Tuesday 10 May 2022

The Siddy And Timmy Show - Part 1

Series 2 Episode 1

Affable and knowledgeable Tim Dunn is joined by Siddy Holloway (Engagement Manager at Transport for London) in presenting the second series of these intriguing programmes. As might be expected for a "digital channel" the budget was obviously not high. Quality is not always of the best.

fbb gave up watching the last series because it was so banal - but then it is not really aimed at people who have some knowledge of the subject. But it can be frustrating to watch something that is incomplete or, occasionally, less than accurate!

Anyway, we were taken to the delights of Charing Cross Underground station and in particular the now unused Jubilee Line platforms.
Mention was made of the re-jig of stations and station names - a seismic event which fbb remembers well.
Strand and Trafalgar Square were joined to make a "new" Charing Cross and the old Charing Cross was renamed Embankment.
The first section of the Jubilee line from Stanmore terminated at Charing Cross offering interchange with the Bakerloo and Northern lines - but the link did not last. In a rethink and a reijig, the Jubilee ran via Waterloo and out to Docklands leaving the Charing Cross platforms bereft of trains except in emergencies.

 Even without the "grey" Jubilee Line ...
... the single blob at Charing Cross is a bit misleading.  The "Carto" map shows that the Northern and Bakerloo lines are at opposite ends of the former Jubilee Line platforms.
In practice is it a substantial trek between the two, along a lengthy passage, so long it cannot be photographed at one go.
On a quiet day it feels quite spooky. It can be spotted on the isometric diagram of the ex-Jubilee platforms ...

... running beyond the full length of the station. It would have been revealing to see, via a diagram rather than inadequate words, how the three stations fitted together, and, even better, take a virtual walk along the spooky passage! But, no doubt, the budget would not stretch to clever graphics.

Of course, when those platforms were open you could go down the escalators to the Jubilee circulating level ...
... walk along between the two platforms ...
... and up the escalators to the Bakerloo at the other end.
It would have helped people understand the station geography if, accompanied by that simplified diagram, Timmy and Siddy had used both routes - possibly stopwatch timed. The escalators are more interesting, but you would expect the passage to be quicker.

Or would you?

Siddy and Timmy did go on (virtually) to the station south of Charing Cross and explain that there used to be a "turning loop" at Embankment (using today's name - WAS Charing Cross before the changes.) The Northern Line (West End Branch) terminated there for a while before being extended to Kennington.
When the line was extended, the Northbound tracks adopted part of the loop, which is why the platform is still very curved today ...
... and why a mellifluous but stentorian voice tells you to "Mind the Gap". The 1956 recording was subsequently replaced by a digital alternative BUT ...
... the original has been restored to Embankment.
The 1956 artiste was actor Oswald Laurence. Oswald died in 2007 and his widow sought solace by sitting on Embankment station platform and listening to "The Voice", her husband's voice. She requested a recording for herself, duly gifted. But her "voice" changed!

After a few technical problems, London Underground has re-instated Oswald's voice at Embankment in tribute to their marriage and his widow's memories.

So Dr Margaret McCollum (who kept her maiden name for professional reasons) can, once again, sit on a bench on the platform and hear her husband's voice.
A lovely love story with a happy ending!

Timmy and Siddy did not tell us that!

Tomorrow : Siddy goes solo.

The series continues on "Yesterday" on Thursdays at 8pm or streamed on UKTVPlay. This week's episode is entitled "Waterloo and City".

Snippet 1
Thanks to Isle of Wight Alan for pointing out that the "two tone" car (see yesterday's blog) is a Renault Captur.

Snippet 2
What happens when you join the two wagons above together? Answer coming soon.

Snippet 3
Talking of wagons that have never existed.
N Gauge - so not suitable for fbb's layout!

 Next Siddy And Timmy blog : Weds 11th May 


  1. Hornby are doing a model of the Bulleid Pacific "Blackmore Vale" in platinum purple - this does of course exist on the Severn Valley Railway but will anyone still want to buy the model when it comes out in the autumn?

    I know that long passage well (trudged along it just last week, in fact) ... even when you get to the escalators at the far end it's still a bit further to actually access the mainline station.

    I think there was a while, while Strand station was being rebuilt, that the present-day Embankment station was renamed "Charing Cross (Embankment)" to get people used to the forthcoming change.

  2. Andrew Kleissner10 May 2022 at 11:05

    Sorry, forgot to add my name above.