So there I was, on my way east on our rickety old transport system – I could dredge up some wikistats to tell you there are more passengers on the underground every weekday than bacteria in my nose to prove how amazing it is that it runs at all, but it would be boad of old lollocks – so moving on, it was crowded and a bit rank – why do people who have ingested too much curry the previous night insist on squeezing in next to me? And I’m reading this article on my ipad, only it’s driving me potty because there’s wifi at the stations but not on the train. This means that just as the train is pulling out I regather a signal and manage another half a page before the page disappears again – in this day and age, why do we have station based wifi but not in the tunnels? Sorry this wasn’t meant to be a rant. Or a group of rants. Is there a collective noun for rants? An anger? A fury? Did you know the collective noun for Ravens is an Unkindness? Or for Snakes it is a Trogle? There you go. No, hold the gratitude. So finally we pop above ground and I finish reading. And now I have a new destination.
In this article it said Alfred Hitchcock was born and brought up in Leytonstone in East London in 1899 and there is a homage to the directorial genius in the form of a series of mosaics at Leytonstone tube station. I had time to divert; I had my camera; I needed a new battery for my watch and if there’s one thing that is a constant at outlying tube stations it’s a key-cutting/ reheeling/watch-repair boutique. So I diverted for a little transportative amuse-bouche. I wasn’t disappointed.
The panels are spread along the entrance passages and, well, why don’t we do this more often? Imaginative as well as memory jogging. It must be easy, as a local, to move past these gems as one might if they were mere paper adverts – for Wellman testicle enhancers or Virgin’s latest Organo-friendly Yogilates Exercise and Nail Emporia. But for a newcomer to jolly old Leytonstone, they make you block the passage and gawp. Well I did. It’s just the way it is.
Here they are; each panel tells you which film the image is from on a steel plate, some of which you can read if you enlarge the pictures. But, without cheating, how many can you spot? I managed: North by Northwest; The Birds; Strangers on a Train; Rear Window; Vertigo; Psycho. What about you?
You aren’t likely to go to Leytonstone either by mistake or by design, unless you want a fix of these marvelous panels. But if you are stranded at Stratford, with half an hour to spare and can forswear the consumerist delights of Westfield, well, yes it’s worth the effort to pop along and see for yourself.
Oh, if you want to know the movies you missed, here’s the panel explaining…