Hitchhikers Guide to the Underground

By Londonist Last edited 141 months ago
Hitchhikers Guide to the Underground

We all love and hate the Tube, don’t we? On one hand it is an indispensable, magic, under earth fun-bus that transports us to all the wonderment and wide-eyed beauty that is London and its environs. On the other hand it is a fetid, overcrowded mess of the sinful and weary plebs that will sneeze on you, play their music too loud on their iPods or wait until it’s really crowded and try and cop a quick feel before slinking off.

Love it or hate, we can’t live without it. Those who love it, really love it and devote time to helping the Tube maintain an underground (ba-dum tish!) fan-base that researches and publishes all sorts useless, yet compelling, information.

Ian Jones states in his blog that he is going to “document my visit to every single working station on the London Underground…” an undertaking that he figures will take him a year to complete. He documents wittily and with great detail on his blog To The End of The Line and it’s worth a read if you’re a closet historian. The Tube also has a plethora of stations that have ceased to be used for one reason or another, Londonist remembers eerily slowing down to creep through Mornington Crescent (Northern Line) as if we were trying not to awake some slumbering beast within the passages of the now re-opened station. Hywel Williams, in his site Underground History, has authored a near exhaustive online collection of hidden stations and the uncovered gems of the Underground including the charmingly monikered “Bull and Bush” Station and the fictitious Walford East, famed of Eastenders.

Conversely, those who hate the tube, and we mean really hate the Tube, sing about it! There is a tremendously insulting video on YouTube regarding the tube, and more specifically, tube workers. Londonist doesn’t want to link to it because we like the Tube and all who sail in her. Now, if only we could find the fabled magic Oyster card with unlimited money on it…

By Simon James

Last Updated 09 May 2007