|Bethnal Green Tube Station|
The underground railway in London is widely known as "The Tube". It has been moving Londoners and visitors around the city since the 1860's. An amazing 1.37 billion trips were made by tube travellers last year on 250 miles of track. The whole system is, in my view, amazing and a living monument to human ingenuity and teamwork. Okay "The Tube" has its problems - notably overcrowding in rush hour periods - but generally speaking it continues to work well, moving people around under the city's busy streets.
Nowadays if you have a debit card you can use it like a ticket to open entrance and exit turnstiles. No need to mess about buying tickets at counters or from ticket machines - just scan your debit card and pay later for no extra charge.
|Historic plaque at Mile End|
One of the oldest tube stations is Bank in the heart of London's financial district. It is a very unusual station because the platform curves in an arc. This is an anomaly that dates back to the earliest days of the underground system. Now, normally when a train arrives at a station there is hardly any gap between the train's hydraulic doors and the platform but when a tube train reaches Bank pretty large gaps may appear because of the platform's curvature. At Bank, the warning "Mind the Gap" isn't only written in big letters on the platform, it also comes over the public address system.
On Sunday afternoon, Shirley, Frances and I were travelling on The Tube and had to change from The Central Line to The Northern Line at Bank. As we left the train we had to take big steps across the gap but as we moved along the platform we saw an older man fail to bridge the gap as he attempted to board the train He tumbled into the open doorway, smashing his head on the carriage floor as his legs threatened to slip down to the electrified track below the train.
People rushed to his aid including the three of us and the old man was pulled unceremoniously onto the platform. He was bleeding from a gash to the head and his glasses had fallen to a ledge just below the platform's edge. Frances rushed to the emergency phone and Shirley helped to lie the man down. He was clearly shocked. Fortunately the train lingered for quite some time. The driver will have seen what was happening on his CCTV system.
|Ian at Tredegar Square|
We had been to Mile End to see our son Ian who has moved into an amazing house on Tredegar Square. He's living with two former school friends, one of whom works with him on their "Bosh!" plant-based cookery venture. Incredibly, a book is scheduled to come out next year and it can even be pre-ordered on "Amazon". Go here. Ian and Henry have had a big advance to get this book off the ground - hence the move to Mile End where the work on the book and the Facebook page continues.
|By Regent's Canal at Mile End|