diamond geezer

 Sunday, September 02, 2018

VICTORIA @50

The Victoria line doesn't look a day over 50... but it is.

TOTTENHAM HALE



Opened: 1st September 1968
Originally opened: 1840
Previously known as: Tottenham (1840-1875), Tottenham Hale (1875-1938), Tottenham (1938-1968)
Interchange with: The Lea Valley lines up to Hertford, Harlow, Stansted and Cambridge. Also, since 2005, a useful little cut-through down to Stratford. Also maybe one day, Crossrail 2, but don't get your hopes up.



Tile pattern: Edward Bawden did this one. It shows a ferryman hauling a woman across a river, the river being the Lea, and the 'haul' possibly corrupted to 'hale'. There was once a river crossing a little way down Ferry Lane. The woman in the picture is sitting with a dog, a box of chickens and a basket of fruit, like one of those puzzles where you have to get everything across the river without one of the participants eating one of the others.
Architecture: No, not really. Externally a fairly ordinary building was attached to the National Rail station via a convenient set of doors. This was fine until the advent of compulsory ticket barriers, and then those convenient doors got shut forcing those wanting to change trains outside the building and sort of down the side a bit and then back in again, improving revenue but wrecking convenience. But this was just an interim measure, and what's coming next is total redevelopment.
Total development: By summer 2019 an enlarged station entrance will have been completed, in TfL's new favourite 'Enormous Lightbox' style, and including the dreaded words "provision for over-station development". Also expect retail units, in case you can't find enough in the shopping park over the road. While I was visiting I watched two workmen fixing directional signs to some fresh blue hoardings, and wanted to yell "but that's the wrong font" but what good would it have done?



Nearby development: Absolutely. Hale Village, across the tracks, is described by some as a "vibrant, sustainable urban village", by others as "little student boxes", and by others as "my god what is that wall of citrus coloured buildings over there?"
Just inside: The grumpy souls who work in the station supervisors office have plastered their windows with signs including TICKET OFFICE IS OUTSIDE, THIS IS NOT A TICKET OFFICE, WE DO NOT SELL NEW OYSTER CARDS, TICKETS FOR STANSTED OUTSIDE ON THE RIGHT, PLEASE USE THE TICKET OFFICE AND TICKET MACHINES OUTSIDE, NO TICKETS OR TOP-UPS HERE and BUY YOUR NEW OYSTER CARD FROM THE TICKET OFFICE OUTSIDE, and quite frankly it's enough to make you want to go up to the window and ask for an Oyster Top-up, just to piss them off some more.
Ticket hall: There used to be a row of tropical foliage above the top of the escalators, but the jungle's gone, presumably in readiness for redevelopment. By the top of the escalators is a sign reading 'Use the lift with Luggage and Buggies', but somehow I got held up behind a deliberately-obstinate woman lugging one and pushing the other.



Station layout: 3D diagram here
Down below: Another typical grey lower concourse stops at a row of doors linking the two platforms. The connecting passage further down feels even greyer. If I try to pretend the tiles are silver, as a nod to futuristic Sixties optimism, I like them a little more.
Something to visit nearby: Asda Living, KFC, Wilko, TK Maxx, Greggs, Lidl, Halfords, Argos, Burger King, Food Warehouse, Carphone Warehouse, Subway and many other premium brands at the Tottenham Hale Retail Park.
Factnugget: Tottenham Hale is the most northerly station on the Victoria line.
Some photos: Six, here.

SEVEN SISTERS



Opened: 1st September 1968
Originally opened: 1872
Interchange with: The Overground to Enfield/Cheshunt (originally the Stoke Newington & Edmonton Railway). Also an Out of Station Interchange to South Tottenham, although this is unsigned. The tube map is particularly congested around here, which may be why nobody's added this potentially-useful interchange on there either.
Tile pattern: This one's by Hans Unger again. It shows seven trees, to represent the circle of seven elms on Page Green which gave the area its name. Their presence is recorded in the 17th century, surrounding an ancient walnut tree which they soon grew to dominate. The elms have been replanted several times, always by seven sisters, but finally disappeared in 1955. A new circle of hornbeams was planted close by in 1997, this time attended by five local families each of seven sisters.



Architecture: Hardly. The entrance on the Seven Sisters Road remains a functional funnel, rather than any conceptual statement, while the Victoria line concourse under the High Road is accessed only via roundel-topped staircases. It's not an especially coherent station, let's say that.
Nearby development: Suddenly, recently, yes. Haringey's former Customer Services department is transforming into a 23 storey residential tower far taller than anything else hereabouts, which'll be called Apex House when it opens in 2020. It's currently at the liftshaft stage.
Ticket hall: Two, neither especially distinguished, each leading via escalator to a different end of the Victoria line platforms. For the Overground you want the Seven Sisters Road end. As part of the retailisation of the Underground, the High Road ticket hall now contains a sparkly new coffee shop called Moloko. If you fancied a dose of single origin El Salvador honey processed coffee, sorry, that was last week only.
Station layout: 3D diagram here



Down below: What's unique about Seven Sisters is that it has three Victoria line platforms. Platform 3 is your usual northbound, and platform 5 your usual southbound, but Platform 4 is only used by terminating trains escaping to head into the above-ground depot at Northumberland Park. You might well alight from a train here, but you're not supposed to go in and wait for one, so I did. Platform-side it all looked quite normal, but the far wall is entirely poster-free, apart from one opposite the entrance which says "Trains do not depart from this platform". The Next Train Indicator alternated between 'Not in Service EMP' and 'Not in Service STF', short for Empty and Staff, to indicate which services drivers and depot staff are allowed to hitch a ride on. Another clue is the diamond symbol which appears on the train's destination displays. As a diamond geezer I was particularly intrigued by this, but a train driver soon emerged and seemed keen to shoo me off the platform because there was nothing for me here. London Reconnections has the full story of secret, hidden platform 4.



Something to visit nearby: El Pueblito Paisais, Tottenham's very own Latin American market, is an astonishing warren of 40-or-so crammed-in traders and utterly authentic. Come for cuisine, fashion or butchery, join families hanging out, mind the small children rampaging past, and delight that such a place still exists. It won't for much longer, if the developers get their way, and although the traders have been promised pitches elsewhere during reconstruction it's not likely many will make it back. As is increasingly the case, commercial uplift trumps community amenity.
Factnugget: The Victoria line was closed between Seven Sisters and Walthamstow Central for two months in summer 2015, as the lumpy rectangular residue on every in-carriage line diagram still reminds us.
Some photos: Seven, obviously, here.

Not to be confused with:


I spent the Victoria line's 50th anniversary admiring the wrong Seven Sisters, sorry.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream