Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Lure of the Underground

Does anyone remember that old poster from 1927 by Alfred Leete?  I have a post card version that is in a frame with some other classic post cards hanging in my hallway.  Here is what it looks like.

I've had my post card for at least 20 years and I've always loved it.  Maybe because the London Underground lured me in the first time I visited that city way back in 1985.

There is something so cosmopolitan about taking those long escalators deep under the bustling city streets and sidewalks and hopping on an arriving train and being whisked off to my next destination.

And when I get off at my station, I love hearing the whoosh of the train as it closes its doors and speeds out of the station with a burst of wind and the clickety-clack of the tracks as it rolls on to the next stop.

If I take the underground out to the end of the lines, I might end up in a car with only a few people in it.  But, I can assure you that most of the time and especially during rush hours, it will be standing room only inside each car.  I might even have to pancake myself into the car and stand nose to nose with another commuter.  I've done it many times.

Some of the stations are sleek and modern with futuristic features that remind me of Star Trek and spaces so wide open that the announcer's voice echoes through the area.

Other stations are old, quiet and tunnel-like and almost devoid of the crowds found at the more popular stations.  It's times like this when I can close my eyes and see images from period dramas set anywhere from 1930 to 1950 with all the men in wide lapels and all the women wearing stockings with seams and all of them waiting for the next train.

I'll bet this station looked just the same back then.


Anonymous said...

It's certainly a different world down there, great shots!

Kate said...

The US certainly made a big mistake by not engineering these modes of transportation. I, too, love these stations and the sounds of the trains.

Lowell said...

No, actually, that poster was made just a bit ahead of my time. :) Love these photos and love the "underground" and I just wish the U.S., back in the 50s, had decided to go with railroads instead of Interstate highways!

Judy said...

This is a nice tour of the underground.

William Kendall said...

It looks much more pleasant than parts of the Toronto subway system.

Catalyst said...

I love the Tube. And the Metro in Paris, once I learned how it worked. And the U-Bahn in Munich. They're all wonderful. The New York system - not as great.

Thérèse said...

I do like this look at the London's underground. Exactly as I see it. I should have a look at Algred Teele's creations, I can only remember the iconic "recruiting" poster when I click on his name on the web.