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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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Only in Tokyo - Star Wars on the Subway

I MUST go on the Tokyo Subway

Where else can you see nonchalant looking Storm Troopers?

Densha Trooper

I found this through Blogula Rasa who said in her post that I would probably like it, and I did! Check out the Storm Trooper's full subway adventures here

I love the way that no one seems to have particularly noticed him queuing here:

Densha Trooper

And also love his commentary on buying a subway ticket:

"Buying a ticket at the station. Look up at the map and look to see where you want to go - then insert the amount of money shown under your destination. If you are not sure then just buy the cheapest ticket and pay the difference when you arrive at your destination.

I remember trying to do that when I was living in London - I got the cheapest ticket and wanted to pay the difference but instead ended up paying a poxy lousy 20 pound fine. London Underground - honestly - they will take every opportunity to take money from you and find every excuse. Every time I go back to the UK to see my folks, I find that ticket prices have doubled but the service seems to get worse

Hear hear Danny!

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 31, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

LOBO Card game based on the London Underground

1930's London Underground Game on EBay

I promise I am not getting commission for mentioning ebay so much of late, but as I blogged about
Monopoly yesterday, on Sunday a regular commenter sent me a link to a card game called LOBO which I had briefly blogged about in the past.

LOBO London Underground Station card game on Ebay

I must admit that the rules to LOBO are a bit beyond me. But I love the old stations that were part of LOBO. If you click on the links you will see some of the cards pictured with a little background description of each:

Addison Road - now Kensington Olympia
Post Office - now St Paul's
Uxbridge Road - doesn't exist any more
Mark Lane - now Tower Hill
Praed Street - Paddington Tube used to be called Paddington & Praed Street
Aldwych - the other station in the pack that no longer exists at all

Addision Road Old Station Name Card from LOBO Mark Lane Old Station Name Card from LOBO

The game on e-bay could be a bargain though as the link I was originally sent had the game selling at £30 - admittedly it looks like it was never used. But I like the used feel of the ebay one - and at the end of the day to get a game from the 1930's for a few quid is pretty good!

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 31, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 30, 2006

New Locations for Monopoly Board - How should the Tube feature?

Should the London Underground be on the Monopoly board?

I just heard on the radio that the new version of the board game Monopoly will have new locations on it when it comes out in June 2006. The public can vote for the new locations they'd like to see listed:

Choose Locations for New Monopoly Board

"Trendy Primrose Hill and Portobello Road are just two areas which could appear in the 2006 edition. Kings Road is one candidate which may oust Mayfair from the most expensive slot on the board. " says 24dash.com

Monopoly fans can vote for their favourites suggested by property website rightmove.co.uk and ask for a voting form via monopoly@monopoly.co.uk says the Monopoly press release.

But what about the London Underground eh? We've had Kings's Cross, Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street and Marylebone stations on for years. If we are going to get Kings Road, Coldharbour Lane, Brick Lane and Elephant & Castle, surely we should have Sloane Square, Brixton, Shadwell, and errr Elephant & Castle Tube stations?

Why not take it a bit further and have some new "Chance" cards relating to the Tube? "You've missed your stop because you fell asleep", "You trip over a busker's violin case and twist your ankle", "Your Oystercard has run out and you have no change on you!" Any more suggestions for stations or chance cards most welcome!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 30, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Derailed Competition Answers

Derailed Poster Ad at Green Park London UndergroundSubway Flirting Film Answers

Well done to everyone who entered the Derailed Quiz. The answers which could have been found by Googling or Yahooing or whatever are below:

1. When I first saw this poster I thought that the platform scene behind Clive Owen was the London Underground. With a little investigation I discovered that it wasn't. So, give the name of one other film that includes a fair amount of footage from the public transport system where Derailed is based?

Absolutely loads of films that were on Chicago's subway could have been given here. Including: Risky Business, Mercury Rising, While You Were Sleeping, The Fugitive, On the Line, Next of Kin, The Blues Brothers, High Fidelity, Spider-Man 2, Running Scared, About Last Night, Midnight Run, Code of Silence, Above the Law, Ocean's Eleven, Adventures in Babysitting, Flatliners, Excessive Force, Rapid Fire, and Medium Cool.

2. Both the transport system and the city where Derailed is based have nicknames. Please give the nickname of one or the other.

Pop along to the great Chicago Subway site and you'd find the answers to the subway part of this. I would have accepted The L, The Ell or The Big L. And a nickname for Chicago was an alternative answer - as usual Wikipedia had tons for you to choose even if you didn't know the fairly well known Windy City - there's also City of the Big Shoulders and Hog Butcher to the World.

Jack's Subway Tush3. Jennifer Aniston starred in Friends based in New York, as far as I know none of its episodes featured the New York Metro. However, Will & Grace another popular New York sitcom had at least two episodes that featured New York's underground system. Name one of the Will & Grace episodes that did or describe the episode if you don't know the actual name.

FYI I Hurt Too - the one with Jennifer Lopez
My Best Friend's Tush - I even blogged this a while back

4. Speaking of popular US sitcoms, Homer Simpson travels everywhere by car. Name one of the two things he believes people who use public transport are.

Jerks or Lesbians "public transportation is for jerks and lesbians".

Blogged here

5. The tie breaker. If the railway scence in the poster was from the London Underground and if the film was based on the Tube, what do you think the troubled looking Jennifer Aniston is thinking in the poster?

I haven't worked out who had exactly had the most points yet and I haven't judged the final tie-breaker answer yet, so you'll have to come back later tonight to see who the winner is.

But the following are in running to win that One Stop Short of Barking 2006 Calendar:

And the points scored for 1-4 are as follows

John Mac - 8 points (bonus points for being first to guess)
Pete - 7 points
IanD - 8 points
Robert John Kaper - 6 points
Dave Alexander - 7 points
Andrew - 8 points
alto2 - 8 points
Jamesthegill - 8 points

So I have to judge between John Mac, IanD, Andrew, alto2 and Jamesthegill for the best answer to number five - the tie breaker.

And the winner is.................................................

John Mac who thinks Jennifer Aniston would have been saying the following if she had been on the Tube "This dirty-old-man-rain-mac was a big mistake. I hope I don't end up on Annie's round up of fashion victims on the tube".

I'll be in touch for your address details John Mac and will get the Calendar sent directly to your address. Well done!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 30, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Chinese New Year on the London Underground

Chinatown on the Underground

Yesterday there were big
celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square and Soho in London. (See Mecca's blog entry and photos)

China in London - London Underground Poster

Leceister Square Tube was heaving by the time I left and strangely the British Transport had a little stall in the station with some of their sniffer dogs on "display"

It was a very different atmposphere to the last time I had seen so many sniffer dogs around (the aftermath of the London Bombings) and people were petting the dogs.

Transport Police at Leicester Square Tube Station with Dogs

You were also almost positively encouraged to take pictures of them. No one gave me a second glance when I forgot to turn of my flash when taking the picuture above. And I wasn't given a severe repremand by taking a picture of the policeman below, unlike one of the last times I took pictures of the police on the London Underground!

Transport Police at Leicester Square Tube Station with Dogs 2

It's good to see times have changed!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 30, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ebay Update and Derailed Quiz

Here's our Annie with a quick reminder

Firstly, bad luck if you lost out on the bid to buy
One Stop Short of Barking - Uncovering the London Underground on ebay - the bidding started at 1p and then it was eventually sold at £6.70 + £3 postage (which is incidentally more than amazon are selling it for). However, thanks to Graham, I've found out that you have a second chance if you like the "thrill" of ebay as someone else is auctioning it now and bidding started at 99p with only £1.50 for UK postage.

One Stop Short of Barking on Ebay again

Secondly, the deadline for entering the Derailed London Underground Quiz is at 23.59 GMT this evening. Good luck!

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 29, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, January 28, 2006

London Underground Song Writer Blunt in Burglar Kerfuffle

Subway Songster Socks Says Sun

Well actually today
The Sun have the fantastic headline that says "Blunt Bashes Burglar with Blunt Instrument" - but I'm quite pleased with my alternative headline too

Blunt Bashes Burglar with Blunt Instrument - Sun Headline

James Blunt the writer of my favourite London Underground song "You're Beautiful" (about having a fleeting romantic moment with someone you pass on the Tube) "routed a masked raider - by braining him with a music award he had just collected", said The Sun

"The singer, 30, grabbed the gong after he woke up to discover the robber in his hotel room at 5am.

Ex-Army captain James, who had won Best Newcomer at the French NRJ Radio awards, smashed him over the head with it

James said "I was looking for a phone to ring downstairs, or for an emergency button to push. But the only thing I could find was my NRJ award." As you may know he's up for a number of Brit Awards and joked "It would be good to win a Brit Award - you never know when it might come in handy to use on burglars".

Perhaps people will stop calling him wimpy and whiny now!

Meanwhile another Subway Songster doesn't want to sing with Blunt

Ian (not being James Blunt's greatest fan) sent me the following link in The Mirror after reading the above. It seems that Paul Weller who penned the original Going Underground (which is now a popular spoof song about the London Underground), and who also wrote Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, isn't too fond of James. Weller is going to pick up a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits (see my thoughts on this) and was asked to perform with Blunt. Weller replied "I'd rather eat my own s**t than duet with James Blunt."
Hmmm. Don't mince your words Paul!

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, January 28, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, January 27, 2006

Rail Travel Blog Competition in Metro

Blog your way to a year's free rail travel

A client at work kindly sent me an email asking if I'd seen the following in Metro (crikey even my clients know I blog about the Tube now):

Rail Travel Blog Competition in Metro

If you travel by rail and are prepared to blog about your journey every fortnight you could win a year's free travel in a competiton that Metro are running in conjunction with Passenger Focus - the National Rail consumer watchdog.

"We're looking for passengers to keep an online diary of their daily rail journey. In exchange, we're offering four lucky Metro readers the chance to win their season ticket for a year!

Just tell us in 20 words or fewer why you should be a Passenger Focus blogger and where you commute to and from and you will have the chance to win your usual rail journey free for a year

Now that is an interesting idea. I have more than enough blogging on my hands at the moment to enter and also I'll probably be travelling by Tube more in the next couple of months as I should be moving house (this competition only covers National Rail journeys).

Anyway, if you would like to enter, the full details are in yesterday's Metro and online here.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 27, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

Here's my regular weekly look at people spotted on the London Underground who could be considered slaves to fashion. People who have taken a fashion or a trend that's around right now and made it their own regardless as to whether it suits them or not. Also people who seem to be a little .... err eccentric in their fashion tastes.

Metallic Bag

We still have the classic metallic look still in favour. Here's a particularly chunky example of the specimen. Please, no more of these things. Laydeez they are soooooooo over!

Chunky Metallic Bag

Tube Sombrero

Tube Sombrero

Fortunately I don't think this guy was going to be wearing this Mexican influence headwear. Although if he had it would have been amazing, as he had that great Sideshow Bob big curly hairstyle and his hat would have just balanced on the top of his hair. I love the way he is sitting in the classic "Bloke on the Tube" legs wide apart way though. Obviously taking advantage of having some space in the new District Line carriages.

Haven't you forgotten something?

Can you see what the lady below has forgotten to do?

Label left on boots

Well the picture is a bit blurry because everyone including me was moving so quickly, but the lady tottering along in front of me in very spindly high heels, seemed to spend so much time learning to walk in her boots that she forgot to do something with them. I'm sure the eagle eyed amongst you can see what it was. Plus the ALT tag on the image is a big giveaway!

Buttoned Tiwggy Trousers

The lady below doesn't look too bad in the buttoned Twiggy Trousers, specially as has her legs crossed. These cropped tailored trousers favoured by sixties model Twiggy in the great M & S campaign which revived their sales, (see the TV ad on Twiggy's site) were actually beginning to grow on me:

Buttoned Twiggy Trousers 1

Well that was until I saw with her legs uncrossed.

Buttoned Twiggy Trousers 2

I think Twiggy Trousers only work if you are relatively tall and have thin legs. With her legs uncrossed the trousers just emphasised how short she was and had fairly chunky thighs. If you're too short, Twiggy trousers can give women that Jimmy Krankie look!

Feet on Seats

This man obviously loved his shoes so much he decided to put them on the seat so that everyone could see how wonderful they were!

Feet on seats

Loving the tattered jeans look too......Not!

And the glare from his shoes meant that he obviously hadn't seen signs like these

Please keep feet off seats Tube sign

That's it for this week. The previous entry for London Underground fashion victims is here and all of them together can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 27, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday Quiz and Competition - Pencil Case

What's wrong with this London Underground Map?

I'm surprised that not many of you so far have entered the
Derailed competition to win the One Stop Short of Barking 2006 Calendar (however you've still got till this Sunday night to enter), so I thought I would add another Friday competiton, where you can win what's in the picture below:

London Underground Map Pencil Case and Pencil

That's right it's a fantastic London Underground Map Pencil case and I'm going to throw in a London Transport Roundel pencil too. I can see you all trembling with excitement as I'm spoiling you so much. The pencil case actually makes a pretty cool make-up bag or small wash bag as it's waterproof.

Anyway, when you first look at the case, you may think it's a pretty fair representation of quite a bit of zone one on the current Tube Map. However, on closer inspection (here's a larger version) there are a number of things wrong with it. So to enter, please tell us what is wrong with it. Just give one thing only (anyone giving more than ONE thing or making two guesses will be disqualified) and you must each give a different answer - so speed is of the essence here. As usual leave your email address or website or blog address in the comments below to enter. You have until Sunday 5th February 23.59 GMT to enter. All correct entries will go into the Neil paperclip selection and the winner will be announced on Monday 5th February.

Have fun!

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 27, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 26, 2006

One Stop Short of Barking on ebay

Amazing what you can find on e-bay just after Xmas

One Stop Short of Barking on E-bay

Cool - the starting bid was 1p - so you have 2 days to get a bargain! I particularly like the way that it is photographed against a leather sofa!

Update - it sold eventually for £6.70 plus £3 postage making it more than the cost in amazon for a new one!

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 26, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

London Underground Logo used in India

This train will be calling at .....Mumbai

Some of you will remember that last November a group of us went to a really
fascinating talk by Mark Ovenden and Max Roberts - called Metro Maps and architecture of the world. In Mark's talk he had a section on how the London Underground logo or roundel has influenced the railway and subway logos of hundreds of countries systems around the world. Only yesterday Alan Williams kindly sent me two pictures of the roundel in use on a recent trip to India:

Chennai Metro - Tirusulam - India

"The first is on the Chennai metro where the familiar sign is used on all the stations."

Bollywood London Underground Tube Sign

He "saw the second sign in the midst of an industrial area in Mumbai, the building apparently is part of the original Bollywood."

Many thanks Alan! I think they're really good and if anyone else sees interesting uses of the London Underground Logo on their travels please feel free to send them in to me. Or just let me know if you've even seen the Tube roundel used anywhere unusual in the UK too.

Below is a reminder of just a handful of Metro signs from around the world and you can really see how London's logo has influenced some of them. Another characteristic they have in common is that most use the initial letter of the system's name in the logo and London is quite unusual as it doesn't!

Metro and Subway Logos From Around the World

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 26, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Signs on the London Underground

The most dangerous door on the Tube

Well I think I've found one of the scariest doors on the London Underground

Most Dangerous Door on the London Underground

You really would enter that door at your own peril and the London Underground seem to be doing all they can to prevent you from trying to get into it.

I wonder what secrets it holds?

Speaking of signs, Dave from Funky Pancake emailed me over the weekend as he thinks he may have found the source of all the No Sitting, No Waiting, No Talking and No Eye Contact signs you may have seen on the Tube - which incidentally must be confusing the hell out of tourists.

No Sitting London Underground Sign

No Eye contact London Underground sign

No Talking Sign

He said: "Remember ages ago I caught a photo of a 'no eye contact' sign on a Tube train ? Well, I spotted someone linked to it in my webstats and it revealed this website:
and if you look here ..... www.thenofoundation.com/project1.htm

Maybe you were aware of this already, but it looks like this might be the source of those signs!

I'm not actually sure if it is the source as they have used one of the pictures of No Talking that my friend from isthisyou definitely took, but who knows. Perhaps it is. Has anyone else seen any of these signs on the Tube? Or any weird signs in general?

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 25, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tube Buskers sing songs for Money

Tube Buskers Sing for MoneyPlay Johnny Cash for Me

Yesterday Metro reported the not too shocking news to most of us that buskers on the London Underground sing songs for money! Errr, shock horror. Well there is a bit more to it than that. Bizarrely, some record companies believe that one of the best ways to promote a record is to get a busker to sing it for you on the Tube.

Just before Christmas a test exercise where buskers sang songs from Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire once every two hours helped to push the album into the charts. So now according to The Sunday Times "When the new movie Walk the Line about the life of Johnny Cash opens in London next week, cinema-goers will be treated to a selection of his songs in London Underground stations. Buskers are being hired for £40 a day to sing Cash's hits as part of a marketing ploy to sell CDs"

But it's not just artists like Johnny Cash who are being given a boost on the Tube. Sony paid 34 buskers £150 each to play two hours of Eurythmics songs for three days, which only cost them £5,100 to get their songs heard by some of the 3 million people who use the Tube every day. A spokesman for Sony said: "I hope it gave commuters a chuckle. Sweet Dreams is not the usual song you would hear on the Tube, and it made you look up."

Apparently there's a bit of a kerfuffle going on (probably started by buskers who've not been able to cash in on the deal) as people are saying that this doesn't fit very well with the traditonal busker's "alternative" way of life. One banjo player at Monument station said: "I am a bit ambivalent about the idea. Busking, which used to be an alternative lifestyle, is now part of the corporate world."

Busker at Kew Gardens Tube Station with No busking StickerHowever, another busker defends his position to take cash to play Cash. Andy Thornes from Streatham, south London was playing songs at Tottenham Court Road Tube station last week and said:

"It is a good pay day for us. I like to play my own stuff most of the time, but the other day I left one two-hour pitch with just £1.80 to show for it. Anyway, I like Johnny Cash. I'll even throw in songs which aren't on the album like Ghost Riders in the Sky.

"Mind you, another record company promised a £50 bonus whenever one of their executives heard a busker sing songs from a particular album and we are still waiting to be paid."

What do you reckon? Should buskers be left to their normal "alternative" lifestyle or should big record companies sponsor them? Or have you heard a busker sing something you thought was unusual for them recently?

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 24, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 23, 2006

Thanks to a guardian angel on the London Underground

Mind the GapBlog reader would like to thank someone who helped her on Friday

I received the following email from Sarah Beaumont who wanted me to tell her story:

"Dear Annie,

I hope you don't mind me getting in touch with you - but your blog seemed like the best way of letting people know there are some real gents on the tube!

On Friday evening I was coming home from a long day at work and making an interchange at Victoria onto the District Line headed to Richmond at about 6pm. As I stepped onto the train I slipped down, and somehow started to fall into the gap between the carriage and the platform.* My legs seemed to go quite deep down the side - it all went into that horrible slow motion.

I heard people shouting behind me and felt a bloke behind me grabbing me underneath my arms. He pulled me up onto the train and some nice passengers helped me sit down after the unusual sight of several young men getting up for me!

By sheer shock of it I didn't manage to say thank you to the man who pulled me back up, but whoever he was, I really wanted to find a way to say thank you.

Who would have thought, there are some real gentlemen still using public transport!

Thanks for your great blog,

Sarah Beaumont

* (I have a kind of arthritis which means my knees can sometimes just stop working, they are generally a bit rubbish rather than me having one whisky too many)

Who said chivalry was dead!! Glad to hear you were OK too Sarah.

Funnily enough last week I saw a lady trip on a plastic bottle just as she was getting off a District Line at Richmond, fall over really badly and scream. A number of people quickly rushed to her aid and I got my mobile out just in case she was badly injured. Fortunately she was OK and hobbled off with another lady helping her, cursing the offending Lucozade bottle.

But interesting that the Mind The Gap announcements aren't for nothing. A woman emailed me last week after reading my BBC article on Mind the Gap and wondered when the term "Mind the Gap" was first used. Anyone have any ideas? Also anyone else have any tales of chivalry on the London Underground? Always nice to have a pleasant story to take our minds off the strikes.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 23, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Pub bans Tube Strike leader Bob Crow (plus my photos of another blubbery object in the News)

London Underground Strike Union leader banned from pub

Pub Bans Tube Strike Boss - Evening Standard

Coming home on Friday night, I was reading the following over the shoulder of the person next to me. "Tube union chief Bob Crow has been barred from his local pub after a four hours drinking session during which his friends insulted customers and threatened staff".

Fantastic! I know the Standard have a massive anti-Crow and union bashing campaign on the moment (a bucket of water was thrown over one of their journalists by the driver who caused the wildcat Northern Line strikes), but can you blame the Standard with a great story like this? Apparently Crow and up to 14 RMT union members "took part in a foul mouthed session at a gastropub near Euston station. They sang rowdy songs, swore at customers,insulted female staff and threatened the landlord, only leaving when the police were called. One onlooker said 'Crow did nothing to stop it. He didn't tell them to calm down and yet he's supposed to be a leader who sets an example'"

Bob Crow has actually admitted to the ban. He said "Unfortunately, the new management took exception to our singing of seasonal songs".

According to one of the customers it was a bit more than seasonal "They were bothering customers with sexist and vulgar language - every other word was the 'c'word". When they were asked to leave by two women, one of the men wouldn't let go of his pint "The owners were called c's by this man while the others looked on laughing and tormenting these girls". A member of the pub's staff said "They got drunk and they insulted the staff. They think it's funny because we are girls. We have banned some, including Bob Crow".

Well it looks like the stranded Thames whale wasn't the only large blubbery thing that people were trying to get out of London!

Whale Swims into London - The Sun headlines

On Saturday afternoon, me, Neil and Mecca went over to see the whale being rescued and lifted by crane from Battersea.

Whale being lifted at Battersea London

Well how often can you say you've do seen something like that. It was sad to see that the poor creature died on the way to Kent. Poor thing. My complete flickr set of the Thames whale rescue is here and Mecca's blog has a commentary on watching the whale being lifted at Battersea.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 23, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Stockwell London Tube Shooting - Six months on

Spoof London Underground Sign on Stockwell ShootingVigil for Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube today

Here's another sad six month anniversary following the horrific London bombings (my thoughts on six months from July 7th here). It's six months to the day that police shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes who they mistook for a London bomber inside a tube carriage at Stockwell London Underground station. A few days ago I reported on the fact that inquiry to his shooting has finally been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

In those six months we have heard more rumours and lies and cover ups and stories than I care to report right now. It's all been blogged here in the past. Look up Jean Charles de Menezes in the Google search for this blog and you'll find most of the references.

The vigil for Jean Charles takes place at 1pm today at Stockwell Tube Station.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 22, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Welcome if you came from Yahoo!

London Underground Blog in
Yahoo!'s Office Attachments

I did wonder why I had an unusually high peak in visitors to the blog on Friday and it's thanks to the lovely guys and gals at Yahoo! for selecting this blog for one of their best of the week's web on Office Attachments! Yahooooooooooo!

Yahoo Office Attachments Screengrab

Further down the page they said "Going Underground Blog
And the boys all sing and the boys all shout - because there's a delay on the Northern Line and they'll all be late for work. Great blogging from 200 feet down

So welcome if it's your first time here. Hope you have fun and visit on a regular basis! Enjoy the ride

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, January 21, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Quiz and Competition - Derailed

Five questions based around Derailed poster

Right, it's time for a Friday quiz, and a couple of weeks ago, I promised a hard one as there was so much interest in the
Scissor Sisters' one. If you've been travelling on the Tube right now you can't have failed to see the poster for Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen's new subway flirting film Derailed which is released in the UK in February.

Derailed Poster Ad at Green Park London Underground

So I have number of questions based around it. All of the questions (with the exception of the tie-breaker) have at least two possible correct answers, so you will get a bonus point if you don't give the same answer as the person who guessed immediately before you - but you can only give ONE answer to each of the five questions (so no showing off if you know several answers to each question - I just want five answers please). At the closing date (Sunday 29th January 23.59 GMT) we will add up all the points and those with the most points will go into the final. If there is one outright winner with most points, he or she will win. In the event of more than one person having the most points from questions 1 - 4, they will be judged on their answer to question 5 - the tie-breaker. You must give all five answers at the same time and there are NO second guesses. Clear as mud!

No it's simple really, just give your five answers to the questions below by the 29th January and I'll worry about working out the points.

Derailed Poster Ad Detail1. When I first saw this poster I thought that the platform scene behind Clive Owen was the London Underground. With a little investigation I discovered that it wasn't. So, give the name of one other film that includes a fair amount of footage from the public transport system where Derailed is based?

2. Both the transport system and the city where Derailed is based have nicknames. Please give the nickname of one or the other.

