Friday, 1 April 2016

A is for Angel

Not an angel as in something cherubic and with wings but Angel Station.  Yes  the theme for my A-Z posts this year is London Underground Stations.  I've chosen a station for each letter and at the end of each post I've listed the other stations for that letter with their Wikipedia entries.  I've tried to visit each station and take my own photos.

Angel Station is on the Northern Line of the London Underground and opened in 1901.  It is in Islington and named after a famous Angel Inn which dates back to 1638.  It’s not the first alphabetically on the list of London Underground stations but it’s the first that does have some significance for me.  When I first started full time work I was employed by Thames Water, the company that manages the water supply and sewage systems in London.  Fortunately I was an accounts assistant so didn’t have much to do with sewage.  (Although a visit to the local processing plant did factor into an induction programme!)

I digress.  (You’ll find I do that.  A lot.)

Angel Station was where you had to head for if you were going to the Head Offices of Thames Water.  It is not a station I enjoyed visiting for two main reasons.

Firstly there was just one central platform that ran between the North and Southbound train lines.  There was no nice safe wall for you to lean against when the station was busy to keep away from the platform edge.  And it is a busy station.  (For a view of how it looked click here.)

The second reason I disliked it was that the trains run very deep underground here and access to them was via lifts.  I’m not good in claustrophobic circumstances so this was torture for me.

However, on starting my research for this challenge I discovered that Angel Station had a major reconstruction in the early 1990s.  (My working days for Thames Water ended in 1986 following the birth of my first child.)

The first escalator complete with overhead advertising
The station now has two separate platforms and they are reached by escalators.  Very long escalators!  It’s much less intimidating to me now.  

 I visited the station on 7th March and found the entrance was round the corner from the entrance I was familiar with.  Getting down to the platforms was much easier via the two escalators and I was much happier to have an all-important wall to lean on.

The second of the two escalators.

Station platform with wall to the left!
The original entrance - now boarded up
The view from the old entrance.

Another thing that has changed and increased over the years is the amount of advertising there is on the tube.  Moving down the escalators there are lots of adverts to see and I eventually managed to get a shot of this ad reminding people not to rush.  These ads seem to be pretty invisible to lots of people though.  Especially when going down as people are always rushing past you.

(As an aside Transport for London (TFL) are considering making some escalators standing only and will soon be starting a pilot scheme at Holborn Station - see here for the press release.)

If you want to see old pictures of the station you can check some out here:

Other “A” stations are:


Next stop B is for ….? Check back tomorrow to find out.


  1. A great theme Wendy. loved the read and the awesome picture.

  2. You are off to a great start. I wish we had this type of transportation closer to me. It is so much fun, when we traveled, to ride the trains!

    1. Thanks - we are lucky to have really good transport links so close to home.

  3. What an interesting topic! I love that you put so much work into it and provided personal accounts as well as facts... Can't wait to see where the tracks go ;)

    1. Thanks. They probably won't take me too far or I'll never get all the posting done!

  4. This will be fun to read during April, Wendy! I enjoyed your April 1 post!!

  5. Oh what fun! I love London, but have only been there a handful of times, so I only know a few of the underground stations. I do love traveling around the city that way. It's so convenient and I love it that everyone's so QUIET on the tube! :-))

  6. P.S. Terri D. is the one who told me about this. Thanks to Terri. :-)

  7. Well this is a very unusual and interesting idea for the A to Z. I'm even more impressed you've gone to the trouble of taking your own photos, Wendy! I used to work in Regent Street so will look forward to the descriptions of some of my regular stations that will no doubt crop up!

  8. Very cool! I love all thngs transportation. Ridden a lot of railroads, subways, metro lines etc. in the US so really interested in seeing stations and routes in the UK.

  9. Very cool theme! I've never been to London but definitely want to get there one of these days. I can only imagine how scary that was not to have a wall to lean on! And being claustrophobic myself, I don't think I would've liked that earlier version of the station.

    Great start to the A-Z. Hope you're having fun with it!

    Michele at Angels Bark

  10. I had to see what another Wendy was up to! We don't have subways in my city, but our light rail does dive underground for part of the trip into town, and I do not like that part at all. No comforting wall would also bother me. As others said, I enjoy the mix of research and personal story here!

  11. We rode the Underground a few times when we were in London. I thought it was interesting that the trains where you make connections with other lines seemed to be on different levels, and you'd ride up one escalator and down another to make your connection.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

    1. There is just one mass of tunnels underground in London.


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