Hitchcock and the Underground #London #travels

2016-07-05 14.05.11

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.

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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.

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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?

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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…

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About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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51 Responses to Hitchcock and the Underground #London #travels

  1. Mary Smith says:

    Wonderful. Thanks for sharing these. As I’m never likely to set foot in Leytonstone I’d never have seen them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous! I got most films.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. findingnyc says:

    These are really great – I love how detailed they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Al Lane says:

    Great post Geoff. But don’t knock Wellman testicle enhancers until you’ve tried them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Extraordinary – what a lot of thought has gone into them, and well worth it. Much prefer these to graffiti type stuff. Not a Hitchcock fan apart from Rear Window, which I love. Thanks for drawing our attention!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Erika Kind says:

    Wow, this is absolutely awesome! Such great mosaics to honor the master! Amazingly done! Fantastic idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great (and fun) post, Geoff. I didn’t know about the Hitchcock mosaics. They’re marvelous! However, what amazed me was “key-cutting/ reheeling/watch-repair” shops… In all the places I’ve lived in the past 25 years, I can’t tell you how hard it is to find something like that.
    Saturday hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachel M says:

    Those are wonderful! I was able to guess which movies most of them were for. It’s a shame they didn’t include the only one of his films which was filmed in London -The Lady Vanishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What lovely murals! Definitely worth the trip, and one can get a new battery or house key while one is at it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ruth says:

    Geoff I only live about 5 mins away from Leytonstone tube station – we could have met up for coffee! Glad you enjoyed the mosaics though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Certainly worth a trip

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jan says:

    Great murals – I was able to identify all but three.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Val says:

    I’ve not been in a London tube station for a decade ir more (no longer live there) and I can’t remember the last time I was in Leytonstone… but they’re a fine collection of mosaics. I’m a Hitchcock fan but I wasn’t able to name many…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mick Canning says:

    Gosh – those are so good, they’re almost worth going into London to see!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s always good to see something different when you’re out and about, isn’t it? I probably ought to put a detour to Leytonstone on my agenda for next time I head to London.
    As for your collective nouns, hadn’t come across Trogle before (I’ll have to remember that), though you’ll probably gather by now that I knew about the Unkindness.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah, my hero – Hitchcock that is. 😃 He’s a true inspiration for me and my writing. The Master of Suspense. I hope to follow in his footsteps one day. I’d probably end up on the walls of some subway that nobody dares not walk (even during daylight hours).

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ali Isaac says:

    Very interesting, our Geoffle! You’re right, we should do more of this kind of thing. Reminds me of the first time I walked up Mullagh hill and unexpectedly found poetry about the local area on signposts along the path.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: Hitchcock and the Underground #London #travels | TanGental – Londontu.be

  19. Interesting stuff – I have just ‘pressed’ this on to my London transport themed website http://www.londontu.be


  20. Autism Mom says:

    These are very cool! I think public art is one of the greatest gifts of society.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. These are awesome; I had no idea they even existed. I picked up several, but it shows me I really need to rewatch Hitch’s movies! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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