Tuesday 7 November 2023

New labyrinths !!!

First, I must acknowledge that, yes, it has been more than three years since my last post.

This is, of course, mostly due to that global pandemic we all suffered.

I also have to admit that the "Close To Home" and "Chronoyster" series are both dead in the water.

The reason behind this new post is that there are new labyrinths on the network.

For a summary, I suggest that you read my original post on labyrinths.

I have taken photos of all 270 original labyrinths. However, since the original set were installed, two new stations have opened on the Underground network, and recently two new labyrinths were installed on-site.

The original set were labelled "#/270" in numerical order of the order that stations were visited for the 2009 world record, from "1/270" at Chesham to "270/270" at Heathrow Terminal 5. Rather than use "#/272", because the new stations are on a branch off of Kennington (which is "110/270"), the new stations are "110a/270" and "110b/270".

Nine Elms is "110a/270" and can be found at street level, just inside the gate line.

Battersea Power Station is "110b/270" and can be found at ticket hall level, outside the gate line. In fact, it is on the wall below the kinetic sculpture "Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset" by Alexandre da Cunha, which is possibly the only example of two Art on the Underground installations on the same wall.

I also took the opportunity to check the labyrinth at Kennington, which I believe is the only example of a difference between the official image and the installed labyrinth. If you go to the official Art on the Underground page for Kennington, where yours truly added a comment pointing this out, you may notice that the image of the labyrinth and their own photos of the installed labyrinth are different.

Generally the labyrinths are a single path with no branches and you must traverse the whole route to get from the outside to the centre. As highlighted above in red, there is a closed loop detached from the rest of the labyrinth. There is still a route from outside to inside, but it traverses all but the closed loop.

Incidentally, you will find this one at the bottom of the lifts on the side you would wait for the lift to take you up to street level.

Surely this must be intentional. I'm sure they wouldn't make a mistake in the production of this one enamel plate out of 270. I thought this easter egg might be a reference to the Kennington loop which allows terminating trains on the Charing Cross branch to turn around and head north. As the Battersea extension was built off of this loop, I wondered if they would take this opportunity to "fix" Kennington, but no they haven't! Of course the Kennington loop is still in use!

Monday 6 January 2020

Catching up with Labyrinths (again)

I've recently been able to photograph my final missing Labyrinth, Bromley-by-Bow, so here is that, some other new pictures, and some pictures which are better than the original ones I took.

3. Amersham (August 2017, original picture showed a random girl tracing the route)
88. Bromley-by-Bow (November 2019, recently re-sited after work to install lifts)
124. Putney Bridge (August 2017, better angle)
134. Queensway (July 2018, better angle)
197. Finchley Road (December 2019, better angle)
203. Barbican (November 2019, originally missing during improvement works)
204. Moorgate (October 2017, originally missing during improvement works)

Friday 12 April 2019

Chronoyster - 2 August 1880

On 2 August 1880, the Metropolitan Railway extended from Willesden Green to Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Route map of London Underground as it was 2 August 1880


then Kingsbury & Neasden

I went to Neasden with no preconceived ideas of what I would blog about, but I soon discovered two temples of worship...

Ikea, the temple of consumerism.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, one of the biggest Hindu temples outside India.

While trying to find the second from the first, I got a little disorientated but, as a bonus, I did come across this completely by accident. Fans of The Big Fat Quiz, this is Mitchell Brook Primary School!


then Harrow

The official station name has two hyphens, but the roundels have none and the two middle names are placed one above the other.

Open stations: 59

Next: 25 September 1882

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Chronoyster - 1 March 1880

On 1 March 1880, the District Railway extended from West Brompton to Putney Bridge

Route map of London Underground as it was 1 March 1880

Fulham Broadway

then Walham Green

The original station building is now "Market Hall", containing bars and restaurants.

The main entrance to Fulham Broadway station is now part of a shopping centre.
The control room overlooks the ticket gateline.
I visited during the recent World Cup (the day after England beat Sweden) - note the flags of competing nations hung on the wall.

A walkway between the shopping centre and its car park allows you to look down into the station.

Home of the fifth best football team in England.

Parsons Green

The well-hidden side entrance

Putney Bridge

then Putney Bridge & Fulham

Open stations: 57

Next: 2 August 1880

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Chronoyster - 24 November 1879

On 24 November 1879, the Metropolitan Railway extended from West Hampstead to Willesden Green

Route map of London Underground as it was 24 November 1879


then Kilburn and Brodesbury

Willesden Green

If you're looking for Willesden Green's labyrinth, it's in the waiting room.

On an unknown date in 1880, Notting Hill was renamed Notting Hill & Ladbroke Grove. It is now Ladbroke Grove.

Open stations: 54

Next: 1 March 1880

Monday 24 September 2018

Chronoyster - 1 July 1879

On 1 July 1879, the District Railway opened a branch between Turnham Green and Ealing Broadway.

Route map of London Underground as it was 1 July 1879

Chiswick Park

then Acton Green

Acton Town

then Mill Hill Park

Ealing Common

In Chiswick Park, Acton Town and Ealing Common we have three classic Charles Holden designs. They were all rebuilt in the early 1930s, in preparation for the Uxbridge branch being transferred to the Piccadilly line.

Ealing Broadway

Open stations: 52

Next: 24 November 1879

Friday 7 September 2018

Chronoyster - 30 June 1879

On 30 June 1879, the Metropolitan Railway extended from Swiss Cottage to West Hampstead.

NB. This is not the same as the current Swiss Cottage station. It closed in 1940, after the new line, which is now the Jubilee line, and the current station, which is nearby, opened in 1939.

Route map of London Underground as it was 30 June 1879

Finchley Road

The nearby O2 Centre, which opened in 1998, four years before the BT Cellnet mobile network was rebranded.

West Hampstead

A tale of three stations.

Open stations: 48

Next: 1 July 1879