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Blog: Weekend of ACTION!

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My weekend started on FRIDAY, as I'd taken the day off so i could join other members of The Mysterious Organisation Known Only As "The Lunch List" on a journey... UNDERGROUND. One of our number is an employee of London Underground, so was able to arrange us a trip into Down Street Station, an abandoned tube station on the Piccadily Line just down the road from Green Park.

It was WEIRD, and also EXCITING. It was closed in the 1930s, used briefly as temporary HQ for THE WAR CABINET (until the proper bunker was built), and then pretty much left alone. Every now and again you'd see remnants of the war, like a raised area in the corridor down to the platforms that was used as the typing pool, and we also saw the LOOs that were built for the Cabinet, and the tiny poky little offices that got built on the disused platforms. There were ancient signs painted on the walls, both for the war use and for the original platform, and if you ignored the fact that it was so dark and filthy it was almost like being in a normal station after dark.

The best bit was when we got down to the platform and trains went by - OH the HILARITY! We had to turn off our torches so as not to distract the driver (it would be awful if they lost control of the STEERING, i guess), but as soon as he'd gone by we could switch them back on, point the upwards beneath our faces, and wave at the passengers going "WHOOO!!! We am the TUBE GHOSTS!"

This stayed funny FOREVER. An odd thing was how EXCITED we got about being near the tube trains. "Ooh! this bit of the platform is open to the track!" we cooed, "Er... just like it always is. But look! here comes a TRAIN! Er... just like the ones we all took to get here." We also got to stand right at the end of the platform, where only staff can usually go, so we were SLIGHTLY further away from passing trains than we'd usually be on a platform. I guess it was cos it was so ILLICIT, but it was REALLY exciting!

Then we wandered back up to ground level, the small group of us tromping up another abandoned corridor towards the old lift shaft (which looked like a BADDIE'S LAIR, also like a DURAN DURAN video) past was what MYTHICALLY a blocked up entrance to a SECRET TUNNEL to Whitehall. In the pub afterwards we all GOGGLED at the thought that there's LOADS of these places under London, and plenty of other tunnels, sewers, and underground LAIRS that most of us know nothing of. It was all rather THRILLING!

I then headed off to the station to meet The Track In My Tunnel, and off we headed to LEICESTER, where we enjoyed a MARVELLOUS weekend of relaxification and SIGHTSEEING. Despite me having lived in Leicester for 14 years I'd never been in the Cathedral, so we had a look at that, then The Guildhall, before a gentle stroll around the new Cultural Quarter. On the way we ATE, we popped into The Orange Tree, and we finished up with a visit to the Jewry Wall Museum. It was like a Museum from childhood - some FASCINATING things, but all hemmed in by ODDNESS, like cases containing DOLLS dressed in random historical costume, or some toy soldiers stuck to some green baize or, my favourite bit of all, "From The Stores". This was a random collection of STUFF, like American Indian Arrows for instance, that bore no relevance to anything else, but happened to be there. It was like a journey into the past OF journeys into the past.

In the evening we enjoyed a DELICIOUS curry, and next day availed ourselves further of the hotel's SPA facilities before DIVIDING. The Times In My Timetable headed home, whilst I got the bus to Woodhouse Eaves, there to MEET with The Validators...

posted 13/3/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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You jammy get - I'd love to have a look round Down Street...
posted 13/3/2006 by John Kell

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