3. Jennifer Aniston starred in Friends based in New York, as far as I know none of its episodes featured the New York Metro. However, Will & Grace another popular New York sitcom had at least two episodes that featured New York's underground system. Name one of the Will & Grace episodes that did or describe the episode if you don't know the actual name.

4. Speaking of popular US sitcoms, Homer Simpson travels everywhere by car. Name one of the two things he believes people who use public transport are.

5. The tie breaker. If the railway scence in the poster was from the London Underground and if the film was based on the Tube, what do you think the troubled looking Jennifer Aniston is thinking in the poster?

As mentioned before the prize is a "One Stop Short of Barking - Unofficial 2006 Calendar"

You must give either your email address or your blog or website in the comments below to enter. So get your thinking caps on and enjoy!

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 20, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

Here's my regular weekly look at people spotted on the London Underground who could be considered slaves to fashion. Interestingly, on Wednesday, Metro had a feature on Fashion Victims and cited the following as the year's "fashion crimes"

1. Anything Burberry
2. Chav gold chains
3. Ponchos
4. UGG boots
5. Cowboy boots
6. Furry Mukluk boots
7. Visible G Strings
8. Gipsy skirts
9. Socks and sandals

Worst Dressed - Fashion Victim article in Metro

A number of these - particularly the footwear have featured as Tube Fashion Victims in this blog. However, with this week there are none from the above.

Metallic Bag

Why are women still carrying these? Why? Why? Why?

Metallic Bag on Escalator

The only advantage of this is that it seemed to fit quite well with the metallic escalator I took the picture against.

Swirly Skirt and Sneakers

Swirly skirt and pumps

It's quite hard to tell that the woman above was wearing a long swirly satin looking skirt. But she was and I have no idea why she chose to wear a pair of sneakers or lace up pumps with them. It just didn't work for me.

How many ways is this WRONG?

And again, I'll end with the best of this week. I have a personal hatred of fishnet tights, but we'll let that go. Fishnet tights with Twiggy Shorts (a shorter version of Twiggy Trousers) - purrrleeeese.

Fishnets, Shorts and Snakeskin Shoes

I really can't see the appeal of these tailored shorts which just make women look like they are in the boy scouts. To top it off she finished the ensemble with some vile snakeskin shoes, and I caught her standing in a very coquettish way. Incidentally she was wearing a denim jacket with all of this, just to get as many looks as possible in one outfit. Bizarre.

The last entry for the London Underground fashion victims and all of them together can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 20, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 19, 2006

RMT may be striking with ASLEF Tube Drivers

RMT join one of ASLEF's causes and ballot for a strike

Tube Strike Front Page of Evening Standard

I'm really pleased that Bob Crow did manage to work out what the hell ASLEF were talking about in their press release on strikes, or perhaps he's just in favour of some of their members striking of the dismissal of their speeding driver - I spose it doesn't matter at the end of the day as he's decided to become all pally with ASLEF.

In a massive case of the pot calling the kettle black, he says this about the London Underground and their implementation of new procedures:

"Maybe they think there will be a management shake-up following the appointment of the new commissioner, but they are running wild, trying to out-militant each other and our members have run out of patience.

"The ballot will run on the same timetable as Aslef's, closing on February 9, and we will co-ordinate action with Aslef if management do not meanwhile withdraw imposed procedures and observe existing agreements.

"No doubt we will once more be accused of disruption but, as with the station-staff dispute, the blame once again lies squarely with management trying to impose rather than negotiate

Errr no, I think the blame lies firmly with you having a bit of a "strike" fever the moment and throwing a strop because not a lot of people were actually inconveienced by your last strikes - mainly cos all the station staff thought the strike was over nothing and were running out of patience with you deserting them to go off on holiday to Eygpt in the middle of it all. Phew (I think that just about sums it up). Check out the RMT's site and now LU have responded with a "there is no justification for this ballot" statement. It is becoming more and more like a soap opera so watch this space for the latest instalments. See thisislocallondon on this too.

17th January 2006 - London Underground implement the "hated" staff rosters with no changes

So you, like me, will now be asking - "What in god's name was the point of the Tube strikes we had in January and on New Year's Eve?", as today London Underground (LU) have announced that the staffing rosters behind the shorter working week will be going ahead as planned.

Tim O'Toole LU's Managing Director said "The agreement that will be implemented is exactly the same as it was before the RMT strike action. The only purpose the strikes served was to inconvenience Londoners.

"This deal is a fair deal and ensures safe staffing levels at all London Underground stations. There will be no job cuts and no extra cost to farepayers. The new staff rosters will now be implemented at all 44 London Underground station groups on February 5."

However, what this press release neglected to say was meanwhile back at the RMT Bob Crow is finding something else to moan about: "More than 4,000 RMT Tube station staff members are to vote on a new proposal aimed at settling the dispute over safe staffing levels at London Underground stations."

Bob Crow said "The proposed agreement includes provision for the safety validation, involving RMT reps, of rosters for those station groups yet to be agreed."

Err I think this means that 4 out of 44 station groups still weren't happy with things.

He continued "In the event of our members rejecting the proposal, industrial action will be stepped up, and the ballot of our other LUL members for action short of strike, arising from safety breaches on the two recent strike days, will therefore continue, with the result also due on January 27."

Err I think this means, if most people think this is a fooking waste of time and don't vote to support 4 out of 44 station groups that he'll still get the RMT to vote on "safety breaches" that apparently were made when LU allowed certain stations to be opened on the strike days.

So it's a no win situation with Mr Crow as he seems determined to get his members to go on strike about something. Perhaps he will make sure the next strike action coincides with some of England's games in the FIFA world cup, so his members can get a day at home, and we can use it as an excuse to watch some footie too!

As usual comments more than welcome below and we also have our first RMT rep and active member commenting too!

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 19, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Stockwell London Tube Shooting Inquiry Complete

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) hand in their Jean Charles de Menezes report today

Intercept him - Killing of an Innocent

Just heard that the IPCC will hand its report to the Crown Prosecution Service today to decide if anyone should be charged. Ministers will also receive the report, but it will not yet be made public.

The BBC said: "Police and soldiers were watching the block of flats where Mr Menezes lived, believing a man suspected of the 21 July attacks lived there. A soldier saw the electrician leave his flat and thought he resembled the suspect. He suggested it was "worth somebody else having a look". The IPCC investigation has focused on how this vague identification led to Mr Menezes being shot dead on the Tube."

"Documents related to the IPCC probe, leaked last August, seemed to contradict eyewitness reports and initial police quotes that Mr Menezes' 'clothing and demeanour' added to suspicions he was a suicide bomber.

"The inquiry has interviewed a number of Metropolitan police officers of all ranks over Mr Menezes' death, but the head of the force, commissioner Sir Ian Blair, was not among them. A separate IPCC investigation is being held into Sir Ian's handling of the affair.

"All 30 passengers in the train carriage at the time of the shooting have been interviewed, and the probe took a total of 600 written statements

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 19, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Different City, different commute, similar issues

In Dublin's fair city, where commuting is pretty

This was the view from my train journey into work on Monday:

View from the DART

Some of you may have been paying enough attention to my posts to realise that I've actually been in Dublin for the last three days. I flew over on Sunday and stayed with some friends so on Monday morning I had to get up early to travel to our Dublin offices and my friends said the quickest way was by DART (or the Dublin Area Rapid Transit), the railway line that runs around the coast of Dublin.

As you can see from the picture above and the one below it's a much better view than I normally get from my train window:

View from the DART 2

However, it was interesting to note the similarities with the London Underground. They still had those signs telling you to keep your feet off the seats:

View from the DART- feet on seats sign

They have their own copies of Metro left on the seats:

Metro on the DART

Still no one looks particularly cheerful (in spite of the wonderful views outside), no one looks at each other - and AMAZINGLY for the Irish, no one talks to each other either:

Inside the DART

It's also good/sad to see they have the same issues about railway companies trying to justify the cost of repairs and the earnest insistance that there are no safety risks involved (this was about the LUAS though - a relatively new line for Dublin - which I also travelled on a few stops on Sunday):

Dublin Metro

Reading ads like that in the Dublin Metro it was hard to believe I wasn't on the Tube! But at least I wasn't reading about the latest discussions of train drivers or station staff striking or threatening to go on strike!

UPDATE - Fantastic - Ginny let me know that she has found a website which has "real-time DART maps with little Thomas the Tank engine graphics." It rocks.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 18, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE