9 January 2013

World Clock, Picadilly Circus

Happy 150th Birthday London Underground!

The London Underground (aka. the Tube), along with the River Thames, is the lifeblood of London. It's pulsing veiny network runs to 250 miles of track, transports 1,107 million passengers a year, has 270 stations crossing 3 counties and generally keeps London ticking along.

I love it, not just for it's transport capabilities, but also for it's entertainment value & oddities contained within the network itself.

With commuters spending up to 3 hours a day nestled in trains travelling the maze of options, and can start to get up to mischief in order to entertain themselves. Take Tube surfing for example - this is the act of standing up (inside the carriage) for the duration of your journey, balancing without holding on. Wobbling = failure. Sometimes during rush hour you don't really have much of a choice.  If you attempt this, you need to take precautions

(Nb. This shouldn't be confused with Train Surfing, where people sit on TOP of the train eg)

The full game rules of Tube surfing (thanks to h2g2):
To Tube Surf place one foot perpendicular to the direction the tube is travelling and then place your other foot 9up against it to form a T. Then place your hands on you pockets and try and stay upright for as long as possible. There is a 'newspaper' variation, whereby you read a paper while surfing. Bonus Kudos Points (tm) are gained for negotiating a particularly 'gnarly' sharp break into a station. You must also shout 'WIPE OUT' very loudly every time you fall into someone or something else.

As we are celebrating the Tube's 150th birthday, I wanted to bring you my favourite novelty tube feature. The World Clock, in the already famous Picadilly Circus.

No-one ever seems to looks at this beauty, rushing in their journeys. It's in the middle of the round tube hall, with exits close by, but nothing directly opposite. Even my hubby and I have never noticed it, both if using the tube station for years.

The station was opened in 1906 and refurbished in 1925-28 by architect Charles Holden. Part of the updating was the installation of this clock with its band moving to indicate the time around the globe. It shows solar time, and is thus not entirely accurate as an international clock since time zones only broadly follow longitude.

What do you do to entertain yourself on long journeys?


  1. LOL at tube surfing! Have you tried it?

    1. Heck yeah, I'm not too bad at it, but to be honest most regular commuters on busy lines get fairly good - you have to sometimes!

  2. That clock is gorgeous and I don't think I have ever seen it before when I've been running around! Think I'll need to make a special visit to see it. I love all the design related bits to the tube- from the vintage posters to the map. It's all fab. I keep meaning to go to the London Transport Museum and plan to one day!

    1. It's really cute, and you don't need to leave the ticket hall (just pop through the barriers). The transport museum is on my to-do list too, it's so long!


So, what do you think? Comments are blogging mana; short, sweet, long, loquacious, deep and meaningful...