Welcome to the fun, "irreverent & informative", award-winning London Underground - Tube Blog.
Click here for other London Underground guidance. Contact me here

Going Underground's Blog
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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.

Friday, February 29, 2008

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

It's Friday and time to get the files of the Fashion Police out as we look at the last London Underground Fashion Victims of February 2008. Clear examples of commuters who have taken a style and made it their own.

My Eyes, My Eyes

My eyes, My eyes

This woman goes for bold and errr, well bold. Giant sized Chanel bag has its own seat on the Tube. Garish leopard skin print boots, that Rod Stewart would have been proud of and a metallic puffa jacket. Now that whole look says - classy!

She's seen the future

It's quite sad that we're in the 21st Century and we haven't got jet packs or aren't wearing metallic outfits. Well at least some of us aren't:

Jetson Metallic Boots

When you look at the rest of her outfit with its miniature micro hat held on with clips and willpower alone, the Jetson boots don't look too out of place.

Micro Hat & Gold Boots

That's it for now. The previous victims can be found here and the complete picture gallery can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, February 29, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Chutney Bannister's Photography Show - Underworld

Regular visitors to the blog will know that I often feature
Chutney Bannister's fab London Underground photographs. Last night was the opening party of a free show "Underworld" that he put on in Kentish Town. It runs until the 12th March.

Here are are couple of pictures I took at the evening:

Window of Flaxon Ptootch - Chutney Bannister

Chutney Bannister's Opening Night - Underworld 4

The nearest Tubes to Flaxon Ptootch are Kentish Town, Camden Town & Chalk Farm.

Well done Chutney.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, February 29, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Multi mobile ownership could indicate terrorism

If you live in London you might have seen & heard on the radio a series of new
ads aimed at combating terrorism. We're all asked to look out for suspicious behaviour such as people taking pictures of CCTV cameras or people who have several mobile phones. So that basically means any geek, particularly Tube photographers.

Is this man a terrorist?

One poster says: "Terrorists need communications. They often collect and use many anonymous pay-as-you-go phones, as well as swapping sim cards and handsets.

"If you're suspicious of the number of phones someone has, we need to know."

Photo by Route79

Obviously I'm in favour of finding and capturing terrorists on public transport or anywhere. But I really think that the ownership of mobile phones as an indicator of terrorism could be turning on the "fear factor" too much. A huge number of people I know have two mobile phones. Jag from Route79 also noted this.

Up until recently I had two mobile phones - one for work and one for personal use.

James from Spinvox kindly invited me and some other nice bloggers to an event celebrating the ICA's 60th Birthday. In between being entertained by the celebs (more pictures from the night from Mecca's Flickr stream), I brought up the subject of this ad, and everyone agreed that the ads went too far.

Admittedly, we were all from a "mobile heavy" demographic, but the point remains that most people have good reasons for using "several" mobile phones. Perhaps the police ads should have focussed more on the other "suspicious" behaviour such as people buying large quantities of chemicals.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, February 28, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Did the Earth Move for you Baby?

Apparently much of
Britain had an earthquake last night at about 1am (measuring about 5.3) and I must have slept through it. Or possibly because I live so close to a railway line, I must have assumed that it was the normal rumble of trains going by.

The Station Supervisor of London Underground Life felt the earthquake.

The centre of the quake was around 127 miles north of London. Be interesting to hear if you felt it too, wherever you live in England.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

London Underground Staff Visualisation

Do you like the thought of visualising yourself at work even when you're not there?

visualise yourself back at work

London Underground had used a series of posters encouraging staff to start getting in "the right frame of mind" before their shift started.

I spose I can see where they are coming from, but not sure about the image of the Train driver, sorry, operator, returning from holiday, happily sitting on a plane, about to tuck into a flight meal, then thinking about himself behind the controls of his train.

Would you really start visualising yourself back at work that early?

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

West London Tube pest gets ASBO & Jail

West London Tube pest gets ASBO & JailLuckily I've not had the misfortune to come across this guy, even though I do use South Kensington station a fair bit. The British Transport Police (BTP) report that "David Ellis (66), of no fixed abode, was sentenced at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 20 February after persistently threatening and intimidating staff and passengers at Gloucester Road and South Kensington LU stations."

"Ellis would walk around the two stations growling at women and children, and pushing women out of his way. He spat at passengers and harassed them for money in the station booking halls, smoked cigarettes on the stations and made hoax phone calls using station payphones to the emergency services.

Despite being arrested and ejected from the stations on many occasions, Ellis would return and continue to harass passengers and staff

BTP Police Constable Kelly Sellers said:

"We are very pleased with the ASBO served against Mr Ellis. His language towards staff and passengers was foul and racist, and his behaviour was intimidating and threatening.

"This result has been achieved through months of evidence gathering by BTP officers.

"Passengers and staff who expressed concern will now be able to travel through and work on these stations without fear of further nuisance and intimidation from Ellis, who faces up to five years in prison if he breaches this order.

"Everyone has the right to travel or work on the Tube and go about their business without being subjected to this sort of abuse and the four month sentence and ASBO handed down to Ellis shows just how seriously this type of crime is treated by BTP and the courts."

I find it particularly nasty how he picked on women & children, probably knowing that a man would deck him. As the BTP say, everyone has a right to work & travel on the London Underground without being growled and spat at or racially abused. Let's hope the ASBO works when he gets out of jail.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, February 26, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, February 25, 2008

Video of Flickr Mini Meet @ London Transport Museum

Mike Sizemore shot a great video of the Flickr Mini Meet we ran last weekend. You might find the part where he videos the Museum's video of the growth of the Tube Map particularly interesting. It's at about 2.41 mins in.

Thanks to TrustedPlaces for supporting him while he helped me to organise this. More on the Mini Meet later - the pool of pictures from the afternoon is at over 640 now and I think there's still more to come!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, February 25, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Queen of the Underground IS Queen of the Underground

In a spooky bit of irony - busker Hadar who has a great song called "
Queen of the Underground" has now been crowned "Queen of the Underground" by winning Buskear's search to find the best busker on the London Underground.

Hadar from her myspace page

I've heard Hadar, lots of times on the Tube, and she does have an amazing voice so I believe the award's well deserved. I think when I first heard her, I thought she was Katie Melua doing some sort of promotion.

She said: "It's great to have won this competition but I believe there isn't just one Queen or King or best artist on the underground or above. We are all (buskers/artists) unique and special in a different way. I know musicians who played with huge bands and sometimes like to play the underground, it's an amazing experience!

Without the buskers who are the unsung heroes of London, and part of the fabric of the city, we wouldn't have had the magic, of creating the soundtrack to the people who travel in this city

You can see the lyrics to "Queen of the Underground", which she wrote as a jingle for co-sponsors of the competition, Capital 95.8, earlier this month.

I'm sure the busking community will be having much discussion / argument etc about why she won, who should have won, how much publicity she got, whatever. But essentially she's a great singer and I'm sure she will now do incredibly well as a result of the crown.

Lloyd Busking

Finally, I must apologise to my busking friend Lloyd Davis for not getting my interview with him up yet. In the meantime, you might want to have a look at some photos I took of him a couple of weeks ago, busking at Bond Street.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, February 24, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, February 22, 2008

Farringdon - Rudest Tube Station Two Years in a Row

Rudest London Underground Station. Now that's not neccessarily an honour you want to have once, but twice? Blimey the staff there must be pretty err, customer un-friendly.

Farringdon Rudest Tube Station

"Complaints were made about the behaviour of staff 37 times last year.

That is more than double the number of complaints at the next worst station, Finsbury Park - despite the fact that Farringdon is smaller and handled 10 million fewer passengers.

In 2006, there were 29 complaints about staff at Farringdon when the station also topped Islington's complaints league
." said thelondonpaper.

Now a local councillor & independent travel watchdog and have requested a high-level investigation into the findings to make sure the situation improves.

Do you know of any other Tube stations where you think the staff are particularly rude? If you're a regular user of Farringdon do you think they deserve the Rude crown?

Update - They're clearly trying hard to give good customer service now. See what I saw there on Friday 29th Feb.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, February 22, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

It's Friday and time for the second London Underground Fashion Victims of 2008. OK last week I lied when I said, that's all for this month - but couldn't resist the two below. Clear examples of commuters who have taken a style and made it their own.

Super Red Killer Heels

I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get a better shot of the woman below, but her boyfriend was in front of her and facing me, so I was probably mindful of the
snapper who got punched on the Tube:

F*** me pumps & cartoon bag

She's clearly not wearing escalator friendly shoes. They look like those amazing "F*** me" pumps from Agent Provacateur. But then why kill such a vampy look with a cartoony bag?

