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Secrets of the London Underground

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Howard Lewis27/07/2022 15:56:29
6314 forum posts
15 photos

Like so many TV programmes the presenters tend to hype things up, ("Millimetre perfect" What?, 40 thou is precision? )

They are trying to make it interesting and informative for the unknowledgeable, so don't expect a dissertation on why the unloader valves fire up the air compressors for the doors and brakes from time to time. Some viewers will scarcely realise what powers the braking system , let alone why there is a rail on porcelain insulators in the middle of the track.

They are trying to generate some interest and expand the viewer's knowledge. A programme on brain surgery would do the same for me!

Howard

BOB BLACKSHAW27/07/2022 21:43:04
458 forum posts
117 photos

Youtube, London Hidden Hangouts, the series has been going for about 2 years, also features Siddy Holloway, I've watched them all.

Bob

Nicholas Farr27/07/2022 22:23:29
avatar
3421 forum posts
1592 photos

Hi Peter G. Shaw, I've known someone who had been in the same kind of situation as your mother with regards their parents not thinking their choice of marriage partner not being good enough and all that, but had a happy marriage and family. I think my own marriage fundamentally failed through her mothers chipping away at her daughter, mainly because I didn't agree to the way she though we should run our lives, but ho-hum, I have my daughter, my son and three granddaughters and neither my ex or her mother are in existence now and none of them or their half siblings miss either of them.

About Henry's Radio, I can't remember any of their shops in TCR but that doesn't mean they didn't have one there, I know Lasky's Radio was in TCR and they also had a shop in Edgware Rd., and many of the big named shops like Dixon's, I remember having more than one shop in different areas, but as you say it was 50 odd year ago, but I can also remember Proops Brothers having a place in TCR as I used to go in there as they had lots of surplus stuff of all sorts of things.

Regards Nick.

Peter Greene 🇨🇦27/07/2022 22:34:47
559 forum posts
8 photos

I grew up in London - came to Canada in 1968 when I was 25 - so I was fairly familiar with the underground (which was often generally referred to as "The Tube" but strictly that applies to the Central Line only). The Victoria line passed near where I lived and was still under construction when I left. I was pretty fascinated by it all and have lots of books which I still (re)read from time to time. The tunnelling information is interesting.

I saw a few episodes of the subject program. The program itself was interesting enough, when I could get the episodes over here (my wife got bored though!) but I couldn't stand the male presenter and gave up.

In fact a lot of things (derelict stations, unused branches etc) are visible to the passengers if they take the trouble to shield their eyes and actually look through the windows. One of the books I have tells where a lot of this stuff is.

London Transport (at the time) used to do occasional tours through the underground at 2 or 3 am using open cars and a commentary. Don't suppose that happens any more though - doubt they'd get enough interest from the current generation (besides which, their phones probably wouldn't work!).

Nigel Graham 201/08/2022 00:31:49
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Hmmm, seems to be a parallel "underground" story here... Yes,things have changed over the decades, and some are for the better, when it comes to social attitudes.

I have no TV so have not seen any of this series, but it must be hard for the makers of such to strike a balance between pleasing the two versions of interested viewer: one who knows which end of a spanner to hold, and the one who doesn't. This ability to know the audience could be one reason why the Open University programmes attracted a sizeable general audience of non-students: you knew the episode might be beyond your existing knowledge of the subject in which you had a general lay interest, but at least you were challenged, not patronised.

When living with my parents, who did have a telly (eventually), Horizon was among the few programmes I would watch. Over the years that deteriorated in a miasma of close-ups of faces telling us about what their owners were supposed to be showing us, and stock videos of blurred close-ups of fingers bashing computer keys.

Mick B101/08/2022 12:17:26
2225 forum posts
125 photos

I'm glad to have read this thread and may watch a couple of eps to get more of an understanding of it.

I used to do tube trips into London from Essex quite regularly as a teenager in the 60s, obsessed with the various museums, and even at that age I was aware that I was seeing a time-slice of London and its transport systems, and that all of that (literally) infrastructure was subject to change.

I only watched part of one programme and came to the (possibly unjustified) conclusion that it was all about the spooky feelings associated with abandoned stations and disused tunnels, and had no intelligible structure that would help understanding of the development. Maybe I should give it another whirl.

smiley

Bryan Cedar 101/08/2022 13:58:49
111 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 27/07/2022 22:23:29:

Hi Peter G. Shaw, I've known someone who had been in the same kind of situation as your mother with regards their parents not thinking their choice of marriage partner not being good enough and all that, but had a happy marriage and family. I think my own marriage fundamentally failed through her mothers chipping away at her daughter, mainly because I didn't agree to the way she though we should run our lives, but ho-hum, I have my daughter, my son and three granddaughters and neither my ex or her mother are in existence now and none of them or their half siblings miss either of them.

About Henry's Radio, I can't remember any of their shops in TCR but that doesn't mean they didn't have one there, I know Lasky's Radio was in TCR and they also had a shop in Edgware Rd., and many of the big named shops like Dixon's, I remember having more than one shop in different areas, but as you say it was 50 odd year ago, but I can also remember Proops Brothers having a place in TCR as I used to go in there as they had lots of surplus stuff of all sorts of things.

Regards Nick.

I can confirm Henry's radio were in Edgware Road and being a regular at Proops I knew Sid and Fred Proops very well.

SillyOldDuffer01/08/2022 14:53:50
Moderator
8903 forum posts
1999 photos

Posted by Mick B1 on 01/08/2022 12:17:26:

...

I only watched part of one programme and came to the (possibly unjustified) conclusion that it was all about the spooky feelings associated with abandoned stations and disused tunnels, and had no intelligible structure that would help understanding of the development. Maybe I should give it another whirl.

smiley

Techies have to take the rough with the smooth when watching telly. I consider a TV programme first class if half the content hits the spot and normally expect to sit through an hour of irrelevant nonsense for 10 minutes of interest. Walking away too quickly due to unrealistically high standards means missing the good stuff that is on.

Trouble is TV is rarely made for specialists. Probably just as well. I suspect a TV series made to please Model Engineers would cost a fortune and the general public would find it unwatchable. Who is this Silly Old Duffer and why is he playing toy trains? What's all this wittering about Whitworth? Are slippery magazine covers really more important than climate catastrophe?

On the other hand, 'Last of the Summer Wine' made with accurate steam technology at Downton Abbey could be more successful than all other TV programmes combined, especially when a plot twist reveals it's all a cover for making Crystal Methamphetamine!

smiley

Dave

Anthony Kendall05/08/2022 09:52:28
170 forum posts
Posted by Gary Wooding on 27/07/2022 09:39:23:

I've enjoyed the one or two episodes that I found by accident, and was impressed by Siddy's knowledge and enthusiasm. I remember when Mornington Crescent was a station, did they ever include it in a program?According to my mother, she heard the sound of Bow Bells ringing when I was born. That was at St Barts hospital before the war - and would make me a true cockney.

Mornington Crescent is still in use but was spruced up in the same form - so not much to say about it.
I don't think it really matters whether you like/live/lived in London - I like the West highland but I don't come from there or know the area.

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 26/07/2022 12:06:32:

I find the programme watchable. As always it's generally unsatisfying when techies watch telly made for the general public, because we want detail. Most viewers by far want a high-level overview, and find the sort of information that interests me off-the-scale boring.
Snip....

Agree.
Old oil lamps even bore me to tears though.

Peter Greene 🇨🇦05/08/2022 18:15:31
559 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Gary Wooding on 27/07/2022 09:39:23:

I remember when Mornington Crescent was a station, did they ever include it in a program?

Haven't clue, I'm sorry. wink

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