Visiting all of the London Underground stations in the order that they opened. Day One.

Life Now that my monthly trips to London have gone through the "all the places I've always wanted to visit" phase to the "it feels as much a part of life as any other city" period, I thought it would be fun to try and explore all parts of that city.  One of my favourite elements of any London visit has been using the tube getting from there to here, I thought it would be an interesting occasional project to, as the title says, visit all two hundred and seventy of in the order they opened.  Fortunately the Wikipedia makes this extremely easy with its big, long chronologically sortable list.

There aren't any particular rules exactly.  On arrival I'm going to try and sit on the platform and read the Wikipedia page for each station (unless someone can recommend a guide book), then have a good look around at the various features including signage and artwork then have a glance at the forward travel map and see if there's anything interesting in the area.  That said, I think it's probably best if I research a bit more ahead of time so as not to pointlessly walk to a place only discover that it isn't open as I did at Farringdon yesterday.  Just because something is famous doesn't mean it's still there.

Fortunately Farringdon has my favourite artwork of the day which also acted as a perfect prelude for the project.  Fraser Muggeridge's Memorial to Edward Johnston (2017), the calligrapher who designed the typeface which appears throughout the London tube.  This is a large, long wooden replica of a printing block, an alphabet of his famous characters carved backwards, with each character repeated concentrically around the edge to indicate their flexibility, how they can increase and decrease in size depending on what's required.  The TfL YouTube channel has a video all about its creation.

The rest of the day is a blur of images and experiences.  The derelict Smithfield Market currently being turned into "Museum of Londoners".  The jar of pickled moles at UCL's Museum of Zoology.  A Japanese tourist on Baker Street wearing a deerstalker sideways.  The shop filled with Paddington merchandise at the eponymous station.  Finally eating at a Five Guys and finding the "small" chips underestimates the size of the portion.  The rain, the constant, unceasing rain which washed out the final hour or so of the day, as you can see from the photographic evidence below.

Farringdon
(Opened 10 January 1863)

King's Cross St Pancras 
(Opened 10 January 1863)

Euston Square
(Opened 10 January 1863)

Great Portland Street
(Opened 10 January 1863))

Baker Street
(Opened 10 January 1863)

Paddington
(Opened 10 January 1863)

Edgware Road
(Opened 1 October 1863)

Ludgate Hill
(Opened 13 June 1864)

Purists will already be jumping into the comments to point out that some of these stations are actually in a re-sited position and renamed or both and that there are two Paddingtons and that isn't the main entrance to Baker Street.  Yes, yes, all of that.  But this is as much about the opportunity for me to explore London than the resulting photographs and blog posts.  Shepherd's Bush Market and Hammersmith are next on the list, places I really have been curious about.  Unless the coronovirus has led to everyone being quarantined and this is was my last visit to London for a while.

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