There are those those who believe, that the delicate signpostings
of the London
Underground system might be well left alone.
The management that sadly has
control over its destiny might have other plans. There has been a slow erosion
of the beautiful decor that makes our London Tube as delightful as it is.
Protect old London Underground decor!
There has been some conservation work, but too little, too late. Its amazing that, in parellel with the odd conservation - there is work to ruin or mutilate
part of that same station. I think that every inch of originality here should
be saved forever, and all work should be done lovingly by proper skilled London craftsmen.
Our tube atriums were landmarks of high art, welcome fixtures
of the capital. From the time you went in the door, the eye met fancy
ticket booth mouldings, coloured tiles, and wood panels. Most stations
were furnished with curved ironwork, and everything was finished off
to look warm and creative. Not any more.
If anything, there is a feverish desire to trash anything thats over
ten years old. Replacements are so ill fitting and boring. This is a
defacement and an awful price to pay for token redevelopment.
Crazy at is may seem, London Underground plc love putting up new signs that
obscure old signs, and then obscure both signs with a CCTV camera. Theres loads
of examples on platforms like that. What a mess. And then theres the decor
that's defaced by advertisments. Theres this spreading fungus of commercial
crap that's hiding what left of tubes cultural trappings.
With regards to the pedestrian directive signing, this is so confusing.
Information hits the passenger like a broadsides of disruptive gunfire.
How long before London's great tube decor becomes similar to that of a
secondary school? I'm sure, by the designs of the new Jubilee line,
that one can forsee nothing at all quaint about the future
of the subway system. How very dull indeed. Its all nice and shiny, with
loads of bright lights and loud speakers. Digital readouts and formica
surfaces. We could be anywhere in the world. It's boring. Boring as hell.
We need to rescue whats left of underground decoration, and restore everthing
to its original state. Any additions should be complimentary rather than
contradictory. Sure, improvementes can be made, but most mutilations have just
been whimsical interferance, or pandering to overpopulation concerns. How
shabbily our celestial heritage has been treated!
Some of these old items would wear well in the best of museums. We are so lucky
that these pieces of art are with us on our everyday travels.
What a shame when one enters a tube refurb job, to find all this gone, and
replaced with MFI panels.
In a red Ken utopia, we are all herded from one faceless arena to another. Beauty below ground seems not an option to the
bad boys from the Bureau of Blandness.
Heaven knows what the future holds for our great old tube decor.
Only a few years ago, the system was left to rot, but at least it meant
that the old fittings were still in place, albeit in bad condition.
With the new finance of the network, a lot of refurbishment has meant
unsympathetic interference with the aged decor, and although some attention
has been paid to authenticity, I am generally unhappy with the methods
used in the clean up. Everyone knows that the powers-that-be do not like
old London at all, and want rid of any non-euro detail.
Charles (of London Town)
E-Mail Charles at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The London Destruction Website.