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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tube Map Poster for Chelsea Flower Show's 100th Year

100 years of the Chelsea Flower Show and 150 years of the London Underground.  To mark both occasions the Underground has issued a special poster showing the Tube map with its lines represented as common and unusual flowers.

The Jubilee line is represented by grey Hydrangeas, Bakerloo line by a Chocolate Cosmos, the District Line by green Chrysanthemums, Piccadilly line by blue tulips, black pansies for the Northern line, red roses for the Central line,  Himalayan Blue Poppies for the Waterloo &City line, maroon Lilies for the Metropolitan line,  blue geraniums for  the Victoria line and  brightly coloured ornamental Allamanda Cathartica for the Circle line. Gerberas are used for two lines - pink for the  – Hammersmith & City line and cheery orange ones for the Overground.

It's the first time the Tube map has been used in a poster for the Chelsea Flower Show and works really well as previous images from the 1930's were a bit unadventurous in  comparison.

It would be great if Sloane Square Tube had some floral arrangements in it to celebrate as well.  Although as it's pretty much underground, the flowers wouldn't get much in the way of natural light. 

Pinner London Underground Station Garden Winner 1966
Pinner London Underground Station Garden Winner 1966

Last year Finchley Central's station garden was entered into The Chelsea Flower show and there were over 140 entries for TfL's London Underground in Bloom competition in for the best station garden. Displays ranged from the Olympic rings and herb gardens to Japanese meditation-style spaces and beehives.  Back in 1966, 3000 flowers and plants were so resplendent in Pinner's station garden you could hardly see the station name.

The current poster for the Chelsea Flower Show will be available from London Transport Museum shop in Covent Garden Piazza or online at the following link.

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London Underground in Bloom
Fruit and Veg added to Tube Garden competition  

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oxford Circus Tube Great Gatsby Makeover

Look out for an amazing 360 degree advertising makeover at Oxford Circus London Underground for the new Baz Luhrmann version of The Great Gatsby.  The entrance to the escalators there have been transformed into a 1920's ballroom.

Photo via @LovelysVintage

In something that looks like the palatial subway system at Moscow,  digitally printed floor graphics and huge graphic wall panels give commuters the impression they're being transplanted into the roaring twenties.

They certainly show how "wrapping" of Tube stations has come on and actually seems really well suited to the London Underground's own long history.  TfL have been known to be quite picky about
the makeovers of stations by advertisers.  So this one clearly had close collaboration between CBS Outdoor UK (who are responsible for selling all the ad space on the Tube) and Applied Media (who produced the graphics) to get approval from London Underground for such lavish designs.

Apparently the floor panels have been designed to be extremely durable under the millions of footsteps, pushchairs, suitcase and trolley marks they'll be subjected too. It was also important that they were slip resistant and are easily removable at the end of the campaign.  Applied Media also worked with TfL last year to deliver 120 kilometres of temporary games lanes for the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.

I love this period and art deco too, so I'd be happy to see the flooring and ceiling panels left up after the campaign.  It's certainly set the bar for what can be achieved to temporarily immerse  us commuters into another time while we're travelling.

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Should TfL allow rebranded Tube Stations?
Baker Street Tube gets "re-tiled" for new Sherlock Holmes Film

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, May 10, 2013

WiFi on Tube - Skipping Virgin Ad

How many people are familiar with the Virgin Media "splash pages" which appear on logging in to London Underground WiFi? 
Underground Magazine suggests that this may be all some people ever see.

Their spoof feature echoes a sentiment and frustration I've often felt. "A spokesperson for TfL had this to say: “At TfL we want to offer our customers the most cutting edge technology. That’s why we went in this direction. Emails, instant messaging, your files on the go – these are all things we could have offered, but no-one else currently offers what we do: non-stop, high-speed access to this one advert.......

"Virgin staff expressed delight at the service’s success. “Our research found people crying out for an internet service that was available for the thirty-or-so seconds whilst a train is stopped, and for twenty-eight of those to be spent trying to click past an advert. And in the bit where we we asked for ‘any more comments’, over 80% of respondents wrote, ‘make the button to skip past the advert really tiny, and make it so if you click anywhere else, you just get taken straight to another advert’. So obviously that’s what we did.”

Admittedly I don't hate the advert so much to pay to get it removed, but I wonder how many people would pay for its removal? 

While on the subject of using smart mobile devices on the Tube, have you heard new announcements on the London Underground?   A number of my friends have heard station assistants saying "Please stand back from the edge of the platform when using smartphones and tablets".   On the Victoria Line @michald said that the announcer  there sounded quite baffled by his own message.

Are TfL worried that we're becoming so mesmerised by the internet that we'll fall onto the tracks?  Surely we can be just as engrossed in newspapers, books or magazines and we should be warned to stand back from the edge when reading those too?

You may also like
"Underground Magazine" - New Satirical Free Paper handed out on the Tube
Free WiFi on the London Underground - Who's Used It?

; Posted by annie mole Friday, May 10, 2013 Permalink COMMENT HERE