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Quake42

Warrior Princess
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
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I noticed there didn't seem to be a thread on this, so I decided to start one! A general home for any unusual or weird Tube-related stories.

I'll kick off. This morning on the District Line I saw a man in a suit and bowler hat. Not too unusual although bowler hats are seen relatively rarely these days. What was surprising was that he was painted bright blue.

I assume it was some sort of performance art - I considered the Blue Man Group but he didn't seem to be dressed in the way they usually do and I think it was a slightly different shade! Anyone else spot him?
 
There's a 'human statue' around York sometimes who sounds like that, though he's usually on a bicycle and his clothes are kind of wired into a flighty pose.

Perhaps your man was on his way to Leicester Square for a bit of posing, and he uses the hat to collect his money in?

Edit: here's the York chappy. Was your guy similar? Like he'd painted his clothes as well? Or did he have blue skin and regular clothes?

purpleman.jpg
 
Great photo BRF! But no, my guy was dressed in normal (if rather formal and old-fashioned) clothes. It was just his skin which was bright blue. I see a fair few human statues and similar street performers in central London, but this guy didn't really look like one.
 
Maybe he was going into work to hand in his notice in spectacular fashion?
 
I'm a little surprised this thread did not prevoke more response, my only thoughts are of the poor chap in an American Werewolf in London who gets savaged at Tottenham Court Road station but of course that's mythical. Then again I don't live in London so what might be odd to me would be an ordinary day to someone in the big smoke!
 
There is something very creepy about the maze like tunnels of the LU. Especially if you are in them late at night on your own.

There is something very cool about them too though, I love the 1930s feel of some of them and the feeling that you could glimpse a bowler hat and umbrella clad phantom.

I think that most of the peculiar LU stories ended up in the generic 'Underground' thread, although there is probably a case to be made for an 'Underground' (caves and underground places) thread and an 'Underground' (LU) thread.

The characters you see on a cities transit system are always a treat. I saw a guy last month who was absolutely wasted fall asleep on his seat but holding his can up straight out in front of him, didn't spill a drop even though the can seemed certain to end up all over the floor. Another tall, wiry guy dunking a tea bag in and out of an invisible tea cup as he paced the platform and another who had a ritual of taking one shoe off, performing some kind of prayer ritual, putting the shoe back on and standing bolt upright then repeating the process all over again. And again. And again. And that is without mentioning the screamers, manic laughers and the well dressed begging lady who sits with her hand out sweetly asking for help before launching an angry tirade at everyone who passed her by.
 
Brompton Road Tube ghost station resurrection plans announced
By Andy Dangerfield, BBC London News

''When we first went in with torches, the place was crackling with atmosphere," said entrepreneur Ajit Chambers.
"We are holding this feeling, bottling it and showing the world's tourists just how amazing the history of London is."
Then Prime Minister Winston Churchill watched over the Royal Artillery's anti-aircraft operations during World War II from a secret command centre at Brompton Road Underground station.

Now Mr Chambers has announced abandoned Brompton Road Tube in south-west London is the first station he plans to develop into a tourist attraction.
"Proceedings began this morning to purchase our first abandoned Underground station," Mr Chambers said.
"This site is perfect for what we want to use it for," said the man who owns The Old London Underground Company.

"We would like to have a rooftop restaurant, and use the deep drop shafts for climbing walls," he said.
"The visit down to Brompton Road will be comparable to the London Eye and Madame Tussauds."

Mr Chambers is working with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which owns many of the stations, to lease the sites, he calls "ghost stations".
He has also been in talks with the Greater London Authority and Transport for London (TfL), which owns the network.
They have both said they are "in principle" in favour of the proposals, provided suitably detailed and properly funded plans are put forward.

Brompton Road Tube opened in 1906 on the Piccadilly Line, positioned between Knightsbridge and South Kensington.
But it was permanently closed 28 years later when nearby Knightsbridge was modernised and given a new entrance, and after diminishing footfall Brompton Road was deemed to be no longer economically viable.

The station was taken over by the MoD and became a central part of the war effort, of which some of the evidence is still in remarkable condition.
Maps of London still hang from the walls of the war room where the anti-aircraft command centre used to be.
It is thought Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party, was brought to the station to be debriefed after being captured in Scotland in 1941.

Brompton Road is not the only station Mr Chambers has his sights set on.
At least 21 stations remain abandoned on the network, but TfL has warned some might prove a challenge to develop.
"The majority of our disused stations are in direct proximity to the operational railway which would present a significant safety challenge," said TfL spokesman David McNeill.
"Most have not been in public use for many years and would require significant investment before they could be used regularly by members of the public.
"We have explained to Mr Chambers that we would consider proposals from him.
"However, given the safety and operational issues involved and the need to protect public money, a proposal would have to be reasonably detailed."

A spokesperson for the Greater London Authority said: "Ajit Chambers met with the mayor and officials from London Underground last September where it was agreed that follow up discussions with London Underground would take place and if a comprehensive commercial proposal was received then it would be considered."

Mr Chambers remains enthusiastic about the potential of certain sites including Down Street, another former Piccadilly line station, which lies between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner, and was closed in 1932.
Also, frequented by the cabinet during the war, it still contains a bed and bath thought to have been used by the then Mr Churchill.
"That's the one people will get really excited about," Mr Chambers said.
"The legacy of these ghost stations is better to experience in person than can ever be described."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17699680
 
Many moons ago, en route from Richmond to Earls Court one busy morning on the District Line, I looked up from reading my book to see a man dressed as an Arthurian-type figure. He must've been in his late 50s, had a beard, a crown, fake chain mail, and a white tabard with a large red cross on it (i.e. Crusader style). In one hand he was clutching a roll of parchment. Typically for London, no-one was paying any attention to him ;) IIRC, he dismembarked at Earls Court but I lost sight of him in the rush hour crowds.
 
When I first left home at 17 & moved to London I used to have dreams that I'd get on the LU and be taken to the depths of Hell. After a few months of the commute from Stratford East/Canning town to Swiss cottage every day I realised that was Hell!

I've had a few odd things happen on the LU, the one that springs to mind is: I once saw a man standing on the very edge of the platform @ TCR, he looked like he was about to jump, but as the train came into the station, it knocked him and he did a 360 spin. But was, it seemed totally unharmed. Made me feel sick tho :cross eye

There's always a good old fashioned nutter on the LU, no matter what time you're on/where you're going, theres always a nutter! :madeyes:
 
Here's a wonderfully creepy video featuring one of my fave LU stops Mornington Crescent - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8md9mUs8Uls

I had a rather odd thing happen at this station myself. I got on the first train of the day on my way to work, and the carriage I was in was fairly empty. A man got on about 30ish, smartly dressed and began dusting all the empty seats. He didn't sit down, just kept dusting. Then got off a few stops later. :shock:

I've seen a very smartly dressed woman stop outside Camden station, pull down her pants and do a wee in the middle of the day! :nooo: As my Gran would have said: There's none so queer as folk.
 
I've seen a very smartly dressed woman stop outside Camden station, pull down her pants and do a wee in the middle of the day!

Yuk! Some years ago there was a woman at Brixton station who was notorious for pulling down her pants and, er, doing a number two on the platform, prior to running up and down asking for toilet paper! In fairness I think she had some pretty severe mental problems.

Still, not really what you want at 8.30 in the morning on your way to work!
 
I cherish those occasional publicly addressed musings you still sometimes get from underground staff - (I mean, apart from the fairly regular, 'If the bloke in the blue suit doesn't get his backside inside the carriage I won't be able to shut the bloody doors will I? And we won't be going anywhere, will we?', type.)

I was once on a packed train which was inexplicably stalled at an equally rammed station when, after a few minutes, the drivers voice came through the speakers and said, in a proper old-school London accent:

'Who are all these people? Where did they all come from? Where are they all going?'

What made it funny was that he sounded so serious - like he was genuinely perplexed by the whole thing, and really quite wanted to know what was going on.
 
Spookdaddy said:
I cherish those occasional publicly addressed musings you still sometimes get from underground staff - (I mean, apart from the fairly regular, 'If the bloke in the blue suit doesn't get his backside inside the carriage I won't be able to shut the bloody doors will I? And we won't be going anywhere, will we?', type.)

I was once on a packed train which was inexplicably stalled at an equally rammed station when, after a few minutes, the drivers voice came through the speakers and said, in a proper old-school London accent:

'Who are all these people? Where did they all come from? Where are they all going?'

What made it funny was that he sounded so serious - like he was genuinely perplexed by the whole thing, and really quite wanted to know what was going on.

Sounds like a wail of existential despair.

Maybe he applied for a job as a kitchen porter and ended up as a railway porter by mistake.
 
ramonmercado said:
Sounds like a wail of existential despair.

Maybe he applied for a job as a kitchen porter and ended up as a railway porter by mistake.

Could've been worse, he could've ended up as Nyree Dawn Porter.
 
ramonmercado said:
Maybe he applied for a job as a kitchen porter and ended up as a railway porter by mistake.

No, no, it sounds like he drank too much porter...
 
Spookdaddy said:
I cherish those occasional publicly addressed musings you still sometimes get from underground staff - (I mean, apart from the fairly regular, 'If the bloke in the blue suit doesn't get his backside inside the carriage I won't be able to shut the bloody doors will I? And we won't be going anywhere, will we?', type.)

Ten or so years ago, LU actually had a section on their website where people could post the funny things they'd heard staff say over the tannoy, etc.. This soon got pulled as various tales came to the surface that didn't show the staff in a good light (i.e. a driver left his intercom on and was heard to say 'Sod 'em, I don't care if they're late...' - and some worse ones). There were also some extremely funny ones, i.e. a driver announcing (in the style of an airline pilot) the ETA for the next station, what the weather was like there, and that it was 'in Greenwich Mean Time and so there will be no need to adjust your watches'... :rofl:

That said, I've heard some various funny announcements/statements from LU drivers over the years. A few have been absolute comedy genius :D
 
I posted the following links on other threads, but they are kind of relevant here, and definitely worth watching, so I hope I'll be forgiven for repeating myself.

I was a great fan of the old 40 Minutes and Q.E.D. documentary series.

Molly Dineen's 1989, Heart of the Angel is a classic.

Part 1: Link.

Part 2: Link.

Part 3: Link.

Part 4: Link.

escargot1 said:
Next Tuesday, Halloween, 11pm, Ch 5: Ghosts Of The London Underground! :D

Some nice person has uploaded this 2006 documentary onto YouTube - you lucky people.

Here.

Edit: I should maybe point out that Heart of the Angel isn't specifically fortean in subject matter - but it's still well worth watching. And, having said that, it's always struck me that the relatively recent past can seem somehow stranger and more distant than events much further away in time - so maybe it won't be just me who finds it as oddly fascinating as more obviously peculiar subjects can be.
 
Passing this one along.

Tickets are now available for guided tours around the, long closed, Aldwych Station, in June.

http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/events/events-calendar#aldwych

Tours of Aldwych Disused Underground Station

Dates: 5-29 June

There is a rare opportunity to take a tour of the disused Aldwych Underground station in the Strand from Thursdays to Sundays in June 2014. Led by expert guides, the public will be able to see the ticket hall, abandoned platforms and tunnels, and inter-connecting walkways – including some that have very rarely been seen by the public.

Aldwych station is one of London’s secret places, holding myths and memories of times gone by. It opened to the public in 1907. It was never as heavily used as originally intended and closed nearly 100 years later in 1994. The station has had a varied history; it provided shelter to Londoners during the Blitz and has been used for film and TV shoots including, Sherlock, Mr Selfridge and Atonement.

The tours will involve groups of up to 40 people and will run from Thursday 5 to Sunday 29 June.
Tickets

Tickets: Adult £25.00, Concession £20.00
 
Passing this one along.

Tickets are now available for guided tours around the, long closed, Aldwych Station, in June.

I used to use Aldwych Station once a fortnight to get to the Science Reference Library and was there on the day it closed in 1994. The station was tired and shabby and not well maintained but not creepy - although it was used in the Death Line (1972) to good effect: (cannibalistic descendants of trapped Victorian railway constructors who survived a tunnel cave-in, venture out in search of food and love - " Mind the Gap"). I wouldn't pay £25.00 for a tour to re-visit it.
Of more interest to me is the conduit (green) carrying the River Kilburn (Westbourne), one of the 'lost' rivers of London, over the platform at Sloane Square. There is also another gurgling 'ventilation shaft' at the end of a platform of an Underground station I rarely visit - need to confirm which river that contains.

Sloan_Square_Tube_Station_London_and_Westbourne_river.jpg
 
I do not think this strange, instead logical, but perhaps it is not generally realised, that famous people get the tube as well as regular people?
Why?
Because London can be so congested that it takes ages to travel by car....certainly during business hours and in the West End at nights at weekends.
If someone is performing at Wembley or The Greenwich O2 Dome, then these venues are much more accessible by tube than car.

On her way to the Spice Girls gig, Mel B applies her lipstick.

melbjpeg.jpg


"99 problems but an invalid Oystercard ain't one"

Jay Z on his way to perform at the O2 Dome.

jayzjpeg.jpg


"And it's about that time to take 40 winks"...Tim Westwood uses the journey to get some much needed rest.

westwooddoze.jpg
 
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I do not think this strange, instead logical, but perhaps it is not generally realised, that famous people get the tube as well as regular people?...

I've always thought the Tube was a great leveller - I've seen many well-known people on the Underground, including quite a few politicians, some of whom I was quite surprised - but also kind of reassured - to see were travelling without any sort of security. For all its faults, the Tube has always seemed to me to be a kind of neutral ground - and the infamous unwillingness of people to interact may actually be part and parcel of this. (That said, I've always found the alleged unfriendliness of London, and the impersonality of the Underground, to be exaggerated. And I say this as a northerner, not as a Lunnener.)

Not to say you don't see bad behaviour, but for an institution that handles several millions of passenger journeys a day, often via a relatively ancient network, through one of the busiest cities in the world, I find the fact that it works at all, and does so in a relatively civilised manner for the vast majority of its passengers and work force, worthy of some sort of awe.

As you can maybe tell, I'm one of those odd people who actually quite likes the Tube
 
Stupid people also use the Underground. A photographer posted pictures on Facebook that he'd taken of models in clearly dangerous positions and was soundly bollocked on there by railway staff.

As was pointed out, this woman could have been injured or killed.

Cannot but agree. The man's an idiot.
 

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Stupid people also use the Underground. A photographer posted pictures on Facebook that he'd taken of models in clearly dangerous positions and was soundly bollocked on there by railway staff.

As was pointed out, this woman could have been injured or killed.

Cannot but agree. The man's an idiot.

Very stupid, for all the reasons mentioned in the screen grab.
And that the floor of that platform is regularly ran across by rats.
And that model has put her hand on the floor.
A small cut, and she runs the risk of Weil's disease.
 
Very stupid, for all the reasons mentioned in the screen grab.
And that the floor of that platform is regularly ran across by rats.
And that model has put her hand on the floor.
A small cut, and she runs the risk of Weil's disease.
Oh yes, I hadn't thought of that! I may find that photographer on Twitter and get him up-to-date with the biological aspects of risky Tube behaviour.
 
OK. True story, but from a long time ago - and I'm talking almost a quarter of a century (!) but, reading some of these, I just had a vivid flashback to it.

I was working in North London and had to commute up the Northern Line.
In the rush hours, heading North, this is horrendously crowded until you reach probably Euston.

One morning, I was lucky enough to grab a seat at Waterloo and went into the commuter trance, as you do, whilst the carriage fills up and the atmosphere gets increasingly hot and stuffy.
After a few stops - around Tottenham Court Road I reckon, I felt some contact. Or, to be more precise, I felt a youngish woman standing and holding the bar adjacent to me, pressing her, shall we say gusset, against my knee.
I retreated slightly, assuming this was accidental and slightly awkward involuntary contact. Only for her to press harder and rub herself slightly but noticeably against me. I glanced up and she made eye-contact and grinned at me.

Maybe I should have felt flattered, but it felt decidedly weird at the time and I was quite relieved when she got off 1 or 2 stops later, with just a quick backward glance at me.

If the sexes had been reversed, I suppose it would have been regarded as far more inappropriate.
 
The site I work on has an interface with Moorgate tube station and we have to work on two closed off platforms including night work. We have a young snowflake on our team who doesn’t stop whinging when asked to do anything that he is contracted to do. When moaning about his forthcoming night shift I took him to the closed off platforms and told him that was the unfortunate location of the 1975 train crash which resulted, unfortunately, in 40 plus fatalities. It isn’t, but he isn’t to know. Anyhow on the evening he was due to start night work I took him to one side and reminded him what (didn’t) happen on those particular platforms. With a general caution not to go on those platforms alone after dark, I waved goodnight. He was rooted to the spot, but in all fairness he hasn’t moaned or claimed to see any spooks or spectres to date.
 
...I felt a youngish woman standing and holding the bar adjacent to me, pressing her, shall we say gusset, against my knee.
I retreated slightly, assuming this was accidental and slightly awkward involuntary contact. Only for her to press harder and rub herself slightly but noticeably against me. I glanced up and she made eye-contact and grinned at me.

Is it weird that l immediately remembered that the technical term for this is frottage or bustle-punching?

maximus otter
 
OK. True story, but from a long time ago - and I'm talking almost a quarter of a century (!) but, reading some of these, I just had a vivid flashback to it.

I was working in North London and had to commute up the Northern Line.
In the rush hours, heading North, this is horrendously crowded until you reach probably Euston.

One morning, I was lucky enough to grab a seat at Waterloo and went into the commuter trance, as you do, whilst the carriage fills up and the atmosphere gets increasingly hot and stuffy.
After a few stops - around Tottenham Court Road I reckon, I felt some contact. Or, to be more precise, I felt a youngish woman standing and holding the bar adjacent to me, pressing her, shall we say gusset, against my knee.
I retreated slightly, assuming this was accidental and slightly awkward involuntary contact. Only for her to press harder and rub herself slightly but noticeably against me. I glanced up and she made eye-contact and grinned at me.

Maybe I should have felt flattered, but it felt decidedly weird at the time and I was quite relieved when she got off 1 or 2 stops later, with just a quick backward glance at me.

If the sexes had been reversed, I suppose it would have been regarded as far more inappropriate.
Why don't things like this ever happen to me?
 
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