So by now you will have no doubt noticed that I’m giving every station a unique blog title in the format “The <Insert Unique Name Here>.” This is with the exception of South Woodford (001) which is simply called “Home.” Home should be special though shouldn’t it?
Thinking up unique identifiers for each of the remaining 269 stations will no doubt at some stage bite me in the backside, but for now I’m doing OK. The names will originate from a mixture of sources; some might be about the station features itself, some might be about nearby attractions and activities, whilst others will be about my own personal connections with using the station.
Southwark falls into the latter of those categories.
Last year I embarked on the #WalkTheTube challenge, where all 270 stations need to be visited in a single service day. Some may refer to this as “The Tube Challenge”, but ours was for charity and we weren’t trying to break any records. This is of course different to the Map Challenge as for #WalkTheTube we didn’t have to actually get off the train. If you weren’t aware of all this by the way then where have you been?! I’ve banged on about it enough times… If you really haven’t caught up with this episode in my life then do head here.
Anyway what has this got to do with Southwark?
Southwark is one of the likely places Tube Challengers use to ‘double back’ on themselves. This action is often referred to as a “Reverse,” where you arrive at a station in one direction and then change platforms and leave in the other. (The colloquialism also has connotations with timetabled rolling stock manoeuvres).
By the time we reached Southwark, in the evening of that fateful day back in April of 2016, we were severely behind schedule. We’d been struck by the Bermuda Triangle of Aldgate/Aldgate East. Several District Line trains had vanished into the ether and we’d been stranded for 15 minutes at Whitechapel. This caused a knock on affect and come Southwark we were very late and very grumpy.
Unfortunately Southwark always makes for a great #WalkTheTube photo opportunity against the backdrop of it’s cavernous corridors. Never have I seen a collection of people so down in the dumps about taking a group photo. We’d just missed an eastbound Jubilee Line train and I recall being in a particularly bad mood as a result.
Fittingly however, the “Reverse” at Southwark was not only one of a directional nature, it was also one of a change in fortune. The following three connections at London Bridge, Elephant & Castle and Baker Street would put us pack in the game, ultimately allowing us to complete the challenge at Chesham later that night. The picture below is the same place where we waited for that reverse in fortunes to start.
Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk