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Friday, September 29, 2006

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

After a break of a week, while I was sunning myself in Malaga, with not a Tube train in sight, it's back to Friday's Fashion Victims. The day where I showcase people who have taken a style and "made it their own". (Trade mark Louis Walsh)

Novelty Belts

Just in case you had thought the metallic look was beginning to be over.

Novelty Belts

Sadly it's not. Although I think that Gold Belt woman's friend was doing her bit for International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Plus Fours or Twiggy Trousers?

They're sort of the same length as Twiggy Trousers but the tight hem gave them more of the appearance of plus fours

Plus Fours

Perhaps it was the dark socks/tights that helped to, coupled with some shoes that wouldn't have looked out of place on a golf course.

I have cold wrists

I don't understand wristwarmers. To me they are slightly less sensible than leg warmers.


Why not just wear a jumper than covers up your arm? Could someone please explain.

Swimmies on the Tube

Finally, a guest TFV spot from Jim F

Flourescent Leotard Look by Jim F

He couldn't resist sending in a picture of "Lurid flourescent leotard on top of black leggings, topped with hoody. There were two of them on the Hamm & City yesterday morning but could only get one.

The looks they were getting...

I can only presume they were off to dance school or unless the 80's Fame look is really coming back.

That's it for this week. The previous victims can be found here and if you've missed the whole set they can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, September 29, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Coughing Banned on the Tube

Coughing Thank goodness for inverted commas

I love the way the London Paper's headline about coughing being "banned" on the Tube is next to the picture of that paragon of health, Fag Ash Lil aka Kate Moss. Much tabloid space given over to her smoking a fag in a bar in Ireland, but she's not been banned from coughing on the Tube.

In fact the judicious use of inverted commas means that no one's acutally been banned from coughing on the Tube. We learn that a Government body want us to see that coughing and sneezing without covering your mouth on the Tube is anti social behaviour, because it could spread a killer "public transport" flu (Yes, I love inverted commas too).

Professor Lindsey Davies, national director of the Government's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, said: "We will be ­encouraging people not to cough or sneeze without something over their face. If we make it socially unacceptable to cough and sneeze in ways that spread disease, we have a chance of preventing the pandemic."

The Londonpaper say that Government officials "are urging millions of Londoners to arm themselves with a hanky and make it 'socially unacceptable' to cough or sneeze.....Estimates suggest that one in four people in Britain will be affected in a pandemic. The last major one struck in 1918 and claimed more lives than the Great War."

Does this mean that we are going to get a spate of ads on the Tube telling people to not travel without a hanky? What happens if you're about to sneeze but one hand is strap hanging and the other is holding a bag or briefcase - will you be jumped upon by the PIP police? Perhaps things will get so bad that we'll see more people travelling around with those little white cotton masks that commuters wear in Japan.

But before we get into panic mode, I remember blogging about viruses being spread on the Tube quite some time ago now and there was a suggestion that the risks were over-hyped. "The Health Protection Agency says there is no indication that passengers in London and the South East - where public transport is more crowded - suffer more respiratory illnesses than other parts of the UK." said the BBC

Even so it doesn't feel great to be in a crowded Tube with people coughing and spluttering around you, specially when you learn that sneezes travel from speeds ranging from 100mph - 200mph depending on which fascinating fact table you are looking at. In The Guardian, which also covered the story, Professor Davies said "When a person with the flu sneezes, large droplets containing the virus can travel up to a metre through the air".

Just let me know when we hear the first announcements from Tube drivers reminding us not only to "Mind the Gap", but warning us that "Coughs & sneezes spread diseases". Maybe Sheriff Ken will cough up some funds so we see some TV adverts with a range of Londoners extolling the virtues of wet wipes and Handy Andies along with their Oystercards.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, September 28, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lost on London Transport

Lost Property OfficeStrange things found in the TfL Lost Property Office

Yesterday, I was kindly sent the very diverting Book of Lists: London, as the publishers, Canongate, happened to come across some of my pictures on Flickr and wanted to use them to illustrate their book.

Amongst the 180 lists of London which would keep a London pub quiz team happy for weeks, I found 14 of the weirdest things left on public transport. How some of the items would have even fitted on public transport, let alone left behind, beggars belief:

1. Two and half hundredweight of sultanas
2. Lawn mower
3. Breast Implants
4. Theatrical coffin
5. Stuffed eagle
6. 14-foot long boat
7. Divan bed
8. Park Bench
9. Garden Slide
10. Jar of bull's sperm (how they identified it as belonging to a bull is beyond me, one assumes it was labelled)
11. Urn of ashes
12. Dead bats in a container
13. Vasectomy kit
14. Two human skulls in a bag

If you were sitting across from any of the people carrying these items, wouldn't you think of calling them back and saying "Oi, you've left your dead bats behind", or "Excuse me madam, I think you've dropped your breasts". But if these people were travelling on the Northern Line weirdness is just part of the journey.

Computer at Green Park

I'm always surprised about the number of people I've seen carrying computers on the Tube. But sadly they never seem to forget them.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, September 26, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, September 25, 2006

Friends of London Transport Museum Auction

How much would you pay for the first copy of Metro?How much would you pay for the first copy of Metro?

Or a King's Cross Tube Station roundel? Or your own personalised announcement on the Docklands Light Railway?

Thanks to IanD, I learnt that The Friends of London's Transport museum are runing a charity auction through eBay up until the 1st October, to raise money for the refurbishment at Covent Garden. Transport related lots include: a one off bus driving experience, rare model buses (Fimb get your bids in); use of a routemaster for the day or evening; a train cab ride (currently standing at £255 - Graham O'Mara gets to do this every day); a tour of Kingsway tram station; plus 'lots' more.

Be a Mannequin on 1971 Q23 Stock Underground trainSurprisingly, no one has yet bid to be a mannequin in the museum itself. If you've been to the Museum you'll know that there are dummies sitting in the trains on display. So you for the a mere six grand you could be immortalised like one of the Tussauds wax works. As normal the dummy would be dressed in suitable clothing for the period but the face would be personalised to resemble the winner of this lot. A perfect although rather expensive way to scare the living daylights out of your friends if they visited the museum next year.

Happy bidding!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, September 25, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Fare evasion dilemma

Any legal eagles amongst you?

Back in London now and thanks to
Neil for holding the fort while I was in sunnier climes.

While I was away, someone left a message on goingunderground's message board with the following question:

"HELP! - A few weeks ago I was stopped by a plain clothes officer, and as I did not have a valid ticket, so I was told I would either be cautioned or prosecuted. I have received a letter saying that I should write to them explaining my case so they will decide whether to prosecute or caution me. The thing is, in spite of having a valid ticket at the time, I touched the wrong one on the machine (which belonged to someone else) by mistake. I was advised that I can only get a caution if I plead guilty, but in this case they might still prosecute. Does that mean that if I tell the truth, that I touched the wrong ticket by mistake, I will definitely be prosecuted and have criminal record for £1.50??? I really don't know what to do and would appreciate some advice. Cheers!"

So what happens in situations where you do have two tickets and you use the wrong one by mistake? There must be genuine cases where this happens. Or would TfL see this as the fare evasion excuse number 239, in the great collection of Lost Travelcard Excuses? Surely if you explain your mistake they would understand - because technically you have actually paid your fare and are travelling with a valid ticket - but just not showing it.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, September 25, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tube Fancy Dress Party Quiz Results

And the winners are......

Apologies for taking a while to get the results of
the quiz

Firstly you had to guess what Tube stations the following people had gone to a fancy dress party as

Which London Underground stations are these people dressed as?

The answers are:

a) High Barnet b) Canary Wharf, c) Elephant & Castle and d) King's Cross St Pancras

Part two asked, if you were going to a London Underground fancy dress party, what station would you go as and what would you wear?

There are some bonus prizes here for the best guesses to part two

I liked Kristen's "The only idea I can come up with is Notting Hill Gate... dress up as a hill, carrying a gate, and keep nodding my head (although that would hurt after about 5 mins lol)".

I also liked Saff's "Turnham Green - go wearing green clothes with a packet of ham on string round your neck. Every so often, flip the packet of ham around." as it combines a costume with party food.

