Underground, Overground. Text: Andrew Martin, photo: Tim Marshall. (2/5)

Piccadilly line. © Tim Marshall 1992.

Andrew Martin writes:

For Valentine’s Day, an editor once instructed me, ‘I want you to write about love on the Underground’, but I couldn’t dig up much. I read in Underground News that on 30 April 1986 at bank station a woman hit her eighty-year old husband with a handbag, which sent him tumbling down an escalator. Just before Christmas in 1989, an Underground labourer who had consumed ten pints of bitter had an unorthodox interaction with a cat on a Tube train. Then he fell into a stupor, and his first remark on being awakened by an appalled fellow passenger was, ‘What cat?’ He was later fined £500. For many years the dating agency Dateline placed posters throughout the Underground that showed a man and a woman crossing on adjoining escalators. ‘A hidden glance, a forgotten smile’ ran the copy. ‘Have you ever looked and wondered what might have been?’ That drove me mad, because if you’d forgotten the smile then you wouldn’t wonder what might have happened as a result of it. Even so, when the fashion designer Bella Freud (who launched one of her collections on a Tube train) said, ‘There’s a strange tension on the Tube, a moodiness, a sexiness’. I think she was right.

The text is from Underground, Overground: a passenger’s history of the Tube, published by Profile Books (also available here.) The photos are from Tim Marshall’s series When a Tube train stops.


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