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Friday, August 29, 2008

For Tube Fashion Victims?

First we had the
Oyster card watches and now some other London Underground "fashion" accessories. Well, just one accessory, as sadly there's only one in stock.

London Underground Necklace

I like the glittery background it's shot on. Other than that, I'll leave the jewellery maker to speak for themselves

"Handmade cababochon using a map of the london underground. This map has been protected using a plastic clear cab. Cababochon is set in a silver plated mount. I have added a silver plated chain necklace with bolt clasp opening."

If anyone has the slightest idea what cababochon is (without looking it up on Google), I'd love to know.

Many thanks to Jane Perrone for sending it through.

If you'd like to buy the necklace it's only $18 and is probably worth its weight in cababochon.

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

Roundels Not on the London Underground

Many thanks to everyone who has sent me a photo of a Tube Roundel not in it's normal home on the London Underground. As the roundel is 100 years old this year (see the
Roundel Scavenger Hunt which is photographically celebrating this - BTW only 6 places left if you want to go), it seemed fitting to post the latest ones I've been sent.

Firstly we have the wonderful "Super Funky Station", taken by Jon T in Italy.

Super Funky Station roundel taken by Jon T

I also love this mini cab photo taken in Hucknall. Not in Mick Hucknall but in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.

Hucknall taxi by Lizzie Andrews

The firm is called Torkard Cars and as Lizzie who spotted the cab said "Tut Tut".

If you'd like to see the full set of Roundels not on the Underground they're here.

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

Girl Geek Dinner at Google takes the cake

Last night I celebrated the
3rd year of the Girl Geek Dinners with a lovely dinner at Google's head office in London. You can catch up with most of what went on by taking a look at my Twitter stream.

Checking my Google Mail at Google

I have been in Google's HQ once before, but for many it was their first time there and there was clearly some excitement about being at Google Towers. A number of us were taking photos and my friend L J Rich tried to take a picture of a screen in the reception showing all of the searches (minus the ones on sex) that were being made on Google. Apparently this wasn't allowed though.

For me it was great to catch up with friends I hadn't seen for ages, including my old boss, who is now Marketing Director at Webjam. As some of you may know we used Webjam's platform for the Nom Nom Nom site, where we did a blogger's version of Master Chef earlier this year. It was also a mini reunion as participants, L J & Nicole hadn't seen each other since the "cook off".

Nicole & L J

Nicole is one of the main helpers of the London Girl Geek Dinners, and plans to do some interviews and fun stuff with us over the coming months, so watch this space.

There were some interesting speeches after dinner including a great one from a Google girl on user centred design and how they build apps for mobile phones and the interesting challenge of putting YouTube onto mobiles.

User Centred Design at Google

It finished with a depressing panel session on work life balance which basically highlighted for me that even though it's the 21st century, we still mention the dreaded word "glass ceiling" and that women in particular feel they have to sacrifice success at work if they decide to have children. Luckily there were birthday cakes to brighten the mood.

Girl Geek Dinner Cup Cakes

I woke this morning to a lovely message from food blogger Rachel in the US who amongst other things runs a blog about cupcakes. She'd seen the excitement about the cup cakes & Google on Twitter and used one of my pictures in her blog and also noted that the toppings of the cupcakes were much more popular with one eater.

If you'd like to see the rest of my pictures of the Girl Geek Dinner at Google they're here. Hi to all the girls (plus a few guys) who were there last night and a big thanks to Sarah Blow and her band of helpers for organising it & of course to Google for their hospitality.

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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Somers Town - Not a Eurostar ad

If you've been following
my Twitter stream you might have noticed that I was going to see Shane Meadows' new film Somers Town last night. It's been in the news a lot, not just because it's the first film that Meadows has produced that is shot outside of the North of England & not just because it's been wowing people at the Edinburgh Film Festival - but because it began life as a project funded by Eurostar.

Somers Town Tube ad

Eurostar, sponsoring a film? Isn't it going to be all shots of people with luggage getting off the London Underground at King's Cross, close ups of tickets, people saying how cheap and fast it is to travel to Paris and lingering shots of The Meeting Place statue at St Pancras Station?

The Meeting Place, St Pancras station, by Isabella Perry

It's far, far from that.

