Did you watch ‘The Tube: An Underground History’ last Thursday? If not, WHY NOT?! For anyone who loves Tube tales, this is a must see. Luckily it’s on iPlayer now until May 23. Phew. To whet your Underground appetite, here are seven lovely facts to put in your London trivia pocket…but then you probably know them already
1. Farringdon was the very first Underground station.
2. The Tube was originally built along the bed of an underground river.
3. The Tube was originally a bunch of rival private companies – punters had to buy separate tickets for each line. It was only ‘nationalised’ in 1933 to integrate its operations.
4. After World War II, recruitment officers were sent to give presentations in Jamaican villages in order to encourage Jamaicans to come and work on the Tube.
5. During the King’s Cross fire, the heat was so intense that the coins in the main ticket machine melted into a single lump of molten metal.
6. The sulphurous subterranean atmosphere led to the launching of a PR campaign praising ‘the health benefits of steam and smoke’
7. The unique patterns on the walls of stations were originally conceived as an aide memoire for customers who couldn’t read.