Tubeticking: Every tube station
When we were talking tickylists the other week, I mentioned I hadn't actually been to every tube station, at least in the proper sense of walking in or out through the entrance. What a shocking confession after several decades of supposedly scouring London. But how do you work out for sure which of the 272 tube stations you've never been to if you haven't been keeping a tally along the way?
I broke it down. I know I've been to every tube station in zones 1 to 3 because I've had a Z1-3 Travelcard for 20 years so visiting these is technically free. That just left the 94 stations in zones 4-9, a far more manageable list to consider, and most of those were definites too. I grew up in Croxley, I've flown from Heathrow, I've been to the end of the line at Stanmore and I used Hornchurch only a few weeks ago. Then there's all the stations I've been to for blogging purposes, which is plenty, and this left just two dozen I wasn't 100% convinced about. It's important to be 100% correct because I don't want my completion to be invalidated by an inaccurate memory. So I fell back on the map I keep coloured in at the back of my diary...
I've blogged before about how I keep this up to date with every station and bit of track I use during the course of a year, and then on January 1st I start another map from scratch. The example above is from 2016. I have 16 of these coloured-in maps stretching all the way back to 2007, and consulting these removed several more stations. Ah, I went to Oakwood in 2019. Ooh, I did North Wembley in 2013. Aha, Finchley Central in 2011. Hurrah, Alperton in 2008. And after all this checking I reckon there are only three tube stations I've never been to, or have probably never been to, and they're all that's standing in the way of tickylist perfection. How could I have overlooked them for so long?
I mention all this partly to reinforce how difficult completing a tickylist is if you don't start counting from the very beginning. Without some pretty anal record keeping, never intended for this particular purpose, my list of fuzzy stations would be over 20 strong. Instead I know I only need to visit three, so I'll tell you about this trio over the next three days... and by the end of the week, hurrah, I will have ticked off every single tube station!