It's a really gentle, funny and beautifully shot black and white film about the relationship between two teenage boys. A runaway from the North of England, played with a cocksure matey & comic arrogance by 16 year old Thomas Turgoose, (who also starred in Meadows' award winning This is England) meets Polish Marek played by Piotr Jagiello. Tommo stays "holed up" in Marek's flat in Somers Town - an area of London around King's Cross. They meet a beautiful French girl and both fall in love with her. That's essentially the plot, there's no real twists in the story but I won't say what happens in the end.

I saw the horrific and disturbingly brilliant Dead Man's Shoes by Shane Meadows a week or so ago on Channel 4 and it gave me nightmares. This film could not be further from Meadows' gritty and violent work, well it wouldn't with Eurostar being behind it. Can you imagine "Travel on the Eurostar and get drugged up & beaten around the head by a gas mask wearing vigilante"?

It's not a "glorified corporate video" though. The original 10 minute film commissioned by the rail company intrigued Meadows so much that he turned it into a 72 minute film which was shot in ten days.

Yeah, you get to see the odd shot of the new Eurostar station building works (Marek's dad is one of the workers) and the towers of St Pancras station form a cathedral-like backdrop to many of the outdoor scenes. If you're expecting a railway film, you'll be disappointed. But if you want a slice of working class & immigrant life in London living within the shadow of a major station, you'll be happy.

Somers Town at Tricycle Cinema

Somers Town opened on August 22nd and is in cinemas nationwide. I saw it last night with Jemimah and Rory at the Tricycle cinema in Kilburn, which was surprisingly empty. This was good news for us, as we got to watch a great film, not at West End prices, in a quiet and comfy cinema.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Metroland trip on 1930's and 1920's trains

On Sunday 14 September, two historic London Underground trains will be taking the classic Metroland John Betjeman /
Julian Barnes suburban journey between Harrow and Amersham.

Photo by DoYouMindTheGap Photo by DoYouMindTheGap

The 1938 art deco tube train that I travelled on with some friends earlier this year will be returning to passenger service again for this special day out. It will be joined by an even older Sarah Siddons electric locomotive first conceived in 1923, but now restored to its former glory. Sarah Siddons "makes her first return to passenger service for seven years, after a sparkling repaint in her original maroon colours. She is the oldest working main line electric locomotive in Britain, and will pull a set of 1950s coaches."

When you get to the end of the line at Amersham there will be some classic 1950's buses taking you on a free journey to Amersham Old Town to enjoy Amersham Heritage Day, where you can get free entry to the local museum or just spend your time in Amersham.

Tickets for the heritage trains must be booked in advance on 020 7565 7298 and are £20.00. However, if you want to make a full day of it and get the first art deco 1938 Tube train departing from Harrow on the Hill at 10.26 (the only trip on the day to run to Amersham via Watford) this costs £25.00 per passenger.

All tickets are then valid for unlimited travel on the Heritage Train services throughout the day (subject to space being available).

Visit the London Transport Museum website for train times & full details.

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

Pets on the Tube

As much as I love
my cat Bolli, there's something about dogs that I can't resist. Yesterday morning I was faced by the big brown eyes of the hound below on the London Underground on the way to work

Dog on train 2

He or she looked so mournful and had that real "hang dog" look about it that said "commuting sucks and I so don't want to be on this carriage".

I spotted a much happier looking dog last week when I was travelling to Robert McInstosh's house for the Twitter Wine Tasting. Although the dog was only happier because it had the opportunity to run along beside its owner on a bike

Dog on train

I'm sure the boys shouldn't be riding their bikes down a platform like that, but it certainly took some skill working their way amongst the other commuter and exercising a dog at the same time.

I've still not seen a Tube or Train dog recently that tops the wonderful Elvis - my first and currently only Canine Tube Fashion Victim.

Elvis the Canine Tube Fashion Victim

I never tire of looking at his screwed up little face and strange curled up tongue. He rocks!

Here's Bolli doing his Elvis impression at the weekend:

I can haz spider - iz gud

OK he was eating a spider, but it's a similar look.

If you spot a cute or not so cute pet on your train travels please let us know.

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

Monday, August 25, 2008

London Transport represents London at Olympic Handover

Sadly, I never watched London's eight minute piece in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games live. However, thanks to the internet -
BBC iPlayer, Twitter and various online news sources I managed to see how London took the Olympic torch from Beijing in yesterday's handover ceremony. Many people including myself believe that London won't be able to live up to Beijing when we get the Olympics in 2012, however in the ceremony a double decker bus transformed into a err ... hedge-like Transformer, so perhaps there may be a tiny glimmer of hope.

London double decker bus in Olympic Handover - BBC Screengrab

"Being on a lift in a London bus kicking a ball into a stadium is something I've never done before and as an East End boy that makes me proud", said David Beckham in an interview before the ceremony.

The Guardian described it well "Enter the bus. After the cinematic drama of Beijing's opening and closing ceremonies, the Waldorf and Statlers of Her Majesty's Press had been waiting for London's straight-to-video offering. It wasn't a complete turkey, but it's probably fair to say 2012 has yet to give the world its House of Flying Daggers.

Eight minutes isn't long, though, and the double-decker had to navigate its way round the edge of the stadium to a bus-stop queue of snazzily dressed folk with umbrellas. Apparently this was intended to symbolise "the British preoccupation with the weather", which seemed less than enticing. Come to London! It'll tip down.

Scramble to get on bus - Olympic Handover -  BBC Screengrab

There was no room on the bus, which would have made this a cinéma vérité look at capital life had the bus not begun turning into a hedge, like a particularly benign Transformer. Then it tipped out a little girl, chosen by Blue Peter viewers (if you can believe that these days).....

Transforming Double Decker Bus - Olympic Handover - BBC Screengrab

Could London do without having to succumb to its fifth "swinging London" rebrand since 1995? There wasn't time to dwell on it, because everyone knew the bus was saving its most precious cargo till last. And suddenly he was there, and in an unbranded tracksuit, of all things. Behold, world, our Beckham! Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair! This guy the crowd did recognise, and they gave him the biggest reception of Britain's segment by far. One free kick into the crowd later, and London shunted themselves off, umbrellas twirling rather wanly.

Last week on this blog, we were pondering some real London Olympic sports or some London Underground sports for 2012 games and it appears that I have a little bit of Mystic Meg in me. I would have loved to seen Brompton racing in the Olympics and said "But why not have races in Brompton cycling? You'd have to unassemble your bike and get all your rucksacks & stuff together while leaping off a Tube train in the fastest possible time."

Brompton on the Piccadilly Line

So "imagine my surprise" when I found out on Twitter (thanks JamesCridland) that the Olympic handover to London involved Gold medallist & cyclist Chris Hoy riding a Brompton bike.

Chris Hoy on Brompton Bike - Olympic Handover Ceremony - BBC Screengrab


Brompton at Beijing Twitter

Sorry James no idea who will win the National next year.

The BBC's coverage of the closing ceremony was very impressive and even I, as a card card carrying non sport watcher, enjoyed it on iPlayer. They gave some lessons to be learnt for London and lesson seven is "Trains, Trains, Trains", as the BBC presenter said that Beijing's subway system was exemplary.

Subway update by London Annie

You can join the discussion as to whether the Tube system will be able to cope with the Olympics in an earlier post.

I love China's take on London getting the games as chinaview.cn describes the handover "The transformation of the famous London bus also provides a powerful example of the urban and practical being transformed into the dynamic and spectacular, symbolizing London's vision to use the power of the Games as a catalyst for change."

Not quite sure how "dynamic & spectacular" a hedge is. But if it's a hedge sprouting London's Leona Lewis (the best thing to come out of X Factor - I predicted X Factor rejects for our opening ceremony) and Jimmy Page singing Whole Lotta Love, perhaps they have a point.

X Factor Olympics on Twitter

Here's hoping I'm proved wrong and perhaps we'll see a Tube train transforming into a "dynamic & spectacular" transport system for 2012. Or then again, it may just be trundled onto the opening ceremony and transform itself into sardine can!

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

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tube Kitchen Clothing & Roundel Scavenger Hunt

Something for the weekend. Even though the Summer Bank Holiday in the UK isn't a big "eating" or "large family meal" occasion, you might find yourself doing a bit more cooking over the three day weekend. If so the London Underground has you sorted with this amazing Tube seat moquette apron & oven mitt

Tube Kitchen Clothing

Looks like the entire range of Transport for London's shop is now online. So no worried if you can't get over to Covent Garden you can still create that "in carriage" look for your own kitchen no matter where you live in the world. I'd love to see Gordon Ramsey in this. (Thanks to Whateleydude for the initial prod on this)

London Transport Museum Roundel Scavenger Hunt

If you can get yourself to Covent Garden on Saturday 27th September, the London Transport Museum are holding another of their popular photographic scavenger hunts.

"You've seen it at bus stops, you've seen it at every Underground stations from Morden to Edgware via Bank! But did you know this autumn the Roundel - The famous circle and bar logo will be 100 years old this year?

We're calling all photographers to celebrate with a Flickr scavenger hunt. Can you crack the cryptic clues leading you to a host of Roundels hiding in the City? There'll be prizes for the winners and photos taken on the day will have the chance to be featured in the Museum's brand new Online Roundel Browser - an interactive part of our website with games and resources all about the famous Roundel design.

The Dizzy Room 2

To sign up to take part in the scavenger hunt you'll need to log on and sign up to Flickr if you're not already a member at www.flickr.com

Then go to the London Transport Museum Roundel Scavenger Hunt group on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/groups/ltmuseum_roundel_scavenger_hunt/ and follow the instructions to join in.

Deadline for signing up is 30th August 2008

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis

The last two were brill and places go very quickly, so if you want a place sign up ASAP.

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

Signs of Summer Ending on the Tube

It's Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, so no work on Monday - Hoorah. But that means it's nearly the end of Summer - Boo. Earlier in the week I saw people coming back from one of the last big Summer festivals - the V Festival. So no more flowery wellies or having to dodge dazed looking travellers lugging around muddy rucksacks on the London Underground.

Last of the Summer Festivals 2

Last of the Summer Festivals

Last of the Summer Festivals

Another sign of summer ending is usually people starting to wear more clothes. But as we've had such a wet and rubbish August, I haven't really been noticing much of that.

What I have noticed however is a bit of A Clockwork Orange trend with guys wearing bowler hats on the Tube.

I don't mean the typically British pin striped suited man I spotted a while back at King's Cross.

King's Cross Bowler Hat and Umbrella

But much younger guys who appear to be looking a bit like Alex and his droogies.

Coming back from the Twitter Wine Tasting last night I saw a guy in a red bowler hat at Turnham Green but was too slow to get my camera out. However I managed to capture the following men at Holborn.

Bowler Hat 2

Bowler Hat 3

Weirdly reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange but they certainly didn't look as menacing. Anyone else seen more Bowler hatted guys or how do you know summer's coming to an end on the Tube?

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

Hugel Live Twitter Tasting

As mentioned in the post above, last night I was part of a Live Twitter Tasting, that's a Wine Tasting not tasting live Twitters.

Our excellent host of the physical tasting
Robert McIntosh explains it far more competently that I could this morning: "What makes this tasting different from 99.99% of all other wine tastings happening in the world right now is that it will take place live, in Europe and the US, using Twitter and also, because it can happen simultaneously anywhere in the world, we are going to be able to be joined by Etienne Hugel himself."

Les Fleurs d'Alsace 2

Etienne Hugel's family have been producing Alsace wine since the 15th century, so goodness knows what his ancestors would have made of a bunch of us centuries later taking digital pictures of the tasting and chatting to people in the US.

Sandrine and Nokia N95 (2) by Frenchie in London

Photographing Tweets

What made it very special and great fun was that Robert had decided to put on a great dinner where he and Andrew Barrow from Spittoon (WineScribbler on twitter) matched each course with the Alsace wines we were tasting.

Gewurztraminer Dessert Gewurztraminer

Robert McIntosh by Kai Andrew Barrow by Kai

My twitter reviews are on the photos of the wines below:

Wine 1 Les Fleurs d'Alsace

Wine 2 Pinot Blanc
Wine 3 Gewurztraminer
Wine 4 Reisling
Wine 5 Dessert Gewurztraminer

And of course the company was brilliant! Many thanks to Kai, Lea, Sandrine, Lolly, James, Mex, Jeremy, Niamh and of course Robert & Andrew for making it such a great evening. The rest of my photos from the Twitter Live Tasting are here and you can catch up with my live tweets at my Twitter stream.

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

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wood Lane Tube Station sneak peek

Thanks to James for sending me a picture of the new Wood Lane London Underground station. Work is still going on and it's not due for opening yet but some "unwrapping" was done last week.

Wood Lane Unwrapped taken by James E

The new station with an old station name (are you still following this) will be on the Hammersmith & City Line and should be opened later this year. There used to be two Wood Lane Tube stations. The one on the Central line opened 100 years ago in May 1908, but was closed in 1947 and replaced by White City station. The Wood Lane station on the Metropolitan Line also opened in 1908 but closed in 1914.

For more on the new Wood Lane see TfL's pdf " The first new station to be built on an existing London Underground line for more than 70 years. It will connect customers from central London with the new White City development, using the Hammersmith & City line. The state-of-the-art station has been designed to accommodate football match crowds and will benefit people who live and work in the area." There's also more here.

However one of the old Wood Lanes (no idea which one) saw light of day in the 1970's. It was featured in a seventies UK sci-fi TV series The Tomorrow People. The Tomorrow People were a group of trendy teleporting teenagers whose base "The Lab" was in a disused Tube station.

"With a hiss and a rumble the underground train moved slowly out of the station, treating its discarded passengers to a low, whining farewell as it disappeared into the tunnel. The assorted throng of theatre-goers and businessmen kept late at the office scurried for the escalators, hardly sparing a glance for the two boys in Hell's Angel jerkins who hung around a chocolate machine at the rear end of the platform. Watching until the attendant was out of sight, they immediately turned back and raised a small trapdoor hidden close to the tunnel entrance. In a moment they were bent low in a sewer-like gallery which ran off at an angle and eventually brought them to that little-known part of the London Underground which was doomed to remain forever sealed off and silent."

If you want to find out more about the old Wood Lanes, check out Hywel Williams' disused Tube Stations site.

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

Lucky Tube Seats - CCTV style ads for Nokia N-Gage

Nokia N-Gage have filmed a series of six "undercover" CCTV style videos on the London Underground to promote their N-Gage next generation mobile gaming service. The videos capture "the bemused reactions of passengers witnessing a man so engrossed in his game that he does anything in order to avoid any disruption to his match."

There's one of a guy in his bathrobe on the Tube playing the game as well, which is below. However, I found that one a bit lame and way too overacted, but maybe that's just me.

Anyway the videos aim to get people to visit
www.n-gage.com/fifa08. There are four other simliar Tube filmed videos there. Plus if you're in the UK you've got till the end of August to get a free FIFA 08 license if you have a compatible Nokia device (N95, N95 8gb, N81, N81 8gb, N82). You can also download N-Gage from there.

I don't do gaming so it'd be wasted on me, but some of you may want to download it.

Thumbs up to the first ad though, the mildly curious, but not really interested look on the guy that gives up his seat is a fairly typical Tube reaction. Mainly he just wants to get back to sleep & be left alone in peace.

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

London Olympic Sports for the Tube

While we're all shocked at Team GB doing so well in the Olympics (We seem to be good at sitting down sports - rowing and cycling and BMX'ing), I thought it might be interesting to see what London or rather London Underground sports that we might excel at when the Olympics comes here in 2012.

Brompton on the Piccadilly Line

So cycling, yes we appear to be good at cycling. BMX'ing we're tipped to win another Gold. But why not have races in Brompton cycling? You'd have to unassemble your bike and get all your rucksacks & stuff together while leaping off a Tube train in the fastest possible time.

Tug of War? That would be a good sport to re-introduce. How many times have you seen people pulling their bags and cases from the lock tight closing doors on the Tube?

Please don't hold the doors open

It takes Hurculean strength to open the doors when they're shut. I've seen some pretty strong commuters on the Tube doing this.

Strap Hanging or that gymnastic thing where you hang yourself from rings on the end of ropes. We'd be good at that.

Subway handle by London Annie

We might even get some branded Olympic strap hangers like the ones London Annie saw in Beijing (pictured above)

We could even introduce "hanging upside down bat-like from the Tube poles in weird boots" to the games

That would make for some err ... interesting viewing.

Any other ideas for typically London or London Underground sports (like the hurdles Jon suggested above) which would give us a fighting chance of doing well in the Olympics, much appreciated.

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tube Strike Off - RMT & Tube Lines reach agreement

Tube Lines reaches agreement in principle with the RMT, so that means that 72 hour strike planned for 20th August is off.

Tube Lines and the RMT have today reached agreement in principle on a two year pay deal that will suspend the industrial action and ensure that normal services run on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

The RMT will now ballot its members with a recommendation to accept the two year pay deal being offered.

Terry Morgan, Chief Executive of Tube Lines said:

This is a good deal for Tube Lines. We are pleased that, following constructive discussions with the RMT today, we have been able to agree in principle a two year deal that will satisfy all parties.”

Tube Strike Off

See Tube Lines for the full release.

Hoorah, guess the RMT must have realised this was going to be one of their most unpopular strikes to date.

Tube Strike Called Off

I was so tempted to add - "So expect delays to all destinations" to the end of the line on the poster above.

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

Oyster Card Watches Craze post in b3ta

The one and only time my blog gets mentioned in b3ta and I've only just noticed. Over the years I've tried getting a mention in
b3ta and nowt, nada, nothing. Now, when I'm too busy either clubbing most of the night (License 2 Live Launch Party) & going to Brighton, to read newsletters or check my stats - this happens:

Oyster Card Watches Craze post in b3ta

B3ta report on my "Oyster Card Watches Can get you fined" post in their weekly "What happened next?" feature, where they follow up on previous b3ta stories.

Here's what they said in this week's issue 341 -

* DISSOLVING OYSTER CARDS and sticking them in watches or magic wands, as recommended a few issues back, could land you with a fine. Apparently it's now "the latest craze", which must make the ticket barriers fun at rush hour.
http://snipurl.com/oysterpoo [london-underground_blogspot_com]

Thank you so much b3ta that's made my year! In case anyone's wondering how I noticed, I've just looked at my stats and traffic trebled on Friday, and it's still at twice its normal rate.

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

Tube Strike Notice for 20th August 2008

From Friday you might have seen notices like the one below about the upcoming
Tube Strike. In case you didn't know from noon on the 20th August till noon on Saturday 23rd August, around a thousand London Underground maintenance workers who work for Tube Lines will be staging a 72 hour strike over pay.

Tube Strike Notice

Now even though this is maintenance workers and not drivers or other London Underground staff, it is going to seriously affect the Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly Lines as a number of safety procedures won't be in place or have been checked and, quite rightly, the staff might not be able to run trains on those lines.

It'll also mean that other lines will be very overcrowded as we all try to find alternative routes to travel. The notice above is as neutral as it can be - saying "may" and "might", but personally I can't see the pay dispute being resolved in the next 24 hours.

But who knows, maybe RMT leader Bob Crow will have a brain wave and decide that a 4.95% payrise isn't that bad after all. Specially when it's over the rate of inflation (4.4%) and the average pay rise in the UK is only 3.7% and emergency workers like nurses are only looking at a pay increase of 2.5%

It was quite funny that my friend Ms.Jen from the US left the following comment on my Flickr picture when the strike was first announced:

"They schedule strikes? Shouldn't it be rather spontaneous to really mess up the works?

T'would seem that a scheduled strike is a fancy name for a holiday holding a sign... ;-)

That's what quite a few people in the UK think as well. Thankfully though legally the RMT and other unions operating "essential" services have to give notice and can't carry out the sudden "wildcat" walkouts of the past.

screengrab of TfL website

Watch this blog, TfL's website and the news for details of whether this week's strike goes ahead and get prepared for the next one which is planned for noon on Wednesday September 3rd till noon on Saturday September 6th.

Photo by LloydDavis - typos corrected in later editions

Update - Jon Justice spotted an interesting piece in the Evening Standard from Tube Lines' Chief Exec who believes the strike is purely political and not about pay.

UPDATE - I was wrong about them reaching an agreement - they have!!! Which means the Tube Strike is off!

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