Labyrinth Journey - My Memories

LABYRINTH - Art on the Underground

My Journey - The Memories

Journey Eastcote 37/270 Family: Square visited 1/11/13 0917 Top of stairs to Platform 1
When the November 2013 issue of Underground News arrived I decided to locate and photograph all 270 plaques. I was booked for a visit to the LT Museum Depot on 1/11/13 so at Acton Town I explored the station with no luck. After the visit I went round again exploring every nook and cranny, still no luck. I stopped at Ealing Common. Same story. I decided to investigate on the web when I got home. Coming back up the stairs at my home station, Eastcote, lo and behold, there was my first plaque in the bag. I then found the website showing which plaques were installed and began to plan my trips.

Journey Harrow-on-the-Hill 39/270 Family: Turf visited 8/11/13 0946 Platforms 5 & 6
A week later I while was on my way to my old grammar school remembrance service the S8 "Love London" wrapped train came in on Platform 6. I also went down to Preston Road and Northwick Park before going to the service.

Journey Dollis Hill 193/270 Family: Square visited 12/11/13 1039 Ticket hall
When I checked the Tfl Labyrinth website the plaque is in a different location to my photo. I went back and checked. It had been moved to the mirror location where I found it. I found the original 8 screw holes.

Journey St. John's Wood 199/270 Family: East visited 12/11/13 1118 Passageway between platforms north end
By the next Tuesday I had established a pattern of Tuesday and Friday morning trips to visit, locate and photograph every plaque. At the age of 76 it was just like being back to my 20 years of commuting into Euston, Holborn, Putney and back to Euston and then Putney. It also taught me to search every nook and cranny. At St. John's Wood I searched the platforms, went up to the ticket hall and then went back to the platforms. I found the plaque just about as far as it could be from the station entrance.

Journey Marylebone 57/270 Family: Organic visited 12/11/13 1136 Junction of passageway to/from platforms
Marylebone is the most imaginative location of all the plaques in my opinion. It became my habit to return via Marylebone towards the end on my Tuesday/Friday trips to pick up an Uppercrust baguette, preferably sliced hard-boiled egg and tomato, and sit just outside the V & A pub in the corner of the concourse where I could see the departures monitor in the bar while having a pint or two of Greene King IPA before taking the half-hourly Chiltern Railways train to Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Journey Cockfosters 218/270 Family: Turf visited 15/11/13 1020 Subway under Cockfosters Rd.
This is the first of about 15 yellowy/pinky photos. I went back to Maida Vale and rephotographed it with no change. I however noticed that there was one white ceiling light, presumably a replaced bulb. All the others were a creamy colour. The right filter for my camera might have been the answer if I had any.

Journey Arnos Grove 221/270 Family: Emboss visited 15/11/13 1052 Inside Bowes Rd. entrance
I went out of the car park entrance and came in through the main entrance from the road, hadn't found the plaque and went over to the barriers and asked a member of staff. He pointed over my shoulder. I hadn't spotted it in the recess by the entrance.

Journey West Harrow 38/270 Family: Emboss visited 15/11/13 1305 Waiting room Platform 2
On the same day on my way home I stopped off at West Harrow. Having checked the Uxbridge bound platform I went down the open-air concrete steps, out through the wire gate which is padlocked at night (there are no ticket barriers), under the bridge and through the ticket hall to where a lady was struggling to get the biggest buggy I have ever seen up the steps to the London bound platform. I did my good deed for the year grabbing the bottom end. West Harrow was threatened with closure, being no more than a halt with wooden platforms and a garden shed for a ticket hall. It didn't close and the platforms and ticket hall were rebuilt. Mornington Crescent and the Ongar and Aldwych shuttles (both of which were closed and I visited them on their last day) were also threatened at the same time.

Journey Oxford Circus 60/270 Family: Emboss visited 19/11/13 1036 Ticket hall
Here I asked about their plaque. The staff member pointed to it. It was obscured from me by the tiled pillar. He asked me if I'd yet visited Embankment. I was on my way there and he told me where it was as he travelled through there on a daily basis.

Journey Elephant & Castle 66/270 Family: Square visited 19/11/13 1141 Entrance to lifts War Museum entrance
I explored the Bakerloo side of the station and then asked a staff-member about their plaque. He told me it was in the Northern side and the best way to get there was at street level straight across the roundabout.

Journey Chalfont & Latimer 2/270 Family: Chamfered visited 22/11/13 1010 Waiting room (closed for refurbishing) Platforms 2 & 3
That Friday at the northern end of the Metropolitan line I found the waiting room closed. Because of the sun, the only photos I could get had reflections on the side window. The photo is the better of the two I took.

Journey Whitechapel 92/270 Family: Native American visited 6/12/13 0942 Passageway to platforms
Currently (14/12/14) the plaque at Whitechapel is in "safe hands". There is a message from Louise Coysh on the website to that effect.

Journey Tower Hill (for Tower Gateway, Docklands and Fenchurch Street, National Rail) 95/270 Family: Chamfered visited 6/12/13 1001 Inside Fenchurch St. entrance
Tower Hill is not in the location in which I found it on the website. I haven't investigated where it now is.

Journey Monument (for Bank) 96/270 Family: Turf visited 6/12/13 1101 Ticket hall
At Monument the escalator link was closed for work. As it is a small station I asked two members of staff if the plaque might be behind the hoarding around the access to the escalators. They said they didn't know and suggested I do the 4-minute walk along King William Street and ask at Bank. While I was asking a member of staff there a lady member came up and hearing the discussion said it was at Monument beside the kiosk. She came that way every day. I walked back, immediately could see it and went over to the two staff who were still there and pointed to it over my shoulder. Looking at my photo, the sweets display may have been in front of the plaque? Who knows!

Journey Barbican 203/270 Family: Medieval visited 7/12/13 0930 Landing down from entrance
A member of staff very kindly moved the information display for me so I could take the photo.

Journey Hounslow East 264/270 Family: Opposed visited 10/12/13 1059 Passageway to Platform 2
In May 2014 I found the photos on the website were actually for Hounslow West. I reported it and it was quickly corrected.

Journey Brixton 108/270 Family: Cretan visited 10/12/13 1212 Ticket hall beyond barriers
The member of staff approaching admonished me for taking the photo.

Journey Totteridge & Whetstone 216/270 Family: East visited 20/12/13 0948 Waiting room Platform 2
Having started my trip at High Barnet on that branch of the Northern Line, at Totteridge & Whetstone I found a gentleman sitting on the seat near the plaque. I asked if he'd mind being in the photo. As I got my small camera out of my pocket I caught the its wrist loop and it dropped on the floor and the zoom lens was all awry. I thought I'd got it working and completed the trip to Warren Street. Unfortunately all these photos were out of focus. Three days later I repeated the trip with my bigger camera.

Journey Warren Street 174/270 Family: Square visited 20/12/13 1145 Bottom of escalators to Victoria Line platforms
When I checked the Tfl Labyrinth website the plaque is in a different location to my photo. I went back and checked. It had been moved to the approach to Platform 3. I found the original 8 screw holes.

Journey Royal Oak 241/270 Family: Emboss visited 24/12/13 1006 Platform 2
The station had been redecorated from the blue on the website by the time I visited it.

Journey Regent's Park 59/270 Family: Woodcut visited 24/12/13 1106 Exit from lifts to Platform 2
On 19th November while exploring the southern end of the Bakerloo Line I visited Regents Park where the plaque was supposed to up. The station staff couldn't help so I reported this via the Regents Park page on the website that day. On the following day I had an email from Louise Coyshe, Curator Art on the Underground saying they'd put this and Holloway Road live in error and the they had now been removed from the website. By Christmas Eve it was up.

Journey Morden 119/270 Family: Square visited 31/12/13 0922 Platforms 2 & 3
The website photo shows the stainless steel cladding of the pillar has been competed since my visit.

Journey Kenton 42/270 Family: Woodcut visited 3/1/14 0856 Platform 2
The first appearance of the phantom photographer.

Journey Wimbledon Park 121/270 Family: Organic visited 3/1/14 1107 Platform 1
The lady was standing in the doorway and very kindly moved aside for me to take the photo.

Journey Southfields 122/270 Family: Opposed visited 3/1/14 1115 Ticket hall
The lady member of the staff very kindly moved the information display aside for me take the photo. She also told me to talk to the supervisor at Brompton Road, as he was a railway enthusiast.

Journey West Brompton 127/270 Family: Native American visited 3/1/14 1154 Overbridge to Platforms 2, 3 & 4
As suggested by the lady member of staff at Southfields I found the station supervisor. He was in the ticket office. It turned out he was more of a national rail enthusiast.

Journey Northolt 28/270 Family: Square visited 7/1/14 0850 Ticket hall beyond barriers
The "geisha girl" came into shot just as I took the photo. The anorak does have an oriental look.

Journey Colindale 184/270 Family: Square visited 10/1/14 0924 Ticket hall
The original photos on the website showed no plaque on the undecorated wall where the plaque now is and also photos of missing ceiling and exposed pipe work, probably due to water ingress from the building above. In 1962 the temporary wooden building was replaced by a larger building. The original building was destroyed by German bombing in 1940.

Journey Golders Green 181/270 Family: Emboss visited 10/1/14 0941 Subway to platforms
My psychedelic photo, presumably an effect of the convex mirror.

Journey Ruislip Manor 36/270 Family: Medieval visited 13/1/14 1916 Ticket hall
My photo should have been taken at about 0930 that morning but I was stopped by the station supervisor with a trainee member of staff. I went back in the evening on a wet and windy night and was not even standing on Underground property when I took the photo. The double doors each side were as usual open as it serves as part of the local pavement.

Journey Grange Hill 155/270 Family: Native American visited 14/1/14 1101 Platform 2
The second appearance of the phantom photographer.

Journey Theydon Bois 162/270 Family: Turf visited 14/1/14 1217 Platform 2
The third and final appearance of the phantom photographer.

Journey Snaresbrook 165/270 Family: Woodcut visited 14/1/14 1310 Waiting room Platform 1
When I found the plaque the young lady was sitting studying it. She said she was trying to solve the maze. I explained the Labyrinth project and my photographing them all. She agreed to be in the photo and immediately stood up and pointed to the centre.

Journey Elm Park 79/270 Family: Organic visited 17/1/14 0946 Top of ramp down to platforms
Finding the plaque at the top of the ramp reminded me of two things. In the Air Scouts dragging our trek cart to North Wembley to go by train to Abbots Langley for camping at Phasels Wood. We used the ramps to get the cart to and from the train. I used Elm Park when going to RAF Hornchurch for aircrew selection on a couple of occasions.

Journey Holloway Road 227/270 Family: Square visited 22/2/14 1213 Exit/entrance to lifts at platform level
On 15th November while exploring the eastern end of the Piccadilly Line I visited Holloway Road where the plaque was supposed to be up. The station staff couldn't help so I reported this via the Holloway Road page on the website that day. I captured this plaque and Russell Square after going to the unveiling of the Dennis Bergkamp statue at the Emirates Stadium.

Journey Edgware Road (Bakerloo) 56/270 Family: Chamfered visited 28/2/14 1258 Ticket hall
On my way to Marylebone from Regent's Park on Christmas Eve when the Bakerloo station at Edgware Road reopened after lift replacement I found the whole station had been deep cleaned and redecorated. I couldn't locate the plaque and reported it, hoping it hadn't "disappeared". It eventually was reinstalled.

Journey Hammersmith (District, Piccadilly) 249/270 Family: Opposed visited 28/3/14 1328 Inside Broadway entrance behind flowers!
The beautiful flower display which largely obscures the plaque is a semi-permanent feature. It extends out into the shopping arcade and does not seem to be associated with any retail outlet.

Journey Queen's Park 51/270 Family: Organic visited 25/4/14 1202 Inside entrance
I revisited Queens Park to try and improve the photo but because it's tucked in a recess inside the entrance with a wall of ticket machines immediately to the left and the light flooding in from the street, this is best I can make of this one.

Journey Wimbledon 120/270 Family: Organic visited 16/5/14 1126 Ticket hall
While I was taking this photo I heard somebody calling to me over my right shoulder. The lady in the kiosk asked me what the plaque was about. Since it went up about a week before other people had been photographing it. I explained the Labyrinth project to her.

Journey Buckhurst Hill 159/270 Family: Chamfered visited 3/6/14 1027 Waiting room Platform 2
The station supervisor was just locking the waiting room, probably because it gave access to a toilet and he was going for a break. I persuaded him to let me get my photo.

Journey Perivale 26/270 Family: Medieval visited 20/6/14 1115 Ticket hall beyond barriers
The last plaque to go up happened to be at a friend of mine's boyhood station. I suggested he might like to come with me on a nostalgia trip. I got him to pose like the lady at Snaresbrook and we went on to have a celebration drink at the V & A on Marylebone concourse. The last plaque in the bag shortly after my 77th birthday.

I emailed Louise Coysh congratulating her on the installation of the last plaque. She replied, "Thanks for being our eyes on the network". It's nice to be appreciated.
Alphabet/ic and Lines
Breaking the Guinness record!
My Journey