An Underground Blog.......

Well, not quite an underground blog! ........... it's a blog all about the underground!

and that's the kind of blog that I'm interested in!

The great thing about London, as far as I'm concerned, is it's mass transit system (a huge part of that Mass transit system is the Underground). Now, I know not everyone will agree with my statement here; but I have reasons why I make this statement.
First of all, we really need our underground --- Whoever hasn't suffered when tube strikes are in effect?

And second ---- I love the underground, and have always loved the tube, ever since I was a child.

Earlier this week, I was given a heads up about this blog ('Going Underground's Blog'), written by Annie Mole (blogging about the tube for 9 years).

Purely focusing on the London Underground, this blog was written from the perspective of a normal commuter.

The Londonist were kind enough to conduct an interview with Annie Mole for our benefit, so head down to Londonist Out Loud: Annie Mole to hear the full interview!

London Underground Digital Art

Those of you who have been following my other Blog, Digital Art, would have seen this picture already; but for the benefit of loyal readers of 'through the eyes of a Londoner,' I thought that I'd share this picture of an 'A' stock Metropolitan line train.

See "The Demise of the old 'A' stock trains," posted earlier in this blog for further information about the 'A' stock trains.

Until next time.......

The Old A Stock! by Richard Ray
London Underground --- Metropolitan Line 'A' stock train

A work in progress......

I just thought that i'd fire off a new blog post this evening to inform everyone about the new layout changes for 'Through the eyes of a Londoner.'

As you may already know, I really enjoy writing this Blog as I have a keen interest in my home city and I still feel that I haven't exhausted the last of it's treasures. There's much more to talk about!

At the moment, there's still much to be done with the Blog in terms of layout and links, etc, so please bear with me as I iron out the various bits and pieces; and stay tuned for more info about London!

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and so, this blog has great potential to attracting like-minded people who are interested in London. Especially tourists who are planning to visit.

This blog would be of particular interest to websites / blogs who have a similar theme to mine, and especially those sites who offer discounts and tickets to top attractions in the City.

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The Demise of the old 'A' stock trains

Source:Metropolitan Line Train Taken Away For Scrapping | Londonist

I decided to write this in response to the above blog post found at the Londonist.

As you read this, London Transport are in the process of integrating their new 'S' stock trains into the Metropolitan line (part of London Underground -- sub_surface section) while the old 'A' stock trains which were around since the 60's are gradually sent to the scrap heap.

Personally, I'm rather saddened by this. I've always loved the 'A' stock train carriages. Among all the underground trains in service at the moment, their unique in one respect. Instead of the seating being positioned opposite each other along the length of the train (where everyone who's seated is sitting facing everyone else), the old 'A' stock has seating arranged like the old Victorian carriages.
I like this arrangement better as I hate sitting opposite everyone (I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to accidentally look at anyone for longer than a second, and so have to read, or, failing that, read the ads above everyone! -- maybe that's the point of the seating arrangement...)

The seats are also large and comfortable.

one obvious fan of the old 'A' stock train has made a tribute video of the old train. Check it out here:

Yea... it's old. It creaks.... Some people hate them....
But, if like me, you're among those who love them, be sure to Visit London (or, hop one one if in London) QUICK! before they depart altogether!

Interested in the new 'S' stock train? ...... check out the video here (they're just entering service):

Personally, I hate these new trains.... Well, to be fair, I never actually rode on one yet. But still, my first impressions on these trains is that they're just too modern for me. I'm a history fanatic, and part of me likes to cling on to the old stuff that little bit more.

How about you?
What are your thoughts on the new trains?
Comments are welcome!

Until next time!...

Visiting.... Living in London?.............Want to win an Ipad?

Don't take my word for it...
I'm not giving you the chance to win an Ipad.... I can hardly afford one myself!
                                                     But the Metro paper is!........ read on to find out more.

At this point, let me categorically stress that I'm in no way affiliated with the Metro paper at the present time and so I don't gain from this blog post.
I'm just as interested in this as you. No, not really for the Ipad (but it would be nice), but for the exhibition itself.

The Exhibition

According to the Metro paper on Monday, "Metro has joined forces with the Museum of London," "to give readers the chance to have their pictures (photographs -- italics ours) on display in front of thousands of visitors."

