diamond geezer

 Friday, November 12, 2010

Tube geek (35) More stuff to do
Proper tube geeks do things like trying to visit all the station on the tube network in the shortest possible time. Geoff Marshall once held the record for that, back in 2004, with a Guinness-confirmed duration of 18 hours 35 minutes 43 seconds. The record slipped away two years later, and currently stands at under 17 hours (for five fewer stations). Last Friday Geoff had another go at grabbing the mantle back, and he's written about the attempt in enormous detail over here. I won't give the ending away, but be warned, you may find out more than you need to know about 'bladder fail'.
• The museum at Burgh House, in the heart of Hampstead, is currently holding an exhibition based on its local station. Fortunate, then, that Hampstead is one of the tube's more interesting out-of-town stations. This exhibition's not big, but you will find a miniature treasure chest of local tube ephemera semi-filling an upstairs room. Hampstead's inspired more than its fair share of posters from LU's golden age, attempting to entice folk out to the town and Heath, and several are displayed here. One cabinet contains signs and photos from the deepest station on the network (which is Hampstead, obviously), plus one of the stations nextdoor that was never built. Someone's got all their old tube maps out and put them in a cabinet, along with some briefing notes on the Delf Smith typeface (invented in Hampstead and used intermittently on the Piccadilly line). OK, not much to detain you for long, but I stayed for ages because the nice lady curator sitting in the corner was exceedingly glad to have someone to talk to. The exhibition runs until next week (closed Saturday, Monday and Tuesday).
Meanwhile don't forget the equally small exhibition devoted to Charles Holden at the V&A until February - recommended.
For those suffering withdrawal symptoms when this week's series of posts ends, there's always District Dave's London Underground Forum to stalk/peruse/join.
Or, to take your addiction one stage further, have you ever thought of joining the London Underground Railway Society? They have monthly talks and newsletters, all for £28 a year (still payable by cheque or postal order). And it's their 50th anniversary next year, so I bet they have something special planned.

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