out at Richmond on the far western end of the District Line

Getting out at Richmond

From here we had to take in quite a lot of stations at Heathrow and then head back East to the final destination of Upminster. You can get any form of public transport to take you from one tube station to another, so we got onto a South West Train heading for Feltham.

Here's the gang on the SWT platform:

Adrian, Rich, Geoff, Ann & Neil

Inside the train Geoff got a call from the Daily Express and went into Express Media Whorage:

Live Media Whorage from Geoff

I've no idea what was going on here. It as either Munch's The Scream or Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone

Neil doing The Scream

At Feltham station, walked briskly (some more briskly than others) down the road to get a bus to Heathrow or Hatton Cross Tube, whichever came first.

This would have been a good picture if Neil had been smiling

Smile Please

But then you can take smiling too far

I said Smile Please

We no thanks to me, cos I had to buy another ticket, we got onto the Piccadilly Line at Hatton Cross to do the Heathrow stations up to Acton Town (or Action Town as I always call it)

So we had a good few stops to chat about the days events

Neil Thinking

There was also a need for crisps and chocolate at this point with a lot of blurry hands diving into my Tesco goodie bag:

Desparate for Food

If you're of a sensitive nature I suggest you don't spend too long looking at the next picture:

Why do men sit like this?

This picture is wrong on so many counts that I don't know where to start. Certainly not at 1.30am anyway.

We left at Action Town and zoomed over to the platform for the District Line heading towards Ealing and there bumped into another of the teams who were planning to do the same as us. I quite like the tube challengly huddle under the clock:

The two teams meet at Acton Town

At Ealing Broadway, I left them all to rush onto the Central Line train which would take them back into central London and east again. On the way back I experimented with snapping a few pictures of myself in the reflection of the window, but I wasn't really that happy with any of them, but the one below gives you an idea:

And this is me

[9pm - Update] - The Support Team at Euston move on

We must thank the support team at Euston for an absolutely fantastic job of providing help and sustenance, moral support, uploading digital pictures, stopping us from getting in trouble with the police and a whole heap of other things that I'm sure will only reveal themselves in the next few days.

So here are the support team:

The Euston Support Team

Jim, Helene, Catriona and Jan - you did a stirling job!

[8.58pm - Update] - Sam at Euston

Sam at Euston 2058

[8.46pm - Update] - Barry Thomas Chris Toni Larry and Paul

Barry Thomas Chris Toni Larry and Paul at Euston 2046

[8.20pm - Update] - Another mobile phone picture from Team Billy - taken by Nikki Tysoe

Fortunately they did text an explanation for the rather cryptic picture below:

A nice cup of tea

"The slight delay on the District line was caused by 5 very tired challengers who were waiting for their cups of tea to be bought down by an un-named member of staff. And a damned fine cup of tea it was too!"

Stephen Knight pops in to say hello and upload his Harrow pictures[7.40pm - Update] - Stephen Knight's Pictures from the Morning

Stephen Knight (pictured right) didn't do the full challenge and went along mainly to take some photographs and he's just uploaded some good ones which show the challengers in action in the early morning when before they split into smaller teams and were still one large group:

I really love his first picture below:





and to show that it's not all sitting around in carriages and legging it up and down stairs and escalators:

[7.20pm - Update] - a pigeon flies in for the Euston pitstop

Euston station's resident rat with wings

[7.16pm - Update] - Tim & Tugs at Euston

Tim and Tugs at Euston 1916

[7pm - Update] - Geoff on Virgin Radio News

I was too busy devising the quiz to hear that Geoff was on the 6pm news on Virgin, the same piece will be on at 7pm and likely also to be on at 8pm and 9pm too. Adam Bowie from Virgin kindly sent me an mp3 but if you'd like to listen live, visit the station's website or tune into your radio!

More radio interviews this time on Virgin - Photo by Ann

Don't forget Geoff will also be on LBC FM live at 7.08pm

[5.18pm - Update] - Peter Miller arrives at Euston

Peter Miller at Euston 1718

[4.54pm - Update] - John, Peter & Statto at Euston

Are they really carrying Peter??

John Peter and Statto at Euston 1654

Definite pitstop required.

It's thirsty work

[4.40pm - Update] - Jon & Jenni at Euston

John and Jenni at Euston 1640

Jenni signs Tami's souvenir tube map which she'll take back to New Orleans.

Jenni signs Tami's map

[4.39pm - Update] - Jeremy's pitstop at Euston

Jeremy at Euston 1639

[4.15pm - Update] - James and Jack at Euston

James and Jack at Euston 1613

[4.10pm - Update] - An arty break

Tube Challenge Black and White

Taken by Ann.

Plus a moment of "levity":

Geoff on the Tube - Photo by Ann

[3.45pm - Update] - Tony Bell, David Scard and Ric Bracenbury at Euston

Tony Bell, David Scard and Ric Bracenbury at Euston 1545

[3.30pm - Update] - Chris and Andy arrive at Euston pitstop

Andy and Chris at Euston 1529

[3.30pm - Update] - Geoff interviewed live on LBC Radio AM

The Not Afraid Team

Well here's a mobile phone picture of Geoff n Neil's team. And if you missed the listen live recording on LBC AM you can hear a reasonable mp3 download here. If you hear a strange ringing at the end of it, that's my mobile phone going off with Geoff waiting to tell me that they got cut off and asking how the presenter finished it off! Well, he said "At least that proves they are in the Tube". But it sounds as if LBC want to return to our challengers later on so I'll try to keep you posted on this.

[3.10pm - Update] - Team Billy at Goodge Street

Apparently taking pictures at Goodge Street is a tradition amongst tube challengers, but I've no idea why....

Team Billy at Goodge Street

Back the other way we go

[3.00pm - Update] - Interviews on LBC Radio

Just to give you some advance warning LBC AM will be talking to Geoff and the team at 3.15pm and LBC FM will be talking to them at 7.08pm (rather precise). My recording skills are shocking but I will try to record them. If not I think you should be able to listen live at the above times.

Also a reporter from Virgin Radio has been following quite a few teams round and not doubt this will be broadcast at some time later today.

[2.40pm - Update] - Billy Abbott "Cowfish" is updating his blog by mobile phone

Billy "man-of-many-names" Abbott is now updating his livejournal blog with highlight of their journey - so if you want to follow one team step by step - click here - it's very funny. Here's a few samples:

"1252 arse wrong bus...it goes to walthamstow, but not quite as fast as we hoped. looks like we may have to miss out a couple of stations (olympia and maybe mill hill east). we shall see.

why do jubilee line trains scream?

1050 on the hainault loop...time for a sit down and some food. i have packed too dense snacks...must get others to help eat them.

0628 left moor park for Watford
waved at driver, got told to keep quiet by the station guy"

[2.15pm - Update] - Lukas and Bjorn have a rest at Euston

Lukas and Bjorn have a coffee and a rest at Euston 1412

[1.34pm - Update] - Another team hit Euston

Nikki, Alan, James, Peter and Billy at Euston

Nikki Alan James Peter Billy at Euston 1334

[1.30pm - Update] - Phil and Chris at Euston

Phil and Chris at Euston 1330

[1.30pm - Update] - Tube Relief in the Londonist

Some great online publicity in Londonist - one of my favourite London websites.

"Amersham tube station probably doesn't normally see that much business at 5 in the morning, so it may have come as a bit of surprise earlier today when 65 people turned up to begin their journey for Tube Relief."

[12.55pm - Update] - The Say Hello Wave Goodbye Man

Dominic Nelder the Say Hello Wave Goodbye man seems to have dropped in at Euston with a special Tube relief sash on his bowler!

Dominic's special Tube Relief sash

[12.30pm - Update] - Local Press Coverage

The challengers themselves will know that the local press have been giving excellent coverage to them over the last week or so. They've been appearing on the front page of local papers, getting interviews on local radio and TV stations and generally spreading the word around the whole country and in the US.

Jon Choo in Local PaperHere's the latest piece of local coverage in the Bucks Free Press reporting on Jon Choo who much much earlier today - about 2.45am left a blog post before setting off for Amersham. It's interesting how this local paper have actually gone with a very "bloggy" angle.

"Mr Choo described himself as one of a "bunch of bloggers" people who publish their personal thoughts and web links on the internet.

The bloggers, who come from all across the globe, met online and decided to take part in the challenge.

He said: "We are a bunch of bloggers who were all horrified by what happened and feel that this is something that we can do to really help the victims

Jonny Lyon also made the front page of his local paper:

Jonny Lyon makes the Front Page

To see more local press coverage check out the publicity area of the tuberelief site (it's towards the bottom of the page).

[12.05pm - Update] - At last we see the T Shirts!

Nikki Tysoe and others at Woodford

Here's a message from Nikki Tysoe: "This is everyone we found at Woodford! (this is fimb by the way!)"

[12 noon - Update] - Christopher Abbott and team at Aldgate East taken by Nikki Tysoe

Cowfish and others at Aldgate East

[11.58 - Update] - Brandon and Ellen at the Euston pitstop

Brandon and Ellen at Euston 1158

[11.45am - Update] - More Pictures

Don't speak to me about vodafone grrr (I've had to turn my mobile phone off for an hour while they get it sorted). But anyway, more pictures coming through

Firstly Geoff n Neil's team at Euston - includes Ann, Adrian and Rich

Geoff, Neil, Adrian, Ann and Rich hit Euston at 1035

Here's how it looks on a digital camera

Rich Neil Adrian Ann and Geoff at Euston 1035

Then Ann/pixeldiva can't resist checking mail at Euston

Pixeldiva can't resist checking mail at Euston

[10.35am - Update] - Geoff n Neil's Team at Euston

Sorry about the lack of pictures at the moment, I've just spent 20 minutes 'aving a word with Vodafone and apparently the settings on my phone needed to be changed to activate receiving the pictures, even though last week they told me I didn't need to do anything - D'OH.

Geoff will be gutted to know that he's just missed a reporter from Virgin Radio by about two minutes as she has popped along to Euston to catch up with them.

[10.00am - Update] - Fourteen year old Jonny Lyon at Euston

Jonny Lyon at Euston 10am

[9.45 - Update] - First team through at Euston

Patrick Paul Johnny and Tami at Euston 945am

Just heard that Tami, Paul, Patrick and Jonny where the first people to make it to the Euston pitstop. There's a group of volunteers at Euston station who have energy bars, first aid kits and general moral support on hand. They'll also be taking a polaroid picture of the challengers when they get to the station and sticking them on a board so that everyone can see their progress. Helene says she's sent me a mobile phone picture too - but haven't received it yet. Note to self - 'av a word with vodafone to see why they're not coming through.

[9.40 - Update] - First Mobile phone picture of the day

As I haven't got a picture phone myself I'm getting mobile pictures sent to me over the net and this may mean they take a while to come in. I'm not sure.

First Mobile Phone Picture of the Day

But the first one of the day has come in from Chris and Andy who say:

"Chiswick park. 4 hours gone, half hour behind. And i see no train.. From Andy and Chris."

[9.40 - Update] - "Well that was organised chaos wasn't it?", said a bemused Tube driver at West Harrow when 67 people were piling themselves onto his train at 7.15 this morning. Just had a report from Geoff saying that the station isn't normally used to seeing a gaggle of Tube Challengers getting their tickets through the gates and rushing down to get a train. Specially when one of the challengers' rucksacks split open, with the contents of the bag over the platform. Fortunately the driver waited for them all to get on.

The challengers all stayed in a large group from the start at 6am, but at 8am they split up into smaller teams and went their separate ways.

Apparently all the Tube driver's know that that challenge is taking place today and have been radioing each other about it. So we can expect to hear more ironic/funny/bemused driver's announcements about it throughout the day.

[9am - Update] - Werenotafraid blog Tuberelief

The popular website that I'm sure everyone knows about, blogged Tube Relief - many thanks guys!

[7.20am - Update] - Tube Relief on BBC website

It looks like the BBC were the first to break the news of the date of Tube Relief (obviously with the exception of this blog!!). The date of the challenge had been a closely guarded secret mainly for security reasons.

Also you might see reports of Geoff being 32 (from the official press release) - but I feel I must point out he's actually 33 now having celebrated his birthday a week ago!

[6.15am - Update] - The Early Morning Team Shot outside Amersham Station

The whole team at Amersham

Nice shot by Ann of the team getting ready for the off:

Preparing to leave Amersham - Photo by Ann

[6.10am - Update] - Jon Choo one of the challengers didn't make it to the night before meal (see below) but updated his blog at about 3am this morning with his thoughts for the day ahead:

"In less than three hours time we will be meeting at Amersham tube station to begin our twenty hour journey around the underground in our grave attempt to visit every. single. tube. station.

Around 260 of them on a distance of 400 kilometres.

*Yawn* Shit. I am still so tired. I do not know how I am going to get through this, but getting through this I will

His girlfriend Jen Hardy is also on the challenge and also gives her reasons for taking part.

"Some people almost forgotten on how useful and sustainable public transport is, those whom especially always had a bad principal of using their private cars just to go to a convenience store that located few metres away from their house (those in America, especially, with their 4X4!). Public transports are there for a reason! It helps in reducing Carbon Emissions (especially now when the world is force to do something to reduce all type of pollutions due to climate change).

In this post, I would like to take the opportunity to say how I envy London public transport for giving a positive example, not only to other cities in England (such as Brighton), but also other countries where public transport wasn't really put into practice yet (such as Indonesia).

Supporting Tube Relief 2005 will help us in putting the broken pieces back and giving people their confidence back in using public transport that will help in minimising the environmental impact!

You can also see a picture of their rucksacks with water, energy bars, Snickers and energy drinks for the long day ahead.

Jon and Jen's rucksacks for the day ahead

He said: "As you can see, we will be mostly carrying snacks, drinks, maps and pieces of papers. London's pick-pocketers should be warned that there is nothing of value to be found in the bags. At all."

[12.30am - Update] - Hopefully by now the challengers should all be tucked up in bed ready for the early start but on Wednesday night a whole group met in Amersham for a meal to swap stories and do some last minute planning. Tami Brisset had the furthest to travel coming over from New Orleans to take part in the challenge. She's a Police Captain in New Orleans and brought over some caps, badges and T-Shirts for the team.

Neil had challenged Geoff to a "Beardwatch" to see who could grow the biggest beard before the event. Geoff jumped ship after a few days but Neil continued and the beard ceremoniously disappeared this evening.

More pictures from the meal here (click pictures to enlarge):

Chris & Geoff Tami Brisset & Chris Presswell Anne Marie Tube challenger

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, August 25, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE