Thanks to a Twitter suggestion from yours truly, my fictional town of Langstead is now on The Tube Map!
Not the real one of course but an Alternative version dreamed up by The Londonist. They recently asked people on Twitter to come up with suggestions of how they would rename stations if they had the chance. You’ll spot a lot of method in the madness as Stratford becomes Olympic Park and Westminster becomes Parliament Square.
Langstead appeared a few years ago on Google Maps in the Wanstead-Leytonstone area. This was a mystery to the locals, who claimed such a place has never existed. Unfortunately there is little in the way of a paper trail to show a) the spurious location of ‘Langstead’ on Google Maps and b) that locals refuted it’s existence. However after some digging this thread from a local Wanstead forum briefly hints at Google’s former error in the comments section.
Actually Googling ‘Langstead’ returns a branch of Big Yellow Storage in Gants Hill claiming that:
“For Self Storage near Langstead your nearest store is Ilford,”
which is the same result if you actually try to search it in Maps… Odd.
A few other businesses claim to serve ‘Langstead, E11’ and the example above even provides rare evidence of where exactly Google used to think it was. Like Big Yellow Storage though, it seems a few companies trawled target areas at the time of the error and as a result are still pulling in re-directs from the search term ‘Langstead.’
Eventually it got dismissed as an error and it quickly disappeared from the Californian search giant’s website, hence why references are few and far between. Despite this, I always found the name believable, and so it lives on in oo gauge form. Langstead also now sits in place of Wanstead on The Londonist’s Alternative map.