55 Broadway, London Underground HQ

Discussion in 'London Underground' started by Joe Paxton, 10 Aug 2018.

  1. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    In early 2017, TfL dropped plans to sell 55 Broadway for luxury residential redevelopment and instead opted for a 'sale and leaseback' arrangement:
    Can anyone say if TfL's continued use of 55 Broadway is now broadly secure, for the medium term at least?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 10 Aug 2018
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  3. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    It would seem that way - after emptying the building out extensively, they seem to have moved various people back in. I'm glad to see that - it's an absolutely beautiful building, and I loved working in it.

    In 2013, LU's registered office address was changed from 55 Broadway to Windsor House, but this year it changed back again.
     
  4. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I did a Hidden Londontour of 55 earlier this year.

    They told us TfL will occupy the building for the foreseeable future.
     
  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Have they installed air-conditioning there yet?
     
  6. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    It’s an appalling building to work in. It’s been hideous during the heatwave, and in winter is perpetually freezing. The noise from outside is constant - if it’s not the building site over the road then it’s demonstrations outside the MoJ the other side. The IT connectivity is rudimentary at best. Generally, it’s not looked after very well.

    Naturally it looks good, with some stunning architectural features, but as a working environment, nah.
     
  7. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    There is a meeting room or two with it in (if you can work it), but it isn’t very powerful.
     
  8. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    The Board Room was rather fine , as well as the ante-room where you were kept waiting before being summoned in. Fine Officers Mess with roof garden Wood paneling corridors and art-deco lifts.

    Part Headquarters of the BTC for a while in the 1940's
     
  9. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    They made a point of saying that the board room was used when they wanted to impress outside companies bidding for work etc.
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    A lot of buildings of that era are only good to look at. They must cost a fortune to heat and ventilate and have terrible efficiency ratings.
     
  11. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    It’s still exactly the same, including the board table and chairs. I suspect even the paint colour is unchanged.
     
  12. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I worked in it for a short while spanning the changeover to GLC stewardship in January 1970, and it was truly horrible. Anyone who advocated large, open-plan offices should try working out bus schedules surrounded by about 120 other people doing exactly the same thing. I was glad when my traffic management traineeship took me elsewhere!
     
  13. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    That's partly why I posted - the last of this year's programme of LTM Hidden London tours of 55 Broadway are next weekend. I'd love to have a look around the building, and there are some tickets left, but going next weekend would be somewhat incommodious. Hopefully there will be further tours next year, and before there's any significant change in the fabric of the building.
     
  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    I wonder if those things are easy to fix. I worked in it for a while myself, and yes, some parts of it aren't nice. I worked in a few large offices in there before holing up in the Network Operations Centre for a couple of years, which was almost a little bunker cut off from the rest of the building.
     
  15. Ex LT

    Ex LT Member

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    I worked in many parts of 55 Broadway and like you say some parts were not very nice although the last part I worked was fine. I would not say that the NOC was bunker like just a restricted area and only those that had business could get in other than those that worked there. There were other areas which were very restricted and entry was very tight.
     
  16. Ex LT

    Ex LT Member

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    Worked in it for many years and I liked the Officer's mess but you had to be invited if you were not the correct grade.
     
  17. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Nothing is easy to fix, due to the listed status of the building.
     
  18. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Do they still have fish & chips on Fridays?
     
  19. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Yes, but in my experience most of the few remaining work based canteens do!
     
  20. trash80

    trash80 Member

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    Very few offices anywhere are nice, the vile cult of open plan is everywhere. At least at 55 Broadway you have a bit of Art Deco around you rather than yet another identikit office in a suburb of somwhereville :)

    I did the tour of Broadway last year, its a lovely looking place for sure though i can understand why working there every day would be very different to working there rain and shine.
     
  21. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I definitely wasn't on the guest list!
     
  22. Ex LT

    Ex LT Member

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    You were not in the right circle I take it.
     
  23. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Never have been! LT was a hotbed of Freemasonry too, I've since learned, and I've never been that way inclined. I've always been too irreverent for my own good.
     
  24. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    LU still is such a hotbed, more in some areas than others. One of the less tasteful aspects of the operation in my opinion. I could elaborate on this a lot more, but probably best I don’t.
     
  25. Ex LT

    Ex LT Member

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    It was rife when I worked there and I suspect it's just the same or worse. I recall someone who was on a DB and when it was over the chairman and others asked the person who had been DB where they would go for a drink and the result of the DB all charges dropped. There was a relief station manager who was so high up in the movement that he would not take promotion and was even allowed to ride a white horse in the Shell ticket hall entrance at Waterloo, first name Vic.
     
  26. LU_timetabler

    LU_timetabler Member

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    The building does have temperature control issues (i.e. been a sauna this summer) and freezing in winter (especially on Mondays after the heating's been off for the weekend). On the plus side - architecture / decor is pretty impressive in certain areas and the canteen is rather good.
    One of the Broadway annexes is being emptied, but not the main building itself.
     
  27. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I only know about this from a conversation I had in my bookshop in Cornwall with a very nice chap, aged probably mid 70s, who bought a book from me on 'London Transport and the Trade Unions' and asked me why I'd be stocking such a book! Having explained my interest and brief, long-ago work connections, he told me his father was xx who'd been high up in bus operations in the 1960s, and indeed I'd heard of him but he'd retired just before I joined. He said his father was expecting to join the Board but he was barred, no reason given, but was convinced it was because he wasn't a member of a lodge. The chap telling me this also said that the order were particularly active on the Underground side, quoting a couple of names I'd certainly heard of, very high up.
     

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