• Title: London Underground Odes
  • Released: 2013-09-25
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 189
I love Blackpool trams, and Manchester’s equivalent, though these marvellous systems do not carry as much pressure from criticism, passenger numbers, and from expectations as high as the London Underground system does. And for all its ills it has to be one of the most magnificent engineering masterpieces of its type anywhere.
When living in Wembley from 1996-2005, I travelled to each and every station on the network as part of an arts project. I wrote an ode about each station and I continue to work on an arts project for each station to this day. The Metro Newspaper wrote about it in 1999.
Like a great big piece of raw art. Every ticket holder, every train driver, every ticket machine, and platform cleaner, every advert, every piece of litter, every queue, every trodden toe, every discarded Metro newspaper, every overheard mobile phone call, every eastern European female beggar holding a child and an accordion somehow smiling making music, every shopper, every city gent scanning the financial times, every tourist peering at a tube map, every student carrying a draft dissertation and day dreams, every escalator shifting pan faced strangers; every tanoy telling you to ‘mind-the-gap’, all vital pieces of that crude artwork; those tube trains are blood vessels, those separate yet inter-connecting urgent electrified lines are veins of the capital’s search for a reason for being – for all to be connected, in a big body, on the move, alive.

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