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Old 01 September 2008, 11:28 AM
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llewtrah llewtrah is offline
Join Date: 13 December 2001
Location: Chelmsford, UK
Posts: 16,363
Default Historical London Underground legend

Reading The Subterranean Railway (Christian Wolmar) recently, I came across a UL from the early days of the London Underground (latter half of the 19th century).

Early passengers were not au fait with the rapid boarding required in a mass transit system so porters were employed to give people a helping push onto trains when they were too leisurely about boarding (made worse in the early days by people needing to get into the correct carriage: first, second, third or the gentlemen only smoking carriage).

An elderly lady can only exit the carriage backwards due to infirmity combined with her bulky skirts. This unsteady old lady is still trying to exit backwards from the train when it is ready to depart and at each station the porter, believing she is having difficulty boarding the train, gives her a helpful shove into the carriage. According to this early UL, the poor old lady ends up travelling all day on the line.

The book, by the way, is an excellent, entertaining read for anyone interested in the more social history of the London Underground system (rather than just the engineering history).

(We really need a forum for "transport" that covers ships, trains, bikes and not just cars)
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