Mind The Gap Tells The True Tale Of A Beloved Tube Announcer

By Stuart Black Last edited 90 months ago
Mind The Gap Tells The True Tale Of A Beloved Tube Announcer

Mind The Gap from Luke Flanagan on Vimeo.

You may well remember the story of Oswald Lawrence, the man who kept us safe by telling us to "mind the gap" and his widow who would visit the tube years after his death to listen to his voice. It's a tear-jerking tale with a touching, happy ending as you can see from today's lyrical and poignant short film, called, appropriately enough, Mind The Gap.

Writer-director Luke Flanagan tells Londonist: "The actual mind the gap announcement is as iconic a part of London as the double decker bus or the post box. For Londoners it goes deeper — many of us remember the actual voice of Oswald Lawrence on the Northern Line, so when we hear it now we have a recall to that time. There's a kind of nostalgia for growing up in London and using the tube.

"We spent three days shooting the film, running around the platform at Barbican, waiting for opportunities to take the shots we needed. We had a non-professional permit so we could shoot anywhere on the tube but there were conditions: we couldn't shoot in rush hour and were only allowed a tiny crew with no tripods. We did additional shots at Bank and Monument in the Waterloo and City link because we instantly fell in love with the tunnel there. The clear, white stainless steel was perfect because we didn't want posters distracting from the story.

"Of course we knew Londoners would recognise that it wasn't all in the same station but we were OK with that and tried to show the idea of the main character in transit. We weren't trying to fake it — we love the tube and wanted to put the most cinematic parts of it on film."

The film was written, directed and produced by Luke Flanagan, with Billy Bowring as executive producer and John Ford as director of photography. Eileen Nicholas played the lead role.

To see other London Shorts click here (but please note, links may not always work if the filmmakers are showing their shorts in competition).

Last Updated 14 October 2016