Sunday 17th November 2013
**Please feel free to click on any image to view in Flickr**
I love the London underground. Getting about by tube is always a highlight of any trip to the capital. I’m also fascinated by the “ghost stations” on the tube system – disused stations that sit there in the dark, gathering dust as thousands upon thousands of commuters pass by them daily on their journeys, not knowing of their existence.
Today we got the chance to visit Aldwych Station, which closed its doors to customers in 1994. The station is familiar to lots of people, although they’re unaware of it – it’s tunnels and platforms are used regularly by movie and TV makers. I spotted platform A in the first episode of “Sherlock” a few weeks ago . . . . .
London Transport occasionally run guided tours of Aldwych, which gives Tube enthusiasts, in parties of 20 people per visit, the chance to walk the dusty, deserted tunnels and stand on the eerily quiet platforms, one of which last saw customers almost a century ago . . . .
Aldwych station Strand entrance . . . .
Booking Hall Signage
Fake signage, leftover from TV filming. Aldwych had no Bakerloo line track ….
Passageway between lifts and platforms. This passageway was tidied up in 2000, for filming . . . .
Steps down to Platform A, which closed in 1994 . . . .
Platform A. These rails still connect to the Piccadilly Line . . . .
Platform A signage. The A and N are part of the word “STRAND”, the original name of the Station . . .
Platform A signage. These are all repro, added for filming . . . .
More fake signage . . .
And more fake signage . . . .
This poster, however, is genuine, dating back to the early 1970’s . . . .
This sign was put in place for filming, hence its shininess . . . .
Platform B, disused since 1917. Treasures from the British Museum (including the Elgin Marbles) were stored here during World War 2 . . . .
Platform B. This area was once piled high with treasures from the British Museum ….
Platform B. These tracks are the oldest surviving rails on the underground system . . . .
The end of the platform tunnel was bricked up to create a secure store room during WW2 . . . .
These steps were never finished. On our visit we weren’t allowed to use them, as they’re in a poor state . . . .
This 38 metre section of tunnel was also abandoned before completion.
Nowadays Platform B is used as a testbed for new tiling patterns. The original “STRAND” lettering can be seen . . . .
A short walk along lonely tunnels brought us to the top of the derelict stairs . . . .
These tunnels were abandoned before completion, and never used . . . .
A long spiral staircase took us back up to surface level, where original signage was still visible . . . .
Theres just something about Leslie Green designed tiling . . . .
Way out . . . .
Our visit was over all too soon. One criticism I have of the tour is that it seemed very hurried. We were constantly being hustled along by the tour guides, which meant I had precious little time to set up the camera and take considered shots. I ended up just snapping away as I walked, which rendered lots of my shots next to useless . . . . However, this grumble aside the trip down into the depths of one of London’s ghost stations was a great experience. Now if only TFL would open up Brompton Road and Down Street . . . .