However, the winner from the paperclip selection of those with the most points was Billy Abbott and I also liked his suggestion of Perivale where he said he would be dressed as a small woodland clearing while carrying a jug of pear based alcoholic beverage.

Tube Traveller Teddy Bear

Billy wins the very cuddly Tube Teddy Bear!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, September 25, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Avast, Ye Underground Mariners!

(or International Talk Like A Pirate Day)

Ahoy there me hearties!

Now be ye listening up, scurvy-dogs! Cap'n Mole has set sail fer sunnier climes and left yer olde first mate, able-assister Neil in charge of the good ship Blog, aaarrrr!

It be
International Talk Like A Pirate Day today so we'll have less o' that there English as ya call it (or whatever it be that ye rotten foreign lubbers be a-gibberin' away at, yaarr!)

I say we be gettin' us hence to the underground briney, boardin' the nearest vessel and makin' them there commutin' swabs speak like corsairs! And if they be not agreeable we'll put 'em all to the cutlass under obligation of surrendering their doubloons! Yaaarrr!

Mind you mates, should we spy maidens fair on board let us not be too hasty in cuttin' their throats. Rather, I say we might try a-makin' love to 'em with our worldly charm. They like a man who speaks proper ye know. We'll be wantin' some phrases to woo 'em with so I suggest this 'ere list of delightful fayre:
  • Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
  • Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
  • Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you
  • I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon
  • Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?
  • How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
  • Prepare to be boarded
  • They don't call me Long John because my head is so big
  • You're drinking a Salty Dog? How'd you like to try the real thing?
  • Wanna shiver me timbers?
  • Let's get together and haul some keel
An' if ya manages to get some photographs (whatever they be) of fellow pirates on the underground briney then we'll be puttin' their mugs up on the mast fer all to see.

Now be off wi' ye, or ye'll be kissin' the gunner's daughter afore ya knows it. YAAAARRRRR!!!!!!

; Posted by Anonymous Tuesday, September 19, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, September 18, 2006

Poirot on the Tube Quiz - 2

Agatha Christie on the London Underground

Many thanks to a regular reader who was watching Poirot's The Case of the Missing Will over the weekend and there was a scene where a woman was followed onto the tube and pushed down an escalator.

Can you guess from these pictures where the scenes were shot? Bear in mind the producers may have used some artistic licence and shot them at a number of locations:

Poirot screengrab - The Case of the Missing Will

Poirot screengrab - The Case of the Missing Will

Poirot screengrab - The Case of the Missing Will

Poirot screengrab - The Case of the Missing Will

Poirot screengrab - The Case of the Missing Will

If you want to see them all a bit larger, click on the images themselves and there are some more which may or may not be helpful on the following page.

You have until Sunday 24th September 23.59 GMT to make your guess and all correct guesses will go into Neil's paperclip selection

The prize is another photo frame / fridge magnet styled on the ticket booths that wer around at the time and there will be a bonus prize for best captions to the fourth picture.

Also there's going to be a week's break in blog proceedings as I'm off to Malaga for work - see you next week!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, September 18, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, September 15, 2006

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

Here's the regular weekly look at people spotted on the London Underground with a particularly unusual sense of style, or who could be considered victims of fashion.

Do they call her Mellow Yellow?

Coming back from Proms in the Park last weekend, we couldn't fail to spot this "Lady in Yellow"

Not so Mellow Yellow

Perhaps she should have sat next to the guy with the Yellow Pages Tube Map as the shade was remarkably similar.

Red & Green Should Never Be Seen

Or is it blue & green, or yellow green. I forget. Fishnet tights aside I don't think this red and green combo works.

Red & Green Should Never be seen?

Maybe it's the sequinned green flats which don't quite go with the pillar box red skirt. Maybe it's just the skirt itself which is almost like a micro kilt but not quite. I think at the end of the day the tabard 3/4 length black top is not doing the look a lot of favours.

Parallel Lines

I know that footless tights are this season's err.....tights, (according to The Sunday Times) but these tights are not exactly footless tights and not exactly leggings either

Footless Tights or Leggings

It all looks a little bit Blondie or Andy Warhol muse to me. What sort of length tights are you supposed to wear with that skirt?

The Avengers Look

A guest entry from James spotted on the Victoria Line

The Avengers Look

"She's wearing a combat jacket and evidently skirt/shorts small enough not be
seen below the jacket. Then to finish it off brilliant white boots

Personally I think she's in training to become the new Emma Peel. Those white boots scream 60's throwback, yet the combat jacket is very "Take one look at me and I'll wrestle you to the floor".

The Long Tails

Finally, and just in case you were worried that men were letting the side down, something that I really hope is not going to become a trend.

The Long Tail

From the front the guy on the left might not look particularly unusual, fairly loud taste in socks for the military looking jacket, but otherwise nothing too weird until you notice something dangling between his legs. And if you thought the guy on the right was carrying a soft toy, you'd be wrong.

The Long Tail 2

Rather bizarrely they were both wearing tails.

Apparently this wasn't a fancy dress party or some sort of passing fad, as shortly after I posted it on Flickr pixeldiva said:

"Oh my god! I know this guy!

Well, *know* as in, I saw him once, several years ago, outside Forbidden Planet when it was on New Oxford Street - but he's somewhat memorable.

Can't believe he still has the same tail

If anyone can explain the significance of this goth/punk/furry tail look, I'd be very happy.

That's it for this week. The previous week's victims can be found here and if you've missed the whole set they can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, September 15, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tube World Record Broken

Five seconds makes a world of difference in Tube Challenging

In my capacity an an "able assister" on Annie Mole, I feel I should make one of my occasional posts.

Steve and SamYes folks, the world record for visiting every tube station has been broken. As you may know, the record was held by
Geoff and I from the 5th of May 2004, with our time of 18 hours, 35 minutes and 43 seconds.

On the 30th of May, earlier this year, Steve Wilson and Sam Cawley went round all 275 stations in a time of 18 hours, 35 minutes and 38 seconds - just FIVE seconds faster than us!

As Geoff has moved to America, and I am suffering from Tube Challenge Apathy of late, there is currently no planned attempt to claim the record back, although it is accepted that both times are beatable given an efficient route and a good day of no delays.

You can find out more information about the joy of tube challenging at the Tube Challenge Forum.

; Posted by Anonymous Thursday, September 14, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Not on the London Underground

Lord of the Lines

Continuing with the posts where the London Underground roundel spotted in an unusual place, we have the first spotting of a celebrity sporting the Tube roundel.

Elijah Wood at SXSW Festival

A big thanks to Carolyn Jones who took the picture of Elijah Wood last year.

Carolyn explains "Waterloo Records is a large independent record store in Austin, Texas, where I went on vacation last summer. I didn't even think about the sign and name until your latest round of finds. The shop is really quite famous among its genre of music stores, and, because of the SXSW festival that goes on every year in Austin, has loads of celebrity fans."

She even kindly sent in a picture of the store

Waterloo Records - Austin, Texas

Much closer to home Mark Morton spotted a great lunchtime spot in the Sheffield's university area.

Lunch Station at Sheffield

Thanks to Mark and Carolyn for adding to the collection as we need to keep the Tube's lawyers globe trotting! Now if only we can spot one in Hawaii.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, September 13, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stuck on the Tube with Billy Mitchell

EastEnders stars at the end of their tether

Last night's EastEnders was I think the first time they had ever shot the bulk of an episode in a Tube carriage. You often see the characters have some major argument as one of them tries to leave the show at the mythical Walford East on the District Line. Alternatively, new characters arrive from the bowels of the Tube station, slightly dazed, bags in hand, surveying the delights of Walford Square wide eyed with wonder.

Billy Mitchell on the Tube

But last night Billy went slightly up the wall when his Tube was stuck in a tunnel. It's not great getting stuck in the tunnel at the best of times. Particularly when you have some nutter who's almost climbing the walls, trying to open the doors with buttons that haven't opened doors on the London Underground for years. Billy spent the bulk of the first stuck scene pacing around or standing uncomfortably close to the guy in front of him looking for a Tube station that doesn't exist.

The anguish and awkwardness on the extra's faces was pretty good, as they stared at him and at the same time tried not to catch his eye. Then the brave man opposite tried to calm him down as he was clearly making everyone else feel jittery. "Who are you mate? King of the carriage". Billy mouthed back.

