Tuesday 3rd March – eighth meeting of 2015
Today we planned to WALK! We decided on a walk run by London Walks, one of the oldest Walking Companies. No need to book you just turn up where directed in the white leaflet they produce, pay your money and away you go!
So after meeting at Charing Cross we went straight to the Bakerloo line to go to Baker Street ready for 11 o’clock to meet our guide. No time for coffee!
We found the side entrance and joined a few people already waiting. By the time the guide arrived there was a group of about 28. Our guide Fiona collected our payments. Today we were classed as Super Adults! and charged £7, Adult charge£9. Fiona then explained the tour which was to go ‘Down the Tubes’ and explain 150 years of the development of the Underground. It would include riding on the trains, looking at the station artistry and also a walk outside.
Once all money taken and everyone assembled Fiona started the tour by giving us a brief history of how and why the Underground started. From there we went to the Metropolitan line platform and took the train to King’s Cross. Throughout the tour we were told so many things of interest and the history of the tubes. Amazingly we all kept together on all the train journeys and managed to keep a tight group for the talks which were all given on the platforms, on walkways, and at the top and bottom of escalators with short pauses for noise! From King’s Cross we took Piccadilly line to Covent Garden and ascended to street level. A walk outside looking at the outside of the stations and interesting shops associated with the trains. Then into Leicester Square station and Northern line to the Embankment. The last journey was District line to Westminster where the Tour ended.
The information given was very good. The story of how the infamous map the Underground was established and the really interesting fact that London Underground make more money selling and using this logo then they make on the fares! How astonishing is that! We were also told many things about the founders of the railways, about advertising, London Transport Museums, the uses of the stations in the two world wars and the celebration that took place in 2013 to mark 150 years of the Underground.
This was a very interesting tour and really made me appreciate how lucky we are to have such a fantastic system on our door step!
When we left the tour we tried to find somewhere for a coffee but as it was after one o’clock everywhere was really busy with people having lunch so we decided to go straight home. I must remark that it is a very long time since we have had a morning without a coffee at some point but we were all ready for home!