Bag Toys

I know loads of people love bag jewellery and little toys for their bags, but I just can't see the appeal. I can understand putting button badges on bags, but going out with half the cast of The Muppet Show chained to your bag, is a step too far.

Bag Toys

The woman above was going for that collegiate look too, as you may be able to see the cricket jumper she's wearing. Altogether it wasn't a good look.

That's it for now. The previous victims can be found here and the complete picture gallery can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, February 22, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sketches of Refurbishment of the London Transport Museum

When we were at the
Flickr Mini Meet at the London Transport Museum on Sunday, Sizemore and I spotted a quiet and rather peaceful gallery on the first floor, away from the excitement & buzz of the main museum downstairs.

Refurbishment gallery by sizemore

It was full of pastel sketches by Bruce Rowling who volunteered to become the museum's "refurbishment artist".

Sketches of the Refurbishment

Pastel Sketches of the Refurbishment

I only found out from yesterday's Metro, that this particular exhibition in the "CBS Outdoor Gallery" isn't permanent and will be running until the 30th March.

London Transport Museum Sketches of Refurbishment - Gallery

BTW - I will do a full blog post on the Flickr Mini Meet at the LT Museum, but am waiting for the Flickrites to get all their pictures up. I think we're nearly there - currently there's over 600 in the stream and I know some of these just represent a selection of what was taken on the day. But in the meantime you can read posts of the day from Jag of Route79, James Cridland and Sizemore's blog post for Trusted Places which includes a video.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, February 22, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tube Roundel in Facebook Ad

I very rarely click on ads in Facebook, but naturally the one below caught my eye:

Loans ad in Facebook

This will send TfL's lawyers into a roundel infringement hunting frenzy so I won't say which company the ad is for - but it's a reasonably well known finance group and not some little easyloans, loansrus, loans4u, fly by night company.

Beats seeing the usual ones on Facebook for plastic surgery or ads for dull products livened up by pictures of busty chicks.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, February 21, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

How well do kids know the Tube?

With it being half term, I've seen more than my fair share of kids on the Tube over the last couple of weeks. However, I came across an animation of how the London Underground map has become etched on the souls of every child in London. Although sadly it seems to have been taken down now.

Even though I've lived in Greater London all my life, it wasn't until I was 18 that I lived within walking distance of a Tube station. So I haven't got quite the same memories of commuting as a kid. It was more of a "treat" for going into town (although I was absolutely petrified of escalators for ages). I wonder if kids who use the Tube today will have a really innate knowledge of the Tube map?

One of my favourite kids books about the Tube or the Tube experienced from a child's eyes is
The Underground Conspiracy. The lead girl in the novel really does know the Tube like the back of her hand and has many secret short-cuts for getting around it much faster.

Boys on Tube
How do boys learn to sit like that at a young age?

Did any of you regularly use the Tube under the age of 18? Do you have kids who commute on it now? Just curious as to how they experience the Tube today.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, February 21, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tube groper jailed for one year

At the risk of turning into a Crimewatch blog about the London Underground (see the post below about the guy who thumped an amateur photographer on the Tube), a Tube groper has been given a year's prison sentence for sexually assaulting women on Central line Tube trains and the Docklands Light Railway on three occasions between April and June 2007.

"In all of the offences, Cutler boarded a crowded train, stood directly behind his victim and groped her. His name will also be placed onto the sex offender's register for 10 years.

Cutler was caught after a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation used CCTV footage to link him to the crimes
." report the Kent Messenger

Detective Constable Jane Hill, of BTP's Indecency Unit, said: "I would like to thank the victims and witnesses who came forward because with their help it was possible for us to quickly identify Cutler as the offender.

"Everyone has the right to travel on the Tube and go about their business without being subjected to this sort of assault and the one year sentence handed down shows just how seriously this type of crime is treated by BTP and the courts

Fortunately groping isn't such a big problem on the Tube as it is on Tokyo's subway. Regular readers may remember my recent post where the Japanese are successfully selling fake straphangers to give men something to do with their hands and make it clearly look like they are not groping women.

Time Out's 50 Best London Websites FeatureThanks to Time Out

BTW - Welcome to anyone who's visting this blog as a result of it being named in Time Out as one of London's 50 Best Websites.

Thanks Time Out - I'm seriously honoured & glad to see my friends Jag from Route79, Brian Pigeon and the Londonist amongst the top 50 too.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, February 20, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Police seeking Tube photographer attacker

A man taking some photographs of people on the London Underground was attacked and hopefully the picture that he took of his attacker can lead to their arrest:

British Transport Police are looking for this man

PC Ben Dawson said "It would appear the victim, an amateur photographer, who enjoys taking snaps of London street scenes, was taking shots on the escalators when a member of the public took exception to having his photo taken and asked him to delete the photo.

"The photographer told him he could not delete the shot as it was not a digital camera. The man then attempted to grab the camera and punched the victim in the face. The victim suffered cuts and bruising to his face as a result of the incident.

"We have released this photo today, which was taken by the victim prior to the incident and we are appealing to members of the public to assist us in identifying the man pictured.

"The man is described as white, 34-38 years-old and about 5 ft 9 in tall. He was wearing a dark jacket and carrying a dark rucksack

If you can help please call the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or the Witness Appeal Line on 020 7391 5275 quoting background reference B5 of 15/02/08. The attack happened at 10.17pm on Wednesday 12 December.

I'm always pretty careful about making sure the pictures that I personally take and blog about have faces blurred or not shown, mainly because I'm usually commenting on their dress sense. And luckily I have a digital camera so if anyone did ask me to delete a picture I would be able to. Also if any Tube Fashion Victims (TFVs) could identify themselves and ask me to take their picture down I would. So far only one TFV identified herself and she thought it was really funny.

People certainly have a right to privacy, however, if you are travelling in a public place you can expect to get photographed. People also have a right not to get smacked in the face, particularly when they're not breaking the law.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, February 18, 2008

How long did the Tube take to move this?

Many thanks to
Martin Deutsch who gave me a copy of Saturday's Guardian when we were at the Flickr Mini Meet at the London Transport Museum yesterday (more from me on that later this week - loads of photos to upload).

Sit your arse down from The Guardian

I had seen the picture of Glamoursmith, sorry, Hammersmith station before, where pesky urban artists Darius & Downey rather cleverly subvert familiar signs and icons. They now have a book out on February 23rd - The Adventures of Darius and Downey. If you have Saturday's Guardian you can check out more shots from London including a pair of kissing Belisha beacons.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, February 18, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Guess Where Tube Quiz (2) - Answers

IanD's second "
Guess Where Tube quiz" got a great response with tons of you guessing the location of various London Underground stations, which is surprisingly hard when the station names are blanked out.

Here are the results:

Picture 1 - Liverpool Street- guessed correctly by nine of you

Picture 2 - Waterloo - 12 of you got this one right

Picture 3 - Walthamstow Central - guessed correctly by six of you

Picture 4 - Goldhawk Road or as Ian says the canopy sign appears to say Gold Hawk Road. A number of you were thrown by the "Bush Garden" cafe next door. But it was guessed correctly by six of you - or one if you go with Ian's theory!

Picture 5 - Rotherhithe - only four of you got this one right.

Picture 6 - Paddington

Picture 7 - Leytonstone - I'm surprised more people didn't get this one with its Hitchcock mosaics. But overall, eight guessed correctly.

Picture 8 - Hounslow Central - six people got this right.

Picture 9 - Lambeth North - seven correct guesses here.

Picture 10 - Kingsbury - the least known station with only three of you getting it.

Picture 11 - Harrow on the Hill - six people got this one.

Picture 12 - Kennington - seven correct guesses here.

Once again, no one guessed all twelve correctly but Chz got the most stations correct with 10 right answers, which is quite an achievement.

Many thanks again to IanD for devising the quiz. Great idea he's already got another one in the pipeline for you.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, February 18, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Venus is now allowed to be nude on the Tube

Naked Venus Tube ban reversedBut Christ in boxer shorts is a no no

London Underground have done a fairly swift U-turn and are now allowing the naked Venus painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder to be displayed on the Tube network, as the Royal Academy of Art's poster campaign.

The Guardian report that "A spokesman admitted yesterday (Friday): "On reflection, given its context, the Cranach exhibition poster should not have been rejected and we have now approved the ad to be carried on the Tube."

News of the Tube's prudishness relating to the 500 year old artwork spread around the world & they were branded "bonkers" by John Whittingdale, chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

However, since then, a poster for a black comedy "Fat Christ" has been banned by the Tube on the grounds that it was "likely to offend ethnic, religious or other major groups". I think the fact that it stars "famous for being famous" topless model, Abi Titmuss, is likely to offend more people, but that's by the by.