Are you an enthusiastic photographer (I know I am, just check out my Digital Art blog if you don't agree!) ?
Then you would be interested in this exhibition for the chance to submit your work.

Submit your work by February 18th

The exhibition runs from February 18th to September 4th (admisision free). So you have the 18th as the final deadline.

You will need a Flickr account, and you submit your work to the "London Street Photography Metro" group.
Check out the group rules at the group's home page.

Until next time.....

Victorian Road signs circa 1866-1917

I've written previously about Victorian Road signs (or, in particular, a Victorian Road sign) dating prior to 1866. This time, I'm going to talk about Victorian road signs that date from 1866 till 1917 (when the postcode changes again).

What's interesting about these road signs that i'm sharing with you here is that these were found in the Brick Lane area of East London (photographed by me in the middle of 2010). What makes this interesting is that these very signs were up during the time Jack the Ripper were prowling these very same streets. In a way, these signs are the silent witnesses of those bygone days.

As you can see from these photographs, these signs bore the 'E' suffix. As already commented on with my previous post on Victorian road signs prior to 1866, road signs in East London bore the 'NE' suffix.
on this subject, Wikepedia makes this comment:

"The original NE district created in 1858 was in North East London, but this was abolished in 1866; parts were transferred to the N and E districts, while others were removed from the London postal district altogether."
Source: Wikepedia -- NE Postcode

Regarding the E suffix, Wikepedia continues:

"The current E postcode area was originally formed in 1866 as a merger of the E and NE areas created in 1858. In 1917 the postal districts were numbered alphabetically by their location;[3] the districts usually cover a wider area than their names might suggest. As of 2004, the district names do not form part of the postal address.[2] Due to high demand, sector 9 of the E1 postcode district was split and recoded in 1999 to create an E1W postcode district around Wapping;[4] the rest of the district did not gain an additional character. Where districts are used for purposes other than the sorting of mail, such as use as a geographic reference and on street signs, E1 and E1W continue to be classed as one 'district'. The E postcode area contains two non-geographic postcode districts for high-volume business users, E77 and E98.[5]"

Source: Wikepedia -- E Postcode

A road sign seems very inconspicuous, or very easily missed when going about our daily life, but if you're a history fan like me, sometimes it's worth-while stopping and taking stock of our surroundings. Especially if we're visiting or touring London.

If you want to check out these particular signs for yourself, head on down to the Brick Lane area in East London (a short walk from Aldgate and Liverpool street stations -- A walk I heartily recommend) and see them for yourself. The area is a treasure trove of old buildings and streets dating back not only to the Victorian era but to the Georgian era too!

Until next time.....


Steam train service out of London

Bittern class Mayflower
On September 11th last year at around 10:00 pm, I was standing on platform one at London Paddington station shivering.

No, I wasn't catching a train........... I wasn't waiting for anyone....
                       .................. I was just waiting for a train......

No, not just any train. I was waiting for a steam train. In fact, this particular train was late (not surprisingly given the usual mainline train 'track-record.'); it was due to arrive about an hour earlier. But given that this train had just travelled over 400 miles round-trip from Plymouth over Britain's modern rail-tracks (presumably giving way to the regular services, taking on water, etc -- but don't quote me), I think we can forgive this particular service.

Now, why am I talking about steam trains in this blog?
Well, for one thing, as probably noted already in this blog, I am totally fanatical about history and historical things from the past; and this train fits the bill. Plus, the train has departed and arrived in one of London's busiest rail terminals.

1st Class Carriage

why should this interest you?
Well..... did you know that there are chartered steam services running from London throughout the year?
Until late last year, I didn't even know.
Not only in London, but throughout the United Kingdom. Chartered steam trains also call on major cities up and down Britain's mailine rail system.
This particular train on the 11th called on the following stations:

  • London Paddington
  • Slough
  • Reading
  • Newbury
  • Plymouth
.... And back again after it's Passengers spent the day at Plymouth.

If you are interested in rail tours for 2011 (it's a new year and a new brochure!), you can book mainline steam  tours via "The Railway touring Company".

You won't be disappointed!

See you onboard!.......

Until next time!..............
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