Gradually more and more people moved away from Billy's seat, including the fat bloke next to Billy "Oi, you're taking up too much space. Move your legs".

When King of the Carriage stopped trying to calm Billy down, Billy, rather insightfully for Billy, says "What's up mate, rather listen to the sound of people breathing?" or "You've read that page a lot of times haven't you?".

Billy is finally shamed into silence or a moment of clarity, when King of the Carriage reminds him it's the anniversary of September 11th & in the situation people would rather not be reminded that the Tube was taking too long to move. It turns out that both King of the Carriage and Billy have had a particularly shite day and start opening up.

Tube Fares RiseKing of the Carriage waved a mocked up copy of The Standard with a 9/ll headline at Billy to remind him. It would have particularly clever if the writers had an inkling that around this time of year, the annual increase in Tube fares is announced.

So the rest of the carriage could have thrust non inky London Lites into his face and said "Yeah shut up you little runt, we've got a 33% increase in fares to think about".

Both of the papers must have been in a quandrary about on whether 9/11 or a fare rise should take centre stage. Strange how both decided we'd be more interested in the fare increase. Why? It's hardly news really. The fares increase every single year. I'd find the lack of a fare increase more deserving of front page news.

Back to the soaps, funnily enough on Sunday Neil and myself saw Gita formerly from EastEnders pacing up and down Kew Gardens station with steam coming out of her ears as her North London Line train had been cancelled. Perhaps EastEnders deliberately sends its more miserable stars onto the Tube to do some method acting.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, September 12, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where's Hellathrow Airport?

Cryptic message in dot matrix indicator

Coming back from
Proms in the Park on Saturday night, Neil noticed that our train was heading towards what looked like Hellathrow Airport or He!! athow Airport.

Hellathrow Airport

Or alternatively a cryptic clue for Ha!! Wait Terror Hop. Hopefully someone wasn't trying to tell us something.

On that pleasant note if you want read The Survivalist's theories on how to survive a subway attack. The author thinks that underground riders are not prepared enough for what to do in emergencies.

"Although officials understandably would prefer riders to stay on trains and wait for emergency rescuers if at all possible, it also stands to reason that riders should have some sense of how to escape a train and navigate the tracks if absolutely necessary. What's the best way to break a window to get fresh air? What do underground emergency exits look like? How is it possible to determine if the electrified rails have been turned off?"

Fair points as it's all very well making sure that staff know what to do in emergencies but there's very, very little on London Underground trains about a passenger evacuation procedure - if such a thing exists. Perhaps TfL simply don't want to scare us into thinking about more attacks.

In which case I wish they wouldn't display cryptic messages like the above!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, September 11, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, September 08, 2006

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

Ah, it's Friday again, and the regular weekly look at this week's fashion victims. The beginning of September is generally a weird time of year for clothes. It's not summer, but it's not quite autumn either and London has been reasonably warm. Although I've somehow managed to get a late summer cold. The ladies featured below are either making the most of summer's final rays or not......

Not so pretty in pink

Hmm the lady below is in a quandrary, she's managed to find items of clothing that are almost all the same shade of pink and thrown them together.

Pink Pink Pink

I used to go for a very co-ordinated collection of colours when I was younger thinking it would work, but as I've got older I've realised this makes it look as though you're trying a bit too hard.

Pink boots, pink belt, pink necklace, pink cardigan. Sensibly she didn't go the whole hog with pink jeans and pink underwear.


Footballer's girlfriend Colleen McLoughlin has been paid by Asda to do a lot of sashaying down the streets to the tune "Pretty Woman" warbled by a bunch of street urchins. She flicks back her locks at one point to provocatively reveal a backless top:

Back Necklace

The woman above is going the same way but with much more back on show and a delightful "backlace" to go with it.

Micro Shorts

I'm just jealous of this girl as she has the figure to carry it off

Micro Shorts

But interesting contrast between her and her friend. Hot Pants Lady felt it was warm enough to hardly wear much at all, whereas her mate is more autumnally dressed.

Is that a Skelt?

Finally one of those cases where your belt is as long as your skirt, or is it that your skirt is as short as your belt?

Belt almost as long as skirt

There was something quite sad about this girl. It was only about 9pm at night and she was carrying a single rose. Was it at date that had ended abruptly? Or was she going on to a blind date where she said, "I'll be the one carrying a rose and wearing a belt as my skirt. You can't miss me." I guess we'll never know.

That's it for this week. The previous week's victims can be found here and if you've missed the whole set they can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, September 08, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Piccadilly Line Station of the Future

Project Eden meets The Tube

Piccadilly Line Station of the Future

If you've got half an eye for design, good foresight, planning skills or you just like playing with "mixed media", you've got the opportunity to design a Piccadilly Line station of the future.

The example shown above looks like something out of the Jetsons or a Ray Bradbury sci-fi novel, as I really can't see us having floating stations with giant roof gardens and the sort of climate control you get in giant green houses or places like Project Eden. But who knows?

The competition is split into three categories - under 18's, over 18's and Transport for London Staff. Which is quite interesting - why a separate category for TfL staff? With most competitions that are open to the public, staff can't enter, so I can only guess there is some motivational - ten year plan - visionary thing going on, where we get to see how staff would envisage their ideal station.

I imagine the Piccadilly Line station of the future from a TfL viewpoint would be pretty empty, with no tourists, no children, no old people and certainly no one without an Oystercard. The TfL station of the future would have sensors that could recognise drunks, druggies, and graffiti artists from five yards. Once they entered the five yard radius a piercing ear-drum splitting sound would be emitted that only people who had a penchant for drugs, booze and spray paint cans could hear.

I'm generally rubbish at drawing but I have some ideas of items I'd like to see in a Piccadilly Line station of the future, and if someone wants to visualise them I'm happy to share the prize booty (including lots of cinema swag, one year membership to the V & A and goodies from CBBC's Underground Ernie - they spoiling us!). Perhaps we could come up with some sort of bulk entry.

If you're looking for some inspiration check out "Beautiful Subways from around the World", as many other countries already seem to be light years ahead of us in terms of design.

The combined metro and tram station in Oberhausen from the Rhine Ruhr area was built in 1996:

Oberhausen station

I also love this shell like entrance to Abando station in Bilbao. The entrances were designed by Sir Norman Foster in 1995 and are nicknamed fosteritos

Abando station in Bilbao

Ideas welcome in the comments and the more futuristic the better.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, September 07, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Tube by the evening freebies

London Lite on The TubeLondon Lite and The London Paper battle it out

Regular commuters will know by now that in addition to the morning Metro, we now have not one but two free papers to see us home at night. London Lite escaped last Friday and on Monday The London Paper hit the outside of Tube stations. Moley kindly sent me an email with some interesting thoughts on how the one of the capital's new papers covered the London Underground. Will it be the sign of things to come?

"Monday was the night when The London Paper was launched to go head to head with last weeks new freebie, the London Lite.

So, apart from the fact that they both ran with the same lead story - Steve Irwin's untimely death - you thought one of them might have gone for a big fat London exclusive.

Well, yes - one did. The London Paper on page 6 has the story "£6bn Games travel plan" which begins:

"A £6 BILLION masterplan aimed at ending London's commuter misery and reading the capital for Olympic glory has been exclusively revealed to thelondonpaper...."

This exclusive story has more big gaps in it than the Northern Line's service to Mill Hill East! I choose just a selection for you....

The London Paper

"Long-suffering commuters on London's neglected North London Silverlink line and passengers on the East London line from Shoreditch to New Cross will be among the first to benefit."

OK - The NLL comes to TfL from Autumn 2007, but the East London Line (phase 1) will not be fully delivered until June 2010!!!! If they are among the first, then we should all panic now.

"On Wednesday, Mayor Ken Livingstone will confirm he has signed a "225 million new contract to deliver 30 new trains on the North London Line"
How about this press release then from last Thursday.

Page 10 and 11 then go onto show the improvements for the Olympics - as you will notice they are all 'shocks'

  • Jubilee Line - Upgrade to the signalling
  • District Line - Rolling stock refurbished by 2009
  • Central Line - Capacity Upgrade
  • Station Upgrade - All 275 stations refurbished by 2010 (This is way behind schedule)
  • Bond Street to be upgraded sooner than 2010 (They obviously have not been through Bond Street recently, it's happening - now!)
  • Upgrading of all sub surface lines to get 15% increase in train service by March 2012 (They however forget to mention the S Stock.)
  • Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford - Stations to be upgraded to take DLR services. (Well, I've used DLR services at Canning Town and Stratford before - so 1/3 isn't bad!)
  • Woolwich Arsenal - Extension of DLR line with new station (Yes, because this is already under construction).
  • Bank to Lewisham line - Platforms to be extended for 3 car trains (Old news? They go on to tell you that an increase from 2 to 3 cars is a 50% increase in capacity - you don't say!).
  • Poplar and Canning Town - "New three car-trains" (We don't know what they will do with these three car trains at Poplar and Canning Town - perhaps turn them into offices?)
  • Four new stations to relieve at High Street, Abbey Road and Star Lane. (Yup - count them, one, two, three - errr????).
    "Hoxton clubbers can look forward to their own Tube stop for the first time" - since when has there been planned a TUBE service to Hoxton? TfL Rail - yes indeed.

    Finally - the article states
    "Up to 240,000 passengers disgorging at the Olympic Hub [Stratford]" - The Dictionary definition of Disgorging:
    1. To bring up and expel from the throat or stomach; vomit.
    2. To discharge violently; spew.
    3. To surrender (stolen goods or money, for example) unwillingly.
    4. To discharge or pour forth contents.

    Erm, I'm staying away from Stratford!!!!

    As you can see Moley wasn't exactly wild about the "news" in The London Paper.

    He concludes by saying: "The London Paper appears to have modelled itself on the Guardian whereas London Lite is a cross between The Metro and The Mirror. Incidentally, tonight the distributors were both stood next to each other trying to convince their victims (sorry, I mean readers) to choose their respective papers. There also appears to be an unwritten rule whereby you may not have a copy of each free paper! As I got yelled at both distributors for taking one of each!

    After tonight's performance, The London Paper have scored an almighty own goal and handed the upper hand to London Lite. Let battle commence........

    It's too early for me to have developed a favourite yet, but I am now having a bit of a time warp and thinking that night time is morning time with the amount of discarded papers strewn over the seats in the evening. Are London and the Underground seats big enough for two evening freebies?

    ; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, September 06, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE
  • Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Out of this world on the London Underground

    Tube Roundel in a virtual world

    Continuing in the series of the
    London Underground Roundel spotted in various places around the world other than London. Many thanks to James Petts who was in the virtual world of Second Life when he spotted part of the roundel

    Second Life Roundel

    So it appears that even virtual shops are nicking the roundel for their signage. James said "It was not clear why the logo had been chosen, but it is the first take-off of the roundel that I have seen in a virtual world. Where next - Mars?"

    I had seen the logo in a Tomb Raider game where Lara Croft was acting like any normal person on the Tube

    "Run and jump to grab the crack in the wall, and shimmy right. Jump to the ceiling panel and drop to the crawlspace. Use the ticket at the barrier, wary of rats and other vermin."

    Weird how there's no escape from the Tube even when you're trying to get out of this world.

    But if you're Harvey out of So Solid Crew and now in Daddy Cool you might think the Tube is as exciting as a virtual world. In yesterday's London Lite he said "The Tube is an adventure, the way all the lines join up". If that's an adventure, I'd love to know what he thinks a hum-drum day is.

    ; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, September 05, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Pantless in Paddington or Keckless in Kensington

    Trouserless subway riders arrested

    Many thanks to
    Sara who sent a link to a video from Improveverywhere where a group of New Yorkers travelled on the subway without any trousers and bizarrely got themselves arrested:

    "One frustrated cop freaked out and called in 25 more. 8 were ticketed and summonsed to court, 6 of the 8 were handcuffed and traveled in police vans to a precinct. Everyone has been released and is fine."

    With some of the microskirts we've seen on the Tube, I'm not sure if anyone in London would have even noticed, but where is the crime in travelling around on the subway with no trousers? Perhaps if Pantless Subway Riding was labelled as performance art the participants would have been given the Turner Prize? Do you think the same thing would have happened on the Tube?