Tube ban Fat Christ poster

The ban has been criticised by the Reverend Stephen Coles, of St Thomas's Church in Finsbury Park. He said: "The itch to censor is something one should resist. I can't quite see how this could cause offence. We're grown-ups and Jesus can defend himself. One has to be a little wary of indulging the super-sensitive." The Reverend added that the boxer shots actually preserved Christ's dignity more than usual.

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, February 16, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Carry On Up Your Tubes

London Underground Photo of the Week

Simply loving this photo of a new poster for the
Freedom Pass taken by the ever brill photographer *version-3-point-1:


You can almost hear the Tube driver with a Sid James cackle, shouting, "Stand clear of the doors love, mind your backs now. All stations to Cockfosters, you'd be Barking mad to miss it."

Leslie Phillips (Well Hello!) from several Carry On Films was used to launch this campaign last Monday.

Leslie Phillips launching the new Freedom Pass campaign

How come that is just so on target with its (generally) more mature market whereas the numpty considerate Londoners misses the mark so much? Barking!

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, February 16, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, February 15, 2008

London Underground Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims on the Tube

It's Friday. It's the end of
London Fashion Week and time for the first London Underground Fashion Victims of 2008. Commuters who are following Trinny & Susannah a little too rigidly or ones who have taken a style and made it their own.

Blokes Uggs

You don't see many men wearing Uggs (thank the Lord) but these were worn by a celebrity comedian who lives in Kew. I was sitting way too close to him to get his face in the picture, and to be honest, he's not really that famous any more. So I'll just let the Uggs speak for themselves.

Blokes Uggs

I think they're saying "We don't look quite as fugly on men as we do on women, and the bit of mud on them, makes our owner look a bit rugged & outdoorsy"

I'm Not a Plastic Bag

There's nowt wrong with being green, but aren't we over the "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" bags now?

I'm Not a Plastic Bag

People queued for hours when a few of the bags were sold at Anya Hindmarch's London boutique last year and there were also long queues when Sainsbury's started selling them. But now there's a bit of an Anti-I'm not a plastic bag backlash - especially as it was discovered they were made in China using cheap labour and are neither organic or fair trade.

Hand Painted Hand Made Bag - How much would you pay for it?Speaking of non-plastic bags, Mecca's artist friend Margaret is *thinking* about selling some of the handmade hand painted bags she makes in her spare time, but has no idea how much to charge. She'd really appreciate it if you could say how much you'd be prepared for a bag like hers.


Words fail me

Finally, I have few words to describe the look going on below:

Return of the Tube Fashion Victims

From the top we have a strange glittery woollen visor. The Nike puffa jacket makes her body look quite masculine, and then she becomes a woman again with some brown stripy cord-like trousers.

That's it for this month. The previous victims can be found here and the complete picture gallery can be seen on the following Flickr set.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, February 15, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Venus Too Sexy for the Tube

You won't see this on the Tube To "celebrate" Valentine's Day, it seems kind of appropriate to note that the Goddess of Love - Venus - isn't allowed on the London Underground, as she's simply too nekkid.

The 500 year old painting by German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder was intended to be the main poster for the Royal Academy of Arts' show of his works.

But CBS Outdoor who are responsible for all the ads on the London Underground deemed it too sexual and likely to cause offence.

John Whittingdale, chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said: "The decision is absolutely bonkers. This was painted around 500 years ago."

However, the rules say that ads should not "depict men, women or children in a sexual manner, or display nude or semi-nude figures in an overtly sexual context".

The Guardian report that "Six years ago the National Portrait Gallery - then headed by Charles Saumarez Smith, now chief at the Royal Academy - had to create a special, more modest poster for the underground of a 17th century painting by Lely of the beautiful Countess of Oxford with one breast bared. However, the Academy doesn't have a Venus under wraps. "We don't have a version B where she's got her clothes on," a spokeswoman said. "We're just hoping they change their minds and accept her."

They might be in for a long wait.

Venus now joins the ranks of Rampant Rabbit, a breast feeding bloke with man boobs, Jerry Hall with a pack of half naked men on leads and an ad for Gay Times which were all banned from the Tube for having the potential to cause offence.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, February 14, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tube Photos of the Week

Stand clear of the angry doors

Someone's been hard at work with a sharp object here:

Be particularly careful if the doors are angry by amphalon

As Amphalon who took the photo says "Be particularly careful if the doors are angry".

Jonanamary also spotted a similar sign

Go on by jonanamary

Wonder if it's the same person at work?

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, February 14, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE