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A thread for mumsnet nerds to talk about the history of the London Underground (aka what's your favourite tube station)

(521 Posts)
GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:43:24

I spent a happy hour looking at this site

The history of the tube is fascinating, and I love travelling on it, it is so atmospheric (apart from when I am commuting within London and then I hate it with a vengeance like any normal person reserving special ire for the wanking Circle line).

Some stations feel really evocative - for instance Lambeth North looks as if it hasn't changed since the second world war.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:43:52

And look at this tube map - it shows what the tube map would look like if it was geographically accurate.

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 11:45:29


What is the Ghost station called, between Kentish Town and Camden?

Will there ever be a tube to Collier Row in the East, last time I went to the London Transport Museum there was a map with it on. That was just before it shut down for it's refurb, so maybe 6 years ago?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:48:03

South Kentish Town according to that site

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 11:50:24

I love urbexing! Less interested in stations though. Will re visit your link

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 11:51:12

I remember when Aldwych was open, it was just open rush hour at the end I think.

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 11:51:15

thanks. I should have looked myself ! I did wonder why I could never see the platform, when going past on the tube. I thought it was because we were going too fast, but reading that it seems the platform has been removed.

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 11:51:59

I love that website and want to visit all the dis-used ones. Is it Aldwych on the Strand that has an old ticket office used in films? Also, which is the one with the rooms and stuff used by Churchill during the war (I don't mean the Cabinet War Rooms btw).

There is something on King WIlliam Street (I think that is the name) that is something to do with the original tube line but can't remember what - not being much help there blush

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 11:54:05

There are lots of old tunnels that were used by the GPO (BT) that were linked to tube stations, I've been in a few but that was years ago. One of them is called 'The Walk', old BT engineers get all misty eyed about it.

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 11:56:29

isn't there a tube line under the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, which was used by Royal Mail, or did I just make that up?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:59:52

Wasdn't King William Street absorbed by Bank Station (why Bank station is so huge, it is three stations combined, the original Bank, King William St and another one).

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 12:02:01

Not sure, but it sounds likely. Years ago I did some temping at The National Audit Office in Victoria in the building that used to be the old BOAC building. There was a disused train line in the basement to Gatwick. In the 60's people could check in at the BOAC office, leave their luggage and hop on a train straight into the airport.

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 12:03:55

Also, my favourite tube station is Arnos Grove for the art deco design.

VeremyJyle Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:08

There's another website about overground stations no longer in use, I can't link from my phone but will do from laptop later. There are a few branch lines in London that were closed post Dr Beeching, Northern Heights being one that had it not been for WWII would've become part of the tube network. Definitely worth a look, sometimes its more fascinating to look at somewhere you know so well and then imagine trains once running across it, especially when there's not the slightest hint or trace of a railway once being there.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:25

Oh god that sounds fantastic. That would be brilliant wouldn't it if you could do that now from central London.

I like the great big 1930s building which holds the London Underground authority at St james Park (a station I use all the time when working in Victoria St).

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:40

I remember Aldwych. I live in Balham and there is a plaque commemorating the people who dies when the station was bombed during the Blitz. It gives me the shivers - reminds me of that scene in Atonement when the water pours in and Keira Knightley drowns lol.

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:48

This site is good too:

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:05:07

Oh god that sounds fantastic. That would be brilliant wouldn't it if you could do that now from central London.

I like the great big 1930s building which holds the London Underground authority at St james Park (a station I use all the time when working in Victoria St).

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:06:44

Ah, a thread that warms my nerdy heart! I still attempt to catch sight of South Kentish Town if on that line!

One of the least known lines is "The Drain" which runs a very limited service between Waterloo and Bank stations. When I was a child I remember it used the ancient 1940s stock and was really very weird.

My mother worked for the GPO both before and after the war and she had all sorts of tales about the tunnels and lines that were only used by the GPO.

VeremyJyle Thu 26-Jul-12 12:07:23

kungfu I'll pass on the compliment, I'm on my way there now, although I'll probably disappoint you and say I never did get the fascination with Charles Holden's work, I think those stations on the north of the Piccadilly line are quite ugly, maybe I just don't appreciate art deco smile

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 12:07:51

alma the same thing happened at Bethnal Green station I think.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:08:13

Has anyone read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman? It is set primarily on a fantasy version of the LU: an actual angel lives at Islington, for example. It's very good especially if you're a tube geek

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:08:55

Genuinely laughing at the lol when KK drowns. grin

Why did they close Aldwych? It says on that site because it is in close proximity to other stations, but seems a bit short sighted to close a station in such a central area.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:11:03

I remember once bored on a neverending central line journey from west to east looking at the tube map to find where the hell the Waterloo and City line was.

Then found out it was just between two stations - waterloo and bank. I was evidently particularly dim that day.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:11:04

Harlot - it's really sad, isn't it? Haven't been to Bethnal Green but will look for a marker if I do.

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