    There have been occasions when Circle Line Parties have been stopped due to the police being a bunch of killjoys. Perhaps the powers that be are just happy with keeping the Underground a miserable place where you can't have any fun, you can't talk, you can't have a laugh or even try to get fellow passengers to have a double-take.

    ; Posted by annie mole Monday, September 04, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Tube Fancy Dress Quiz

    A Costume for Cockfosters

    I often get asked about how to get hold of the London Underground Font to produce and invite to the London Underground Fancy Dress party. People then ask for suggestions as to how to how to dress up as a Tube station (well like the names of Tube Stations) as an idea for themed parties. Last week Toyoko sent me the following picture where you had to guess which Tube stations people were dressed as

    Which London Underground stations are these people dressed as?

    So I thought it would make a good quiz. It's in two parts:

    1. Guess one of the stations that people are dressed as above - a, b, c or d. Just one please (people being smart alecs and guessing more than one will be disqualified) and you get a bonus point if you give a different guess to the person immediately before you. You should be able to make them out and c's pretty obvious.

    2. If you were going to a London Underground fancy dress party, what station would you go as and what would you wear? Again please just make one suggestion so other people have a chance to guess too. Although if a number of you want to go as Cockfosters that's fine as long as you all come up with a different costume!

    The prize is a Tube Traveller Teddy Bear

    Tube Traveller Teddy Bear

    To enter leave your email address and/or blog/website with your answers in the comments below. Please leave all your answers in one entry and you can only enter once! You have until 23.59 GMT, Sunday 10th September to enter.

    Neil will do his paperclip selection from the people with the most points and I'll probably throw in some suprise prizes for particularly inventive answers to part two.

    Have fun.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, September 01, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    London Underground Fashion Victims

    Fashion Victims on the Tube

    You've still got a few days to nominate Ms and Mr TFV (Tube Fashion Victim) 2006, but we're back with the normal week's look at slaves to fashion on the Tube or people with a particular style that they've taken and "made it their own" (Ah X-Factor Louis Walsh we love you - I'm almost tempted to be the 46th member of his fan club).

    Girls in Combats

    Seem to be a growing trend of women wearing camoflagued combats at the moment. They're a fairly blokey thing to wear, so how do you make them look a bit more girly.

    One trick is to buy a pair that have butterflies in them and wear with some big black boots - just in case people think you've sold out by getting girly butterfly ones in the first place

    Butterfly Combats

    Alternatively go full the full on camo look but make sure you're wearing a lot of girly bracelets to go with them.

    Beady Combats

    Luggage Trousers

    The following guy's trousers provide a very efficient way of dealing with the hand luggage ban we had on planes recently.

    Luggage Trousers

    Wear trousers that look as though you could fit enough things for a short break in the pockets. Certainly handy when the Tube announcer tells you to remember to take all of your personal belongings with you when you leave the train.

    We Lurve Leopardskin

    Well I don't really, but the two ladies below were in a bit of a leopardskin frenzy. Firstly we have leopardskin leggings with a micro denim skirt so micro that you can't even see it

    Leopard Leggings

    Then we have a leopard skin bag where the lady loves leopards so much she decided to keep the poor creature's face in the bag

    Leopardskin Bag & Ali Baba Shoes

    She's resourceful though this woman. She obviously accidently spilt a load of bleach onto her jeans which also ripped each leg in half down the front. I think she then used the points on her Ali Baba shoes to poke some holes into her jeans, only so that she could tie them back together again with some leather straps. Genius.

    Crocodile Rock

    At last we capture the lesser spotted Croc on the Tube. Are these hideous rubber clogs set to be this year's Ugg boots?


    I spotted so many people wearing them in general but Neil managed to grab this woman wearing a pair on the Tube. What a fine worn specimen they are. Half clog, half wellington boot and about half as comfortable I'd imagine.

    Jesus Loves Calvin Kleins

    Finally Mr Post Modern Irony man

    Jesus Loves your Calvin Kleins

    Simply loving the way he teams camo combats with a Jesus Loves You belt and a Bollywood bag. Coupled with his grey Calvin Kleins he looks trendtastic!

    That's it for this week. Don't forget to nominate Mrs & Ms TFV and if you've missed the whole set they can be seen on the following Flickr set.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, September 01, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE