By Esin Huseyin
We’ve all traveled using the London Underground system at one point or another, in fact I would say it’s pretty much a right of passage for a “Londoner”. With the underground reaching a whopping 150 years old last year, what better reason than to refresh ourselves with some of the most random facts.
Don’t worry I won’t be reminding you of the strange people that you end up trapped with…
This particular station apparently holds the longest escalator at 60m long; you’re either thinking that’s great, or dreading the thought. One of the hardest decisions is whether to wait it out on the right-hand side, or walk down on the left – maybe you should add skiing down the escalators to the option:
Lets Get Classical
This is a random one that I didn’t even know – and now it makes so much sense, considering the area that I’m from. But, London Underground announced that as of early 2005 they would play classical music at problem stations, to avoid having “young people” loitering around. So whilst you’re walking through the stations and you hear a lovely piece of Bach – you’ll think again. A part of me doesn’t want to believe that this one’s true…
*Slaps with a pair of gloves*
I challenge you to a duel; Finsbury Park’s station exhibits murals of two pistols that would have been used to duel. This is supposed to be a nod towards an age where men would meet, after hours, at the park to fight it out. Some could argue that this idea of defending one’s honour by risking your life for it, is something that unfortunately still occurs on the streets of London today.
10 guineas for your troubles
The tube map that we all know and love, has become pretty iconic in it’s own right; it was designed by a guy called Harry Beck, who was actually working as a engineering draughtsman at the London Underground Signals Office. He was paid 10 guineas, about £10.50, and the map became official in 1933. We may love Mr Beck for making our lives easier – but I bet he didn’t realise just how much his hard work would be displayed all over the network, and even be handy enough to pop in our pockets through technology.
A census carried out in September in 1940 revealed that 177,500 Londoners were sleeping on the tube; considering the tube carries about 3 million people on average, today, I wonder how many of you are snoozing away. I personally love to pop my headphones in and let myself be lulled to sleep by the rocking of the carriage – be warned though as nobody likes a snorer, a dribbler, or one of those people that invades your space by sleeping on your shoulder. I once caught a man sleeping on the floor, in the middle of the carriage. True story.
Do you know any random facts? There were too many to list, so I just picked some of the most random! Do you have any funny stories or random facts about the London Undergrounds? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.