Warning: don’t be offended by the clip at the end but it is VERY rude so should you not like to hear certain words that have a long Anglo Saxon history but have recently been found to cause a degree of Oh Ahhs among a certain strata of society ignore it!
I wrote a post the other day about Leytonstone station and the homage to Alfred Hitchcock, here. That made me think about some of my favourite underground stations. Mostly we walk in, ignoring the infrastructure, because we know the experience we are about to endure is, well, unendurable. Yet a pause to glance around can be worthwhile.
Here, in no particular order, are some of my favs.
There’s nothing to write home about here, so far as the outside is concerned (it’s part of a roundabout) but descend to platform level and the interior is well worth the effort. It’s designed by Charles Holden who had a thing about the Moscow Metro (he worked as a consultant on it apparently) and the Soviet Era feel permeates the place; you kind of expect to see a man in a trilby hat being chased by men in dark homburgs while saving the empire or some such.
Here the outside has a nice bricky art deco feel but the lights on the escalators are what grab me.
Arnos Grove and Bounds Green
Still on the northern extension of the Piccadilly Line, here we have a stunning art deco exterior, if you like that sort of thing.
Of course this one is shut but it is an example of the Metroland style popularised by Sir John Betjeman which appeals to me as much for the Thomas the Tank engine kind of sensation as its actual merit.
Possibly it is because it services our wonderful museums that I enjoy this one, but the iron work and cosy feel make me want to enter even when it’s packed to the rafters.
Why here you may ask? Nothing to do with the station or its place in the Pantheon of architectural masterpieces (it is lovely but that’s not the point) but everything to do with the panel game of the same name. Here are some rules, and here are some of the exceptions.
Here’s an example (this isn’t the rude clip)
Finally, this song, based on the Jam’s famous punk era classic ‘Going Underground’, is the antithesis of a paean of praise for our magnificent tube system but, for some commuters, will resonate, especially if you have ever been forced to spend thirty minutes or more with your nose stuck into someone’s less than fragrant armpit because the bloody drivers are on strike again.