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We all have to do things we don't like sometimes - the dentist, visiting the in-laws, paying the council tax....personally i'd include shopping in that list, and the London Underground has definitely joined it. I know those of you who aren't in London very often are probably under the impression that i moan about anything and everything, but i'm looking out my window at a a rainbow, and am very cheerful, thankyou very much. It's just that i've been living in London for almost 25 years now, and i can tell you the shine has come off it. Don't get me wrong, i don't know where we'd be without it, but that's the problem. It's not too long ago that the only realistic way of crossing the Channel for most of us was by ferry, and the fact that they had a captive market meant the ferry companies had to make little effort in maintaining any sort of standards of service, and the same goes for the Tube. I'm completely in agreement with Ken Livingstone's congestion zone, and i think we should all be using public transport whenever we can, but if at all possible i try to use the bus nowadays. The cheapest fare is £2.20 - to even go one stop - with reports that fares are about to rise by 10%, so it's basically a fiver if you want to come home as well! My advice, if you're visiting London, is to go to the tube station and ask for a bus map. And why are there signal failures almost every day? Once they're fixed, why don't they stay fixed?? If you're in a rush, however, the tube is essential. Despite the congestion charging, buses take roughly 3 times as long as long to cover the same journey, so if you need to catch a train, like i say, sometimes we've all got to do things we don't want to do.....
P.S. Did any of you who use the Tube regularly know that unti the 1930's the Metopolitan line trains included a buffet carriage? Tablecloths, tasteful lighting etc. Can you imagine it nowadays????
Sorry for the low rating, but there is so much more to London Underground than the subject matter you covered. Torr (below) has summed it up perfectly. If you edit your review let me know and I'll happily re-read. Cheers. Christina ;-) x
torr 02.10.2004 17:49
You write as a practised user, with some plaintive complaints. It would be helpful to those who aren't so well-acquainted with the tube to give some background info: extent of system, frequency of trains and how late they run, the different lines and ease of changing from one to another. Hope this helps. Duncan
The title contains an obvious irony: the posters on the London Underground have always ... more
been an excellent example of public art, free and accessible to the lumpen proletariat who, as art critic Anthony Blunt pointed out, "are lured into liking the poster before they realise that it is just the kind of thing which they loathe in the exhibition galleryâ¦" Sugaring the medicine came to be a defining characteristic of Underground advertising, the pictorial history of which is traced in this excellent volume, from its beginnings in 1908 until 1989. The selection is made by Oliver Green, the first curator of the London Transport Museum, whose love of his subject irrigates the potentially dry textuality of his admirably brief introduction. Green shows how the advertising focus quickly shifted from the mode of transport to the destination in a bid to capture the lucrative leisure hours of Londoners, and how there was also a desire to simply establish goodwill, a concept baffling to a modern business sensibility inured to the idea of profit uber alles. The posters were the brainchild of Frank Pick, a "benevolent style dictator", responsible for establishing the corporate identity still used by London Underground today. Over 200 of them are reproduced here in colour, embracing a diversity of styles including Cubism, Modernism, Vorticism and Futurism, and inviting us to all corners of the metropolis and its surrounds, but most commonly London Zoo (which of course is nowhere near a tube). Well-known artists such as Man Ray and Graham Sutherland contributed designs, as did a to-be-well-known spy novelist Len Deighton, but the stars were artists such as Edward McKnight Kauffer, whose work over many years showed an unsurpassed understanding of the medium. The most recognisable design, though, was Henry C. Beck's diagrammatic map of the tube network, introduced in 1933 and still iconically ubiquitous today. It is a pity Green does not reproduce it to a greater scale (likewise its interesting geogr