Monday, March 19, 2007

Tube Night on BBC4

BBC 4 had a "Tube Night" last night with an evening of programmes about the tube. It was very interesting to see how the attitudes and workforce have changed over the years. In the golden era during the 30's - 50's the workforce was large necessary (as it turns out), polite, well trained and supervised with a marvellous sense that what they were doing was important to them and the public. And they all seemed to speak such good crisp english not the slack jawed estuary version we have grown used to. In other words a service. It seems that lack of investment started really in the 50's when public money used for the tube was dfiverted to rebuidling London and the economy after the war. Maintenance was not what is was, staff were laid off and rolling stock not updated. This resulted in several incidents up to and including the Kings Cross fire in 1987 caused by a stray match setting light to the dust and deritus that had previously been kepy out by "the fluffers" , cleaners responsible for keeping the system clean removing 100 tons of dust a year.

Inspections and maintenance was carried out through the night.

Contrast that with now. The network is filthy, signals always failing and staff with no real leadership in terms of morale pride or sense of duty.

Its a pity it has been allowed to deteriorate to this degree as London deserves a good tube netwrok. Interestingly there was a soundbite of that fat useless wanker prescott making a vociferous 1997 statement to the effect that Lononders expected a good efficient tube and he was going to make sure we damn well got one. Well we arer still waiting.


At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Tony said...

The London Underground wasn't built yesterday, just so you know.

I'd like to see you try and keep the signals (a lot of which are probably older than you are) running. It's not just a changing a light bulb - points, train stops and all the other bits and pieces that come together to make 'The Signals' need to be safe before we let you lot loose on it. But enough about that.

There is still morale on the combine, it's just not as visible as it used to be. It's a mixture of staff being annoyed with the attitudes of customers having changed (believe it or not, you lot actually used to be polite at some stage), as well as the attitudes of those higher up the chain. Many of the older, more senior workers still have their sense of duty, but I guess you'd rather concentrate on all the negative aspects.

Who was there for the masses when the bombs first went off in London? The staff were.

At 2:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fluffers cleaned the tunnels, not the machine rooms under the escalators!

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At 8:17 PM, Blogger pedro velasquez said...

BBC Four and the sportsbook flagship arts series BBC Arena have commissioned a new film to celebrate the extraordinary world of the London Underground - Arena: Underground will form the centrepiece of Tube Night. bet nfl This Arena begins 150 years ago in a Victorian London of slums and gaslight and takes the viewer on a thrilling and mysterious adventure through tube history. Using unique voices (including tube staff) to contribute, sportsbook the parallel universe beneath our feet is uncovered.
Catch Tube Night on Sunday 18 March from 7pm and help to celebrate life under London. Arena: Underground, the main feature, will be shown at 9pm.
The programme was commissioned following the success of last year’s BBC Four Bus Night and has been produced by the same team.


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