Saturday, 30 October 2010

15. Borough

Borough is on the Northern Line (black line). There are no escalators at Borough so you have to exit by elevator or stairs - at the bottom of the stairs there is a warning sign telling you there are over one hundred steps and to only use them them in an emergency. I used them and reached the top before all the people that were piling into the lift at the same time that I started the climb.

I went to Borough today with the purpose of visiting Borough Market. On my way to the Market I passed Haig House, the headquarters of the British Legion - it was apt because this weekend the annual Poppy Day Appeal started. This Southwark First World War Memorial is just along the road.

Borough Market was fascinating and not just because I love markets; it was too crowded (of course) lots of people not buying just taking photographs of the food on display.

I bought a Polish rye and caraway loaf, some Portabella mushrooms and some raspberries. I would have liked to poke around much more but the crowds were uncomfortable so I wandered off, took a wrong turning (not very wrong) and stumbled across this wonderful building - the Old Hop Exchange.

The building was opened in 1867 and served as the centre for hop trading for the brewing industry - the hops were brought up from Kent by river or rail (London Bridge Station is just yards away). Its not clear (until you click on the photograph to enlarge it) that the wrought iron gates are all hops, and the carvings at the top of the stone columns are also hops.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

14. Highgate

Highgate underground station is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line (black line). According to "Wiki" Highgate is unique because the platforms are long enough to accommodate nine-carriage trains!

Today was a clear, crisp perfect autumn day - a perfect day for walking miles and the perfect season for something quite spooky ... today I visited Highgate Cemetery. It is quite a long and mostly uphill trek from the tube station up to Highgate Village (a trendy collection of coffee shops, tearooms, book shops and wine sellers) My son came with me with his collection of cameras to play around with.

We stopped at St. Josephs Catholic Church first, then went through a park to the Cemetery. We took lots of spooky photos in the older part of the grounds,

We saw these two cats bagging a few rays,

Lots of famous people are buried in this Cemetery - some tucked away in really off-the beaten track spots,

And then we found our real reason for visiting here:

We didn't visit the catacombs on the opposite side of the road, where the controversial stories of the Highgate Vampire originated in the 1970s. They don't let people wander around on their own anymore over there and we just didn't want to join a tour party - we had a late lunch in a friendly little Thai cafe just opposite St. Josephs and then headed home ... just in time, it started pouring with rain just as I sat down to type this!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

A huge thank you to Jackie

A friend of mine, who has been following this blog, not only sent me the above link this week but she also played around a bit and sent me these two pictures. One has now been adopted as my official Tube Bagging logo - it is also currently my Facebook profile picture!

Thank you very much Jackie

13. Woodside Park

Woodside Park is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line (black line).

I exited there today because it's just a short walk from where I live. I took a photograph of the building and noticed that the letterbox is an old Victorian one. The other thing I noticed is that unlike any other tube station I have been to it has no shops nearby - it is right in the middle of a residential area. Oddly enough when I tried to look up something about the station that is cited as being a unique fact about the station! So there you go I live near a tube station that's sole purpose of exsistance is to transport residents in and out of London!

12. Paddington

Paddington tube station is on the Bakerloo Line (brown line), Circle Line (yellow line), District Line (green line) and Hammersmith & City Line (pink line). It is also linked directly with Paddington Station which is the terminus for trains travelling to and from the West Country.

Most people in this country have heard of Paddington because of a series of childrens books written by Micheal Bond about a small bear who was found by the Brown family on Paddington station - I remember my mother reading the books to us when I was a child. A small bronze statue of Paddington Bear is in the shopping centre up on the mainline station.

I had gone to Paddington today to visit a street called Praed Street. It sounds a silly reason to go there but this week I was reminded of a family I knew in Headley the Mackworth-Praeds. The father, Humphrey, died not long before we moved to the village but old Mrs M-P was still alive and well, a nicer, more down to earth person you couldn't hope to meet. I just wanted to take a photo of the street name to remember her by.

11. Baker Street

Baker Street is one of the oldest surviving underground stations - it intersects the Bakerloo Line (brown line), the Metropolitan Line (maroon line), the Jubilee Line (silver line), the Circle (yellow line) and the Hammersmith and City (pink line). It was opened in 1863!

The station was redecorated in the 1980s and I was quite taken with the tiles. Each little dot is a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes

I was travelling to Baker Street today to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum - it is very near to Madame Tussuad's as well.

Just as I got to there someone collapsed outside the museum - nothing to do with my arrival, but it caused quite a commotion, not enough of one for the Policeman in costume outside to abandon his post and let us all in free.

The museum was quite interesting, an elderly man dressed up as Sherlock Holmes encouraged to take lots of photographs, but I thought the bell ringing (to ask us all to leave) after about 20 minutes was a little intrusive, especially as it had cost £6 to get in! (I ignored it)

Saturday, 16 October 2010

10. Wembley Park

Today I went to Wembley Park tube station it is on both the Metropolitan (maroon) and Jubilee (silver) Lines. As the name suggests this is the tube station that services Wembley Stadium - the National Football Stadium.

As you leave the tube station and walk along the path to the stadium there is a a tiled mural along the subway depicting all the sports now played in the stadium. Here is a hint of why I was walking that hallowed route this afternoon.

Yes today I was going watch a rugby match - not just any old match but a Heinken Cup pool match between a north London club and the Dublin (Eire) Team. I love watching rugby and every now and then I indulge myself by going to watch a live match, and although I have been to Twickenham a few times this was the first time I had ever been to Wembley!

I was supporting Leinster! Most of the group I had gone with were Sarrie supporters. They cheered and whooped every time their team got the ball, the stood up and danced to the infuriating tune that blasts out every time Sarries score a point

Anyway when Leinster scored a brilliant try in the second half I leaped into the air and whooped and cheered...and at the end of the match the score was Saracens 23 Leinster 25....YES! YES! YES! Way to go Leinster!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

9. Charing Cross

Charing Cross Station is where the Northern Line (black line) and the Bakerloo Line (brown line) intersect, it is also a main line station serving the South East.

Before today's high adventure I decided to ask my daughter (who worked as a tour guide for two years in London) what to look out for - wow there was no stopping the girl! So the next piece of information comes directly from her (Kiera Healy)

Charing Cross has a big cross outside, it is a replica of one of the Eleanor Crosses erected by the grieving Edward I for his late wife Eleanor of Castile. The one there at the moment is a Victorian replica. It used to stand in front of Trafalgar Square, at the Charing Cross roundabout, at a spot now marked by an equestrian statue of Charles I - this spot is the geographical centre of London from which all distances are measured.

Look out for the statue of Charles I, he was a midget so in the statue his horse has a very small head to make him look taller!!!
I thought it odd that we have chosen to honour Charles I in this way - he is after all the monarch who was overthrown and beheaded in the Civil War, by that ghastly killjoy Cromwell. Surely his son Charles II would be more appropriate?

Anyway the purpose of today's trip was to visit Trafalgar Square - named after the famous Battle of Trafalgar, where a great national hero was slain (Admiral Lord Nelson), but at least we won that one! - because an "Amazing African Festival" was being held there today. To be honest it was a bit of a disappointment but the bands were colourful and lively,

the food poor,

and the weather typical!

Still it got me out and about, and I took a photo of this famous memorial to Edith Cavell (1865-1915) at the junction of St Martin's Lane and Charing Cross Road. 'Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone' Edith Cavell was a British World War I nurse who helped hundred's of Allied soldiers escape from German occupied Belgium. She was captured and executed, by firing squad, by the Germans.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

8. Golders Green

Golders Green is on the Northern Line (black line) the Edgeware Branch. When you step out of the station you are bang in the middle of a big coach station. Coaches arrive and leave for all parts of England, Scotland and Wales from here.

Most of the time I work in Golders Green so I took the tube back there after today's extended lunch. I normally take a bus into work now but for two years I came in and out of this station most days. There was never any chance of forgetting to get off, its the first station after you burst out of the tunnel.

Golders Green is a predominantly Jewish area in North London - alot of Orthodox Jews live here, the men wearing all black, heavily bearded, with long curling peyos - the women wigged or with neatly crocheted hair nets and long black skirts. The streets are full of shops selling Kosher products.

I have always enjoyed working in Golders Green - its quite unlike any other parts of London, there always seem to be a lot of children around, it's a very family orientated area. It's also quite interesting watching how badly people here drive - I'm just so glad I don't own a car anymore!

7. Kings Cross /St. Pancras

I found out so much about today's destination you could almost write a book on this station alone! The fact I sifted out as interesting is that Kings Cross used to be a notorious Red Light district but apparently it has cleaned up its act - whenever I have been on this station before I have noticed it still attracts a huge number of n'er-do-wells. The police have always been hanging around in vans outside - or maybe I just choose to travel through here on the football match days.
Kings Cross is one of the biggest interchange stations on the underground - the Northern Line (black line), Hammersmith & City (pink line), Metropolitan (maroon line), Circle (yellow line), Victoria (blue line) and the Piccadilly (purple line) all intersect here; two mainline stations terminus' are above the Underground here, Kings Cross mainline station - serving the East Coast and St. Pancreas - which is now the terminal for Eurostar.
This was the station the three suicide bombers entered before boarding trains in different directions on 7th July 2005.

I found out that lots of songs have been written about the station, that it features in a number of films and books - most famously at the moment the Harry Potter series (sorry I have never read any or seen the movies!) but I did pose for a photo shoot at the 9 3/4 platform.

I was meeting one of my closest friends there today for lunch - she was just coming down from Edinburgh for a business appointment - I met her at the foot of this monstrosity - aptly named the Meeting Place. I hated the actual statue but the frieze around the base of it was rather good, depicting the building of the underground and scenes through the ages.

We had lunch in The Betjeman Arms, on the terrace in the last sunny spot available. Sir John Betjeman is credited with having saved St. Pancreas station and a wonderful bronze statue and this gastro pub/restaurant honours his efforts. My friend had two hours before her appointment, which we spent chattering and eating (other girlfriends reading this will appreciate how easily this is done), then it was back to the grindstone for her in one direction and me in the other.....

Saturday, 2 October 2010

6. Finchley Road

Finchley Road station is where the Jubilee Line (silver line) and Metropolitan Line (the maroon line) intersect - I hadn't actually planned to go there today. I was meeting some friends over at Swiss Cottage, we were going out for sushi, but Swiss Cottage is on the Jubilee Line - and this weekend planned engineering works on the Jubilee Line meant the line was closed today.

It was pouring with rain when I exited so I took a very blurry photograph and rushed off to the restaurant. I only found one interesting fact out about Finchley Road Station - its opposite the O2 shopping centre, but I was late, due to change of station plan, and didn't have time to visit.

5. Tottenham Court Road

Tottenham Court Road is where the Northern Line (black line) and Central Line (red line) intersect. You exit the tube station in the heart of theatre land and book shops. I went there today because I wanted to browse around some second hand bookshops along Charing Cross Road. I bought a number of books, including an almost brand new copy of Dylan Thomas' Under Milkwood - it's years since I read it and I was really pleased to find it.

After I made my purchases I wandered along to Chinatown, the Lanterns are all still up from the Moon Festival (Mid Autumn Festival) a couple of weeks ago. I walked along another couple of yards and found myself back outide Piccadilly Circus. It was drizzling and miserable but I saw this street entertainer keeping a small crowd amused.