I love our London Tube. I love the Tube map that was designed by Harry Beck (seen above). I love the Victorian style of the tunnels, the beautiful tiled walls of some tube stations that take you right back in time. I really loved the wooden escalators, which I believe, since the Kings Cross fire no longer exist. I love the old Tube rolling stock that is sadly all being replaced. (You can still ride in a 1960’s tube because the connection from Ryde to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight is a really old tube train above ground). But most of all I am really beginning to appreciate the individuality of the Tube drivers!
This was an announcement heard last week by a driver with a very world weary voice….”Heavy sigh… Ladies and Gentlemen, stop running up and down the platform, it’s SO undignified!”
Here’s another one heard by one of the Einhorn team on a Sunday… again heavy sigh (always total exasperation) “Yes Ladies and Gentleman, in the same way that we have Sunday drivers, today we have a lot of Sunday passengers, could you please stop obstructing the doors”
Last week Designer Einhorn and I were on the London Tube when it got stuck at a station because one of the train doors wouldn’t shut. The driver made an announcement “Wood ze person oos bag is stuck in ze door please sorte ze oobstruction so zat ze train can departe?” This was all said in a really heavy French accent. The doors opened, they closed, nothing happened.
Then there was a really despondent sigh over the tannoy, ” Bazically you guys are really shooting yourselves in ze foot heare, do you know what I am saying? Because I can’t go, and nor can you? So anuzzer train cannot come into ze station so we are all going to be late, so what’s it gonna be guys?”
Really funny being talked to by this driver who seemed to be addressing a group of very naughty school children, glad I wasn’t the person blocking the door, oh the shame! Also I hadn’t heard a French train driver on The London Underground before, now that’s what we LOVE about London Vive la différence!
And here last but not least, an interesting fact… The last public hanging outside Newgate Prison (which is now the Old Bailey) was attended by people who had travelled there on the first tube line to Farringdon, now that is a very weird juxtaposition between old and new n’est-ce pas?