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Secrets Of The London Underground.

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Ken H

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After watching this weeks episode, was quite surprised to discover that “West Ashfield Tube Station” is actually mentioned on Apple Maps app…..
Albert Henry Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield was managing director, then chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) from 1910 to 1933 and chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) from 1933 to 1947.

Full history here


Albert Henry Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield, TD, PC (8 August 1874 – 4 November 1948), born Albert Henry Knattriess, was a British-American businessman who was managing director, then chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) from 1910 to 1933 and chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) from 1933 to 1947.

Although born in Britain, his early career was in the United States, where at a young age, he held senior positions in the developing tramway systems of Detroit and New Jersey. In 1898, he served in the United States Navy during the short Spanish–American War.

In 1907, his management skills led to his recruitment by the UERL, which was struggling through a financial crisis that threatened its existence. He quickly integrated the company's management and used advertising and public relations to improve profits. As managing director of the UERL from 1910, he led the take-over of competing underground railway companies and bus and tram operations to form an integrated transport operation known as the Combine.

He was Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne from December 1916 to January 1920 and was President of the Board of Trade between December 1916 and May 1919, reorganising the board and establishing specialist departments for various industries. He returned to the UERL and then chaired it and its successor the LPTB during the organisation's greatest period of expansion between the two World Wars, making it a world-respected organisation considered an exemplar of the best form of public administration.
 
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Ken H

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That scenario was touched on if I recall, but can't for the life of me remember the answer just now. It's not the only location where such a scenario applies, there is also the Tyburn stream at Baker Street and Victoria stations ('Lost Rivers of London' Barton 1962/1992 & various reprints in between).
Does this map help?
lostriversmaster_copy.jpg

Would be fun if someone could overlay the Undergound map over this!!
 

DelW

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Just seen episode 1 of series 3 on catch up. All very interesting as usual, but one thing is bothering me. On the item of Sloane Square and the river being pumped up and over that bridge looking thing.... What happens if the pumps fail, e.g. From a major power cut, and no generator cuts in. Looked to me like that well chamber would quickly fill up and then probably flood the station.
Possibly two separate power feeds, and probably a standby generator. There are lots of places like that where simultaneous failures would cause flooding, some on a much larger scale.

Until it was replaced about 15 years ago, the St Germans pumping station near King's Lynn was responsible for draining an area of fens as far east as Peterborough, using pumps and generators dating back many decades (it had been built in the early '30s and only partly modernised). To give an idea of the flooding that a failure would have caused, the replacement station was designed to pump 100 cubic metres per second out into the river. It's still dependent on power supply and back up generators of course, and they will be run and tested regularly.

It's technology that we all depend on daily !
 
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pitdiver

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White City was very good and did not have to use lightweight materials as it was on ground floor. I think the train they had there is elsewhere now. The land was too valuable to keep.
I remember the RTC at White City. I did my Booking Office training there then the training to Station Supervisor when "The Company Plan" came into operation. Those were the days.
 

Lost property

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Fascinating, as always, last programme and in particular the shots of the Controllers / Signallers offices...cramped, no natural air / light (collar and tie mandatory it seemed !) and a pretty grim place to work...even worse if smoking was permitted I would imagine.

But the real fascination comes, for me, with the number of tunnels, past / present, and re-utilised ....the sheer scale of the civil engineering is a revelation really. Loved the poster artwork at the Depot...which again, shows the creativity LT embraced to enhance Tube travel..
 

Trainguy34

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I've been watching since the 1st series and it still feels weird to think that I've saw Tim Dunn and had a photo with him on opening day of the Lizzy Line at Farringdon.
 

pitdiver

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Can I just say that as an ex employee of the LT Museum the Depot is well worth a visit. Particularly if you can get on one of the special tours of the Poster Store, Art Store and the Small Objects Store. All worth making the extra effort. I had worked there many times.
 

kwrail

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Enjoyed last nights episode. I can't have been paying attention lately as I hadn't realised that the numbering of the labyrinth panels at different tube stations related to the sequence that they are normally visited in Tube Challenge. It was an interesting interview with the artist responsible.
 

Lost property

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Enjoyed last nights episode. I can't have been paying attention lately as I hadn't realised that the numbering of the labyrinth panels at different tube stations related to the sequence that they are normally visited in Tube Challenge. It was an interesting interview with the artist responsible.
Wasn't it just, but, this a key point in both his series. TD does the introduction, but then, lets whoever is being interviewed do the talking and explaining.

There's nothing worse than a presenter who attempts to hi jack an interview with the intent on focusing viewers on themselves...

I'm still amazed, and intrigued, by the sheer number of tunnels / shafts in and around London associated with the Tube network.
 

timmydunn

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I'll take that (as will the editors) as a compliment. I'm actually guilty of doing monologues and leading questions because on the historical stuff, I've got a pretty good idea of what's happened. But then I'm a railway generalist when it comes to most of the places we go on the Underground, unless it's some of the weirder quirks that have stuck in my brain. Or the Met. The editors are very good at editing down those questions to be pithy. My god, I wish we were able to make those interviews available in long-format afterwards; there have been some on TATRB where the people who were the real experts were not just giving new information, but telling it in beautiful ways. Some that stand out on Underground include Mark Wallinger on his Labyrinths - that was 30 or so minutes down to just 4; TfL's Shashi Verma spoke for 17 minutes without me asking a single question on the topic of Oyster ansd the history of railway ticketing (a man after my own heart. We had to add in me making some general prompts afterward...) Chris Nix and I chatting about Archive Room finds can be 20 mins into 4.

The one from TATRB that I wish we had in particular was Elain Harwood at Manchester Oxford Road. She sadly died a few weeks after broadcast; and not only was she instrumental in getting that building listed, but she was possibly the key person in Britain taking more notice of its post-war buildings positively. Self-taught and indominatable, expert interviewer, campaigner, historian and big thinker all in one, her interview about why we should care about modernist buildings was a TED talk in itself; we could only show a slither of what she covered.

I talk a lot. I type a lot. But my job isn't to be the expert on every location: it is my job to ask the questions that I think you'd like to ask them, and to put their expertise on show. It is the most wonderful privilege. It is the skill of the editors, director and producers however that make my mangled rambling excitable interrogations into something that shows every contributor at their very best.
 

Peter Mugridge

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@timmydunn.... just please keep on doing more series. They're all as very, very, good as each other.

You could do the Paris Metro next... Architecture and Secrets of the Paris Metro would be at least two series worth if you could persuade RATP to co-operate. ↓↓↓↓↓


1692359649428.png
 

Big Jumby 74

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Doesn't the Moscow metro have some fantastic architecture...although understand if that might not be such a good idea just now......!
 

Basil Jet

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I was surprised that the Heathrow article didn't mention that the T4 loop was built with a straight section where T5 was planned at that time. Ultimately T5 was built in a different location away from the loop so the straight section has never been used.
 

REVUpminster

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25 years ago I had to be in the Heathrow 123 ticket office for 7am on New Years day. Left Walthamstow about 1am from a party leaving the wife there and drove to Heathrow passing numerous car crashes on the North circular, parked in the staff car park and down a ventilation shaft into the station and with my sleeping bag tried to get a few hours sleep in the ticket office chief clerks office. Over the years I had to climb over walls, through fences to get into stations. There were very few stations that had night turns in my day. Upney to Upminster Bridge did because of the short time between closing and opening.
 

timmydunn

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I'm going to reply to these, even though you I think you know very well why
(a) things are labelled and secret and indeed
(b) "the more boring of them" was chosen.

If you're being literal about it, then very little in this world is secret. Especially when it comes to *public* transport infrastructure. One might entitle any decent textbook on any subject "secrets of..." for it will contain information that the majority of people don't know, because it requires specific knowledge. Indeed, much of what we feature is deliberately kept from general public discourse because of very many good reasons. There will be a very very small number of viewers for whom something is not secret - it is something that they are deeply knowledgeable about - and I hope they share my joy in that there exists a communications vehicle (SOTLU) in which we are able to share that knowledge responsibly, and bring more people in to the world that we find fascinating. Gatekeeping knowledge is not something I am keen on, and that is why I spend so much of my time trying to find stories within railway history that will cause topics to find wider audiences... secret ones, or not. :)
 

Busaholic

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I'm going to reply to these, even though you I think you know very well why
(a) things are labelled and secret and indeed
(b) "the more boring of them" was chosen.

If you're being literal about it, then very little in this world is secret. Especially when it comes to *public* transport infrastructure. One might entitle any decent textbook on any subject "secrets of..." for it will contain information that the majority of people don't know, because it requires specific knowledge. Indeed, much of what we feature is deliberately kept from general public discourse because of very many good reasons. There will be a very very small number of viewers for whom something is not secret - it is something that they are deeply knowledgeable about - and I hope they share my joy in that there exists a communications vehicle (SOTLU) in which we are able to share that knowledge responsibly, and bring more people in to the world that we find fascinating. Gatekeeping knowledge is not something I am keen on, and that is why I spend so much of my time trying to find stories within railway history that will cause topics to find wider audiences... secret ones, or not. :)
Very well-chosen words. :smile:
 

kwrail

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I'm going to reply to these, even though you I think you know very well why
(a) things are labelled and secret and indeed
(b) "the more boring of them" was chosen.

If you're being literal about it, then very little in this world is secret. Especially when it comes to *public* transport infrastructure. One might entitle any decent textbook on any subject "secrets of..." for it will contain information that the majority of people don't know, because it requires specific knowledge. Indeed, much of what we feature is deliberately kept from general public discourse because of very many good reasons. There will be a very very small number of viewers for whom something is not secret - it is something that they are deeply knowledgeable about - and I hope they share my joy in that there exists a communications vehicle (SOTLU) in which we are able to share that knowledge responsibly, and bring more people in to the world that we find fascinating. Gatekeeping knowledge is not something I am keen on, and that is why I spend so much of my time trying to find stories within railway history that will cause topics to find wider audiences... secret ones, or not. :)

The trick that you are managing to pull off is to make the programme interesting to those of us who post on forums like this (and discuss locations of ventilation shafts), but also make it appeal to a wider audience as well. It's basically two enthusiasts having fun, and sharing their enthusiasm. Makes for a good watch. I wonder if the format will stretch to other UK city metro systems?

Up in Manchester a month ago with our son to watch some cricket and the tram went alongside the gardens on Castlefield viaduct. They are splendid. Visiting our daughter in the Netherlands a few weeks earlier and she didn't understand why I wanted to take photos of Rotterdam Centraal station. In both occasions I had to explain to members of my family that my strange behaviour was caused by watching TATRB!
 

thedbdiboy

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I'm going to reply to these, even though you I think you know very well why
(a) things are labelled and secret and indeed
(b) "the more boring of them" was chosen.

If you're being literal about it, then very little in this world is secret. Especially when it comes to *public* transport infrastructure. One might entitle any decent textbook on any subject "secrets of..." for it will contain information that the majority of people don't know, because it requires specific knowledge. Indeed, much of what we feature is deliberately kept from general public discourse because of very many good reasons. There will be a very very small number of viewers for whom something is not secret - it is something that they are deeply knowledgeable about - and I hope they share my joy in that there exists a communications vehicle (SOTLU) in which we are able to share that knowledge responsibly, and bring more people in to the world that we find fascinating. Gatekeeping knowledge is not something I am keen on, and that is why I spend so much of my time trying to find stories within railway history that will cause topics to find wider audiences... secret ones, or not. :)
As someone who has been fascinated by the Underground since childhood and had over time discovered many of the 'secrets' I have to say I have learned all sorts of new things over the different series of SOTLU, so I can confirm it works at different levels regardless of whether you ae a casual viewer or an enthusiast!
 

bluegoblin7

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There was a police incident in the Shepherd's Bush area and a related fatality at East Ham later.

Not sure why it would be grounds to postpone an episode - fatalities are an occupational, regular hazard on LUL; most don't get reported widely.
 

Trainguy34

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There was a police incident in the Shepherd's Bush area and a related fatality at East Ham later.

Not sure why it would be grounds to postpone an episode - fatalities are an occupational, regular hazard on LUL; most don't get reported widely.
Ah, Thanks for the info.
 

LOL The Irony

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Well I can probably guess some of the reasons behind that. Firstly, it's pretty apparent that they only get access to certain areas (wouldn't surprise me if this is a tfl/production company insurance thing) and are usually limited by time. The second issue is that for every minute of footage you see, they had to record around 30 minutes, meaning approximately 24 and a half hours of footage is recorded for each episode. Someone that has to trawl through all of that and decide what can go on TV so the normies can understand, not just the nerds. During this process, a lot of important, cool details will have to be left on the cutting room floor, to allow the production to meet the runtime and not confuse/bore to death the average viewer.
 
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