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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
If you like this you'll LURVE One Stop Short of Barking, the fun and informative book about travelling
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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sherlock Holmes look-a-like on the Tube

Delighted to see this guy on the London Underground yesterday lunchtime. Not sure if he was going to watch
the new Sherlock Holmes film or if this brilliant outfit was his normal clothing.

Sherlock Holmes look-a-like on the Tube by Annie Mole

Either way he just needed a deerstalker hat to complete the look. Actually does the Robert Downey Jnr Holmes wear a deerstalker hat now?

Related posts
Baker Street Tube gets "re-tiled" for new Sherlock Holmes Film
Robert Downey Jr at Baker Street Tube 

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, December 31, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tube Strikes in January & February 2012 Suspended

The planned strikes from Tube drivers union Aslef are on hold after the union held "meaningful talks" with London Underground today. More discussions are due to take place next week.

Boxing Day Tube Strike - December 2011

General Secretary of Aslef Mick Whelan said, 'This decision has been taken on the basis that meaningful talks will begin next week with LUL management over future staffing arrangements for drivers working on Boxing Days in the future.'

Aslef's members staged a 24 walkout on Boxing Day in a dispute over Bank Holiday pay. Further strikes were planned for 2012 on 16 January, 3 February and 13 February.

London Underground's chief operating officer, Howard Collins, said: "I welcome the constructive approach taken by the leadership of Aslef at our discussions today. I look forward to further constructive talks next week, as we work to resolve this issue."

Let's hope the talks are indeed constructive & we don't face the prospect of strikes in the New Year.

Related posts
Boxing Day Tube Strike - What services are running December 26th 2011
Boxing Day Tube Strike Going Ahead - December 26th 2011
Boxing Day Tube Strike Planned
ASLEF vote for Boxing Day Strike

; Posted by annie mole Friday, December 30, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

New Year's Fare Increases - UK Commuters pay almost 10 times more for trains than other Europeans

Those back in work will have seen the reminders to try to buy your Travelcards now, not only to avoid the queues in January, but also to avoid the inevitable
annual fare increases. At least the staff at Ian Wood's station (pictured below) took a slightly less corporate approach with the fare increase announcement, warning that some "may come as quite a shock", rather than the blander company line signage at my station last year:

Welcome back to work by IanAWood

Travelcard increase poster by Annie Mole

As you ready yourself for the increases get set to know that we are already paying almost 10 times more for our season tickets than fellow Europeans. New statistics from the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) show that that rail travellers on the continent are paying far less for their trains.

"The price of a 2011 season ticket from Woking in Surrey to London, including Tube travel in the capital, is £3,268. Yet a similar 22-mile journey from Velletri to Rome costs Italian season ticket holders £336.17" report The Press Association. The 24-mile journey from Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris costs £924.66. While the 21-mile Strausberg to Berlin route is £705.85 and if you're commuting in Spain, the 22-mile Collado-Villalba to Madrid journey costs £653.74.

From January 2nd 2012, UK regulated fares, which include season tickets, are rising by an average of 6%. The overall average rise for all tickets is 5.9%. Fares on TfL's services for 2012 will rise by 5.6% on average.

The Campaign for Better Transport public transport campaigner Sophie Allain said: "When the cost of season tickets is so much higher than other European capitals, the Government's fare rises are starting to affect the UK's competitiveness. That's why if the Government is serious about promoting economic growth it must also look at reducing planned fare rises in 2013 and 2014 as part of a policy to cut fares and make public transport truly affordable."

Fares on TfL's services for 2012 will rise by 5.6 per cent on average and Londonist has the top line increases:
  • Monthly travelcard zone 1/1-2: £112.20 (5.6% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-3: £131.40 (6.2% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-4: £160.60 (6.1% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-5: £191.30 (6% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-6: £205.10 (5.9% increase)
  • Monthly bus pass: £72.20 (5.6% increase)
As they say "make sure you buy your travelcard in the next couple of days. It could save you up to £11.50 on a monthly ticket or £120 on an annual (zones 1-6)."

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; Posted by annie mole Friday, December 30, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Video Explaining December Closures around Edgware Road Tube

If you're wondering why there are closures on certain parts of the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines up until December 30th 2011, it's to test out the new signalling equipment around Edgware Road London Underground station which has been installed for the new, longer, air-conditioned trains, rolled out on the Tube network next year. The voiceover in TfL's video says of Edgware Road: "Believe it or not the station is still run with 1920's kit"  I'd believe it.

The new trains will be 23 metres longer than the old ones. However, as a result of the extra length, the antiquated signalling system has to be modified and now it needs to be all tested out before it can be put in to use.

Apparently this is particularly crucial for the Edgware Road area as it's one of the busiest on the Tube network "the Spaghetti Junction of the Underground" and where the lines mentioned above meet.

TfL said "A replacement bus will be provided which will run from end to end along the closure route. This service will run every 10 minutes and will be monitored and supplemented if necessary." Find out more on
TfL's site.

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; Posted by annie mole Thursday, December 29, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The BBC Borrowers live in Disused Ghost Tube Station

Anyone watch the first episode of new BBC series of "
The Borrowers" on Boxing Day evening? It's a wonderful adaptation of much loved childrens' books by Mary Norton starring Christopher Eccleston, Stephen Fry & Victoria Wood. The eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted that when the Borrowers (tiny people who live under floorboards) left their home after being discovered, they travelled to The Borrower's 'city' which appears to be below the platform of a disused London Underground Station.

The Borrowers BBC 2011 Live in Abandoned Tube Station

What a brilliant place for them to live, as abandoned Tube stations feature as the secret home for a number of fictional & fairytale characters. Many of the characters in Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere live in disused Tube stations and parts of the BBC TV series Neverwhere were filmed at abandoned Down Street Tube and the old Post Office London Underground railway.  Back in the 1970's The Tomorrow People had their base "The Lab" in disused Wood Lane station (which re-opened in 2008)

Many thanks to Pete of The Londoneer for letting me know about The Borrowers.

If you're in the UK you can watch the full episode of The Borrowers on iPlayer for the next few days. Look out for the Tube station first seen at 27mins 43 seconds in.

Related posts
Tube "stars" in Clint Eastwood film Hereafter
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; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, December 28, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ghost Tube Station Infographics

Every so often I get an email or a Tweet from someone saying "Have you seen this about the Tube?". In about 90% of cases I have, and have either blogged about it a while back or it was on my radar to blog about in the future. However, in the 10% of cases where I haven't it's usually something lovely or fun or interesting and I'm compelled to share it straight away. I was delighted to hear that
Penney Design has created five really cool retro looking illustrations/infographics of "ghost" or abandoned London Underground stations.

Piccadilly Line Ghost Station Infographic by Penney Design

Robert Penney said of the stations: "Many remain fairly intact and some even feature time capsule-like qualities, such as WWII propaganda posters hanging from the platform walls."

District Line Ghost Station Infographic by Penney Design

I love how some of the infographics have little wartime ads on them to "Save Your Scrap" or "Confirm your Confidence in Churchill"

Each of the five infographics has opening and closing dates for the stations and facts about why they were closed and interesting connections relating to their use in the war, whether they were used in film or TV, in music videos or in computer computer games.

You can see the full set here and they're also available as posters.  Thanks so much to @ConsultantHead who told me about them when he saw them on Retronaut.

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; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, December 27, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day Tube Strike - What services are running December 26th 2011

For the many people that have been asking, unfortunately, yes there is a
Tube strike today (December 26th 2011) by Tube drivers. Members of the train drivers' union Aslef are staging a walkout in a row with London Underground over pay.

Boxing Day Tube Strike - Evening Standard Billboard

If you were planning on using the Tube today, you'd be very, very wise to find alternative arrangements. London Overground doesn't run on Boxing Day anyway, so don't think about that as an alternative. However, Bus, DLR, Tramlink and some River services will all run.

Boxing Day Tube Strike - December 2011

TfL have added a section to their initial press release on the services they expect to run. In a nutshell, services on all lines are extremely limited, with very reduced frequency on those lines that are running for a small part of the line. The earliest any trains start appears to be 8.30am (limited shuttle service Ealing Broadway & Acton Town on District Line) other limited services start at in the main at 9.30am.

My advice, walk, get a bus (extra buses will be provided on many bus routes particularly in the central London area) or use a Barclays Bike if you're that central.

For those who are interested, the strike over pay involves the majority of drivers asking for additional payments plus a day off lieu for working on the bank holiday. London Underground are pretty miffed by this as the staff concerned are already earning a premium in their annual salary for working on public holidays. We also have further days of strike action to look forward to in the New Year as Aslef are planning to hold three further strikes in 2012 on 16th January, 3rd and 13th February.

Related posts
Boxing Day Tube Strike Going Ahead - December 26th 2011
Boxing Day Tube Strike Planned
ASLEF vote for Boxing Day Strike 

; Posted by annie mole Monday, December 26, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Festive Tube Pets & Merry Christmas from Bolli

Happy Xmas. The one day there is no public transport in London, no Tube, no London Overground, no DLR, generally no buses just
a few buses operating from airports. Also remember Boxing Day travel on the London Undeground will be challenge with the Boxing Day Tube Strike.

I thought I'd give you a seasonal greeting from my cat Bolli & other Tube travelling festive pets. As you can see Bolli loves wearing his Santa hat!

Ho Ho Ho

A couple of days ago, I spotted a much larger black cat on the Tube

Panther on the Tube by Annie Mole

Both the panther and its owner had fairly hypnotic eyes.

Moving onto a slightly less attractive pet, with a mournful looking pug on the Tube.

Pug on the Tube

I loved this little creature though and couldn't stop giggling at its expression. The pug looked up at me as if to say "Why are you laughing at my face?"

Finally, not on the Tube but Christmassy nevertheless was this huge husky type dog I saw on the London Overground.

Husky on the London Overground

Unlike last year, there's no snow forecast in London over the Christmas break, so no need for him or her to get involved in any snowy rescue duties!

Snowy Tube 20th December 2010

Enjoy Christmas Day & watch out for latest updates on TfL's site if you were planning on using the Tube on Boxing Day.

Related posts
Boxing Day Tube Strike Going Ahead - December 26th 2011
Festive Seats - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube
Xmas & NYE Tube Travel Guide
Boxing Day Tube Strike Planned
ASLEF vote for Boxing Day Strike    

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, December 25, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Xmas Buskers & Tube Music - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

You'll see & hear your fair share of singing Santas, people singing Christmas Carols for charity and a whole host of other music on the London Underground right now.

Santa Sings on the Tube

I saw this singing busker in the underpass at Green Park Tube the other day, who clearly thought that wearing a Santa hat rather than is normal hat (seen propped on an amplifier) would be a way to bring in the coins. He was right as a number of people stopped to give him cash.

This following two busking Santas from a few years back still remain my personal favourites. The first as he was hugely enthusiastic.

First busking Santa of Xmas

And this one because a busking Henry Hoover with a Santa hat on is weird even for the Tube

Mini Busker

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; Posted by annie mole Saturday, December 24, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, December 23, 2011

Boxing Day Tube Strike Going Ahead - December 26th 2011

Update Visit this post for news on 
Boxing Day Tube Strike for 2012 

London Underground has lost a last minute High Court bid to stop the Boxing Day strike on December 26th 2011 by Tube drivers. Members of the union Aslef are staging a walkout in a row with London Underground over pay.

Boxing Day Tube Strike - December 2011

They are after additional payments and a day off lieu of working on the bank holiday. This is despite the staff concerned already earning a premium in their annual salary for working on public holidays. Aslef are also planning to hold three further strikes in 2012 on 16th January, 3rd and 13th February.

London Underground (LU) contested the validity of the Aslef leadership's ballot for strike action, as the union had balloted all of its driver members for action despite only a quarter of LU's total of 3,500 drivers being needed to work on 26 December. However, the court decided that Aslef's ballot was not invalid.

General Secretary of Aslef, Mick Whelan, said "Whilst we’re obviously very pleased with today’s verdict, we feel that two days have been wasted going through the courts when we could have spent that time finding a resolution to this dispute."

Howard Collins, LU's Chief Operating Officer, said: 'The Aslef leadership is calling strike action over an outrageous claim for even more money to work on a day for which their members are already being paid. We have done everything we can to avert this needless action, including reducing the impact of Boxing Day working on staff and, as a last resort, taking legal action.

'We remain ready at any time before these four strike days to work with the union's leadership to resolve this issue through talks, and I urge them to get back around the table.

'We will run as many Tube services as we can and extra buses will operate on the busiest bus routes. However, the action taken by the Aslef leadership is likely to cause serious disruption to Tube services across the network affecting the Christmas holiday plans of many Londoners

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said: "This strike is unwelcome as it will harm London’s retailers, disrupt numerous Boxing Day events and lead to more cars on London’s roads – it is the last thing London needs.

"Londoners who are just days away from being hit by large Tube fare rises will find it hard to understand why this strike is really necessary

She's got a point! What do you think?

Related posts
Boxing Day Tube Strike - What services are running December 26th 2011
Boxing Day Tube Strike Planned - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube
ASLEF vote for Boxing Day Strike 

; Posted by annie mole Friday, December 23, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Keeping Tube Colds Away - 12 Days of Tube Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

You know it's Christmas on the London Underground, or at least winter, when the carriage is full of people sniffing, when the minute you cough someone instinctively pulls their scarf up over their face so they don't catch your germs and when you see people (mainly Japanese) wearing "flu masks".

Flu mask on the London Underground by Annie Mole

I understand that these are supposed have a double whammy of not only protecting you from other people's germs but also to stop you spreading your own bugs around.

Actually you're on a bit of a hiding to nothing if you try to keep yourself from getting a cold and you travel on public transport, you're likely to get a "Commuting Cough". Even though yesterday's Evening Standard gave advice on avoiding the "Cough-ice". Doctor Christian of the telly, so nicely said "Being squashed together in a packed Tube carriage with the disease-ridden public will guarantee you won't escape uninfected this winter."

However he continued with something I'd agree with "Dramatic gestures such as wearing a face mask are unlikely to help much as most people pick up infections from contaminated surfaces rather than from droplets in the air...

"Struggling into work when you are ill is not valiant and dedicated, it is foolish and will only prolong your own illness and virtually guarantee that colleagues will catch your virus too. Stay home and recuperate."

You'll also see more ads like this one around for nasal sprays and the like

Tube Cold Ad by Annie Mole

At least this one is Tube related with stops such as "Sniffingham", "Sick-of-being Hill"

My advice is layers, as you'll need to wrap up warm for the outside but remember the Tube is often over heated in the winter.  Finally, if you do want a stylish scarf to wrap round your face when the person opposite you has a coughing fit, you might like London Transport Museum's new Routemaster Moquette Design Lambswool Scarves.

Routemaster Moquette Design Lambswool Scarves from London Transport Musuem

Possibly too late to order online for a Xmas pressie (they have them in their Covent Garden shop too), but it's nice for yourself at £24.95.

You might also like
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; Posted by annie mole Thursday, December 22, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Old Posters found at Richmond Station

Following my post about the
old posters revealed at Richmond Station, I was travelling through the other night and took some photos of more that have been uncovered there.

When the Oystercard was called a CapitalCard

Remember when the TravelCard (or I suppose our Oystercard) was called a CapitalCard? No, me neither - but love this ad of the Tube, bus & train as part of a plug powering your journey around London

Simon Hickman from English Heritage had said "South West Trains is replacing the poster boards on the footbridge stairs, and in removing the old ones has uncovered some historic late '70s / early '80s ones underneath. They're very well preserved."

The one for Gatwick Express is also pretty cool

Old posters for Rail Rovers & Gatwick Express at Richmond Station

It's funny how the designers thought they would show the Gatwick Express train upside down as the answer to their question.

Finally the detail in the poster for the merits of travelling by train rather than by plane is rather lovely

Travel by Train instead of Plane - Posters Richmond Station by Annie Mole

View it large to see captions like "Bigger seat space so your neighbour can't recline his head on your lap" and "Proper tables instead of pop out plastic postage stamps" and "See the country not the clouds".

Related post
Old Posters found at Richmond Station

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Festive Seats - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

You know it's Christmas on the London Underground when people start using blind deer as seats. Why? I've no idea! Geddit, No eye deer, boom, boom. With a groan worthy joke that the photographer
L J Rich herself would be proud of, I'd love to thank her for sending me this picture:

Man on deer by L J Rich

She tweeted: "Festive improvised tube seat! Bloke sits on deer on London's Central Line"

As we edge closer & closer to Xmas you will see a number of people trying to negotiate their way onto the Tube with very large presents. A favourite of mine from Christmas 2005, which people still seem to like, is a woman carrying a large Eeyore on an escalator

Eeyore on the Escalator by Annie Mole

If you happen to see people with large gifts or using other strange things as seats, please us know in the comments.

You might also like
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; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Festive Hats - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

This week you'll see fewer people travelling in the morning rush hour on the London Undeground, as people are finishing work for the holidays. Yesterday morning in an unusually quiet carriage on the Northern Line, I spotted a guy wearing a Santa hat reading his book.

Ho! Ho! Ho! on the Tube by Annie Mole

He wasn't drunk. He wasn't off to a party. There was no sense of "look at me I'm wearing a funny Santa hat". He was just reading his book as though the Santa hat was just the first thing he happened to have to hand to wear that morning.

Obviously there will be a fair few people in more outlandish Christmas outfits or festive headgear, but I liked the casual look of this guy. Below is one of my favourite pictures from a few years back.

Christmas Deeley Boppers on the Tube by Annie Mole

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; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, December 20, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baker Street Tube gets "re-tiled" for new Sherlock Holmes Film

Fantastic spot by
Lisa Lin who took a photo of Baker Street London Underground station on the Bakerloo line, where some of the lovely Sherlock Holmes tiles have been "re-tiled" for the promotion of the new Sherlock Holmes film with Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law which opened on 16th December 2011.

128/365, Baker St Station, Sherlock Holmes

Obviously these are stickers rather than brand new tiles, but the impression is just as good.

Wonder if we'll be seeing more inventive re-tiling like this on other Tube stations?

To promote the release of the last Sherlock Holmes film in 2009,  a wax work of Robert Downey Jnr in his Holmes attire was placed on a number of platforms of Baker Street London Underground stations looking as though he was waiting for a train.

Holmes06 by Scott Monty

Related Post
Robert Downey Jr at Baker Street Tube

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, December 18, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Xmas & NYE Tube Travel Guide - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

One of the biggest signs of Christmas on the London Underground, is TfL's annual poster advertising
Xmas & New Year Tube, Rail & Bus operating times and their "timetable".

No Surprises - Xmas & New Year Tube Times Poster

I initially thought they'd chosen to use this picture of a rocking horse as if the Boxing Day Tube strike goes ahead, trains on Boxing Day will be as rare as the proverbial rocking horse's droppings. But it's supposed to show that if you look at their Christmas & New Year Travel Guide pdf in advance (like this gift wrapped rocking horse) there will be no surprises!

You'll also see signs at your local station with their specific ticket office opening and closing hours over the festive period.

Related Posts
Boxing Day Tube Strike Planned - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube
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; Posted by annie mole Sunday, December 18, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, December 17, 2011

London Underground: Architecture, Design & History Book Review - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Books as Xmas Gifts

One of the most beautiful books about the London Underground I have ever seen (& trust me, I've seen a lot).  This new book
London Underground: Architecture, Design & History by David Long with 80 amazing black and white photographs by Jane Magarigal dating back from the 1970's "weaves the story of the Underground - its abundance of characters (some good, some not so good), design firsts and brand identity. From suburban expansion to Blitz bombings and Soviet adulation, this book celebrates what remains a magnificent engineering and aesthetic achievement while providing an affectionate if slightly elegiac portrait of a London which is now gone for good."

London Underground - Architecture, Design and History by David Long & Jane Magarigal
That was the book's "blurb" but I was extremely lucky enough to receive a review copy of the book, with the wonderful new book smell adding to the atmospheric "empty London Underground" shots. 

I could have spent most of this review focusing on David's hard work documenting the history of the London Underground where he looks at all people who made the Tube look how it does today. That includes its many architects to font designers like Edward Johnston and of course Harry Beck who designed the most popular Tube Map in the 1930's which we still base our current map on.

Chapter on Edward Johnston
However, the photography is so stunning that it really becomes the book's hero and as many of you know the allure & spookiness of looking at photographs of an empty Tube, and may be keen photographers yourself, I want to turn my attention to the photography.

The story of how Jane Magarigal came to take this photographs was really fascinating to me as it shows how just an outsider's love of the Tube, photography, hard work & patience can eventually pay off. Jane is American and first came to London in 1976 and was struck by the beauty of the London Underground when she arrived.

From London Underground: Architecture, Design & History
"In one of the most beautiful & interesting cities in the world, I became a mole, travelling hundreds of miles exploring one stop after another, never knowing what was above ground. Unless I was running errands or visiting friends, I never left the stations because it would cost to get back in".

As this started off as a personal project, like most amateur photographers, Jane did not buy a license for photography and said: "Other than needing to avoid Tube employees, photographing the Underground had several technical disadvantages such a low lights and crowds. Shooting in this space required that I push the speed of the film to allow for the low light - another reason for shooting architecture rather than people.... 

From London Underground: Architecture, Design & History

"a monopod or tripod is recommended in order to get sharp pictures - dangerous to use in crowds, extremely time consuming and awkward if needing to leave the area quickly. So I stood planted firmly to the earth, elbows tucked tightly to my diaphragm and held my breath, waiting for just the right moment when, for example, all people had vacated the area or when a commuter hit the right spot."

Earl's Court from London Underground: Architecture, Design & History
As many of the images were taken in the 1970's they actually look "historical" already.  Jane attempted to market her shots but the time wasn't right.  She also went back to America but in 2009 returned to London and bought the series back to life with digital photography.

Back cover of  London Underground: Architecture, Design & History

She concluded "I have always considered photography an art form.  Consideration of form, design, balance and when to include people are decisions an artist makes.  This collection is a metaphor that speaks to our separate and perhaps our lonely existence, among the multitudes, and hence the people in these shots are primarily by themselves: they come, they go, temporarily filling a space and rarely glancing at one another, reading or staring off into space or at maps and posters - they are for the most part in their own worlds 

Underground at night London Underground: Architecture, Design & History

The more architectural shots, void of people, speak of this as well.  It is when stations are empty of people that the history of the place comes alive.  For without the bustle of people one can feel the energy of by gone days - the Blitz raging overhead, the architects and designers' choices, the souls of plague victims unearthed in the building of the London Underground, the millions of people who have travelled through this miraculous labyrinth; all of this is there".

I'd like to thank The History Press for sending me a copy to review, but also for seeing the possibility of this book and not letting these pictures and David's story remain unseen.  The book is  available on The History Press's site and also on Amazon.  Any lover of photography, history, London and the London Underground would be happy to receive this as a gift.

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; Posted by annie mole Saturday, December 17, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, December 16, 2011

Long Copy Xmas Tube Ads - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

Another sign of Christmas on the London Underground is the Xmas related long copy cross platform ad. Obviously there are tons of ads for Xmas gifts on the Tube, but these "long copy" ads really stand out.

Long Copy Xmas Tube Ad

They are  specifically designed for when you're standing around, waiting for your train with nothing else to do but to stare at the ads opposite you. CBS Outdoor (the guys responsible for placing ads across London Transport) have been running campaigns & competitions to encourage more long copy ads, supposedly to improve Tube "ambience" but I imagine also to get more advertising revenue.

Still if it produces a great read like the one from Waterstone's I saw last night for a cook book by one of my favourite TV cooks, Nigel Slater, I'm happy.

Related posts
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Tube Ads are good  

; Posted by annie mole Friday, December 16, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, December 15, 2011

London Transport Related Gifts - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

Obvious sign of Xmas on the London Underground is when you start to see
TfL or London Transport Musuem's own ads for Christmas Gifts from their shops. I particularly like TfL's in this case with the "Lost property" theme. "Don't get LOST for Gift Ideas this Christmas".

TfL's Xmas Gift Poster by Annie Mole

This one features a number of gifts such as Tube seat moquette patterned oven gloves, cushions with Travelcard designs on them, various transport related mugs and the two lovely new umbrellas from London Undercover. I first featured London Undercover Umbrellas a couple of years ago. This was their "Commuter" umbrella

London Undercover Umbrella

There are now some new ones featuring a retro Green Line Umbrella

Here's how it's described on their blog: Following on from the success of our Commuter Umbrella, we’re proud to introduce our new collaboration with Transport For London, The Green Line Umbrella

The Green Line brand, first established in 1930, was used for coach services linking central London with country towns within a 30-mile radius.The Green Routemasters were used on Green Line routes in outlying country towns, with a central station at Poland Street, Soho.

The Green Line Umbrella is based on a special fleet of Lincoln Green Routemasters. These were built for comfort with extra deep cushions featuring the now iconic Routemaster Seat Moquette. It’s this moquette pattern that makes up the interior of this special London Undercover umbrella and the Lincoln Green & Gold Paintwork, the exterior.

Pratts Bottom Bus

As I saw some lovely shiny Green Line buses on a recent visit to the London Transport Musuem's Acton Depot I'm tempted to get one of these myself.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, December 15, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Boxing Day Tube Strike Planned - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

Sadly another sign of Christmas on the London Underground is the threat of a strike. This year (as with
last year) Aslef haven't let us down and their members have voted in favour of strike action on Boxing Day.

Tube Strike 
Boxing Day Strike Action also threatened in 2010 - photo by Martin Deutsch

Aslef said in a statement: "The union balloted its 2,200 Underground drivers and they returned a 92.3% vote in favour of action. The company is currently offering no additional payments for working on Boxing Day. The union says its members require 'substantial incentives' to attend."

Aslef added that further action was scheduled for 16 January, 3 February and 13 February.

London Underground said the vote was not a resounding vote in favour, with only 42% of Aslef's Tube drivers voting for a strike and less than 1,000 members took part in the ballot.

London Underground (LU) claims that Aslef is seeking triple-time pay and an extra day off for members working on Boxing Day. Howard Collins, LU's chief operating officer, said there was a "longstanding" agreement between LU and unions over working on bank holidays.

He added: "It is disgraceful for the Aslef leadership to threaten strike action while we are engaged in continuing discussions on this issue. The threat of strike action will not achieve anything and I urge Aslef to join us in our commitment to resolve this matter through discussions."

Sadly if the action goes ahead, it is likely to bring widespread disruption because the union represents 2,200 out of LU's 3,400 drivers. At the moment the RMT union, which is the second largest driver union at LU, has not balloted its members on the dispute. But one imagines they will support fellow union members and refuse to cross any picket lines.

Update - Boxing Day Tube Strike definitely going ahead for 26th December 2011 as LU's attempt to get High Court to stop it failed.

Related Posts
Boxing Day Tube Strike - What services are running December 26th 2011
ASLEF vote for Boxing Day Strike

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, December 14, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Year's Eve Free Tube Travel Poster - 12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube

Day Two of the 12 Days of Tube-Mas & a big sign of Christmas on the London Underground is when you start seeing posters about free New Year's Eve Travel.

Free New Year's Eve Travel Poster - Angel Tube

As blogged when announced, booze company Diageo are the sponsors of this year's free New Year's Eve travel on buses, Tube, Tram and DLR services from 23.45 - 04.30 and on the London Overground until last train times.

Diageo has signed a three year deal with TfL to sponsor free travel on New Year’s Eve. This first advertising campaign started running from 9 December and will carry on into until the New Year.

I quite like this poster and am pleased it doesn't feature Lewis Hamilton who was in the publicity campaign to kick off the announcement.   In their effort to sponsor responsible drinking, Diageo show a group of sharp revellers on the left of the poster in comparison to the rather blurred view & memory you would have of the same party goers on the right if you'd over indulged on alcohol.

Compare this to TfL's own posters about watching what you drink when travelling on the Tube, in an attempt to reduce the amount of alcohol related injuries

Tube Alcohol Poster

You might also like
Lewis Hamilton Heads up Diageo's Free Tube Travel on New Year's Eve
MP & Assembly Members criticise free New Year's Eve travel sponsor
Tube Sick 

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days of Tube-Mas - Signs of Xmas on the Tube - Thoughts of Angel

For me seeing a bunch of
Santas on the Tube - Santacon is a real sign that Xmas is approaching. So I thought I'd spend the next 12 days with my own 12 Signs of Christmas on the London Underground. Today, it's those wags at Angel London Underground Tube Station with their Thoughts of the Day @ThoughtsofAngel.

Thought of the Day Angel Tube - 12th December 2011

You know it's Christmas on the Tube when Thoughts of Angel starts talking about pantomimes.

Related Post
Thoughts of Angel Tube go online

; Posted by annie mole Monday, December 12, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santas on the Tube - Santacon London 2011

December 10th 2011: over a 1,000 Santas or Santae congregated in Central London (& other cities around the world) to celebrate Christmas in
Santacon. I've blogged about Santacon a number of times in the past, but this was the first year I went along myself, dressed as Santa. It was really pleasing to see that large groups of people could still meet up & move around London without it turning into a riot, getting violent or an excuse for police kettling.

Santas arriving at Embankment Tube - Santacon 2011

Here's my first sight of Santas en mass leaving Embankment Tube where we headed to Trafalgar Square, the lunchtime meeting point for Santacon.

Santas around Nelsons Column

Walking into Trafalgar Square you were faced with a sea of red with Santae swarming the whole square wearing some imaginative costumes

This Santa must have been freezing - Santcon 2011 - Trafalgar Square Lady Pirate Santa & Mrs Claus - Santcon 2011 - Trafalgar Square
Halo Santa at Santacon 2011 Robot Santa - Santcon 2011 - Trafalgar Square
Slash Santa  - Santcon 2011 - Trafalgar Square Snowman - Santcon 2011 - Trafalgar Square
Santa on Reindeer Pirate Santa  - Santcon 2011 - Trafalgar Square

The atmosphere as like a carnival when we left Trafalgar Square and made our way to Piccadilly Circus. Even with masses of us in streets & when cars, motorbikes and buses were stuck in the Santae Jam, the drivers were good humoured as people gave them mince pies & sweets in the spirit of Christmas.

Santas at Piccadilly Circus Tube - Santacon 2011

Highlights around that area included a Santaconga, trying to spot Where's Wally? & meeting Anonymous Santa outside of Boots

Where's Santa Wally - Santacon 2011 Santas at Piccadilly Circus Tube - Santacon 2011
Anonymous & @Jemimah_knight - Santacon 2011 - Piccadilly Circus

The Santa band of drummers were superb and kept everyone moving along, Santaconga'ing, dancing, chanting "What do we want? Christmas. When do we want it? Now! Hohooooooooooooooo!" & singing Xmas Songs like Jingle Bells & Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Morph Santa - in shop again - Santacon 2011 Lady Santae & Snowman - Santcon 2011 - Piccadilly Circus

SantaCon Conga  - Santacon 2011

The dancing continued into Carnaby Street and moved on to Argyll Street heading towards Oxford Street. We were stopped by a row of linked armed police from going onto Oxford Street, but instead of it turning nasty, we just carried on dancing & eventually turned round to head towards Bloomsbury.

Santa Sing-a-long - Santacon 2011

Dancing Santa's near Argyll Street - Santacon 2011

@Jemimah_Knight and myself left at this point as we were freezing, tired and wanted to avoid the crush on the Tube home.

Santa trying to find the way home

My full set of Flickr pictures from Santacon 2011 London are here & @Jemimah_Knight's here too.

I had a fab time and would certainly go again. Just remember to wrap up well, although a number of scantily clad "Lingerie Santas" were showing how Londoners can brave out the winter weather.

You might also like
Santacon 2010 - Santas on the London Underground
Signs of Christmas on the London Underground - Santacon 2009
Father Christmas(ses) on the Tube - SantaCon 2008
Santas on the Tube - Santacon 2007

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, December 11, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE