» Vintage Posters Discovered in Abandoned London Tube Station «
The London Underground is an incredible maze of subterranean railways, stations and ticket halls - and that doesn’t account for the myriad abandoned passageways that are strictly off limits to the public, let alone the ageing relics that linger on in this dark underworld that has only been touched on by urban explorers.
But a 2010 upgrade to Notting Hill Gate station revealed a series of vintage posters dating to between 1956 and 1959. The posters, which will be left intact once the modernisation work is completed, include advertising for Pepsodent Toothpaste and the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition, as well as films like Around the World in 80 Days and The Horse’s Mouth, starring Alec Guinness.
The vintage collection was uncovered in an abandoned lift passageway closed to the public after Notting Hill Gate was last upgraded in the late 1950s. The ’50s facelift saw the “two” Notting Hill Gate stations of the District and Circle lines linked by a sub-surface ticket hall beneath the road. Escalators down to the deeper Central Line platforms replaced the ageing elevators, which were sealed off by the time the station reopened on March 1, 1959.
When the latest upgrades are complete, the posters will once again be hidden from prying eyes in the disused area of the tube station. Mikey Ashworth, who discovered and photographed the collection, wrote: “We will be leaving these intact – and please do not pester the station staff as the posters are wholly inaccessible - which is why they’ve probably survived 50 odd years!
Notting Hill Gate station opened in 1868 as part of the Metropolitan Railway’s extension from Paddington to Gloucester Road. The deep-level Central Line platforms, accessed by the lift passageways where the posters were found, opened in 1900. The vintage artifacts may not be viewable, but it’s fun to think there’s a place deep within the bowels of London that still advertises the “latest work” of David Niven, Rita Hayworth et al.
View the full collection here.
The Wildlife of the London Underground
Animals on the Underground is an on-going project that casts the London Underground as a wild menagerie of elusive animals, who disappear in and out the thicket of abstract lines which comprise the map of the Tube. The project began in 1988, when the first animal, the elephant, was spotted. Since then a vast array of critters, both wild and domesticated, has been added to the roster of subterranean animals, from playful dogs and soaring pigeons to strutting baby rhinos and quiescent sperm whales. Their form and features are determined by the strokes and folds of the map’s meandering beveled-edge lines, with the creatures sometimes fitting snugly within the Underground’s negative spaces but more frequently extending across the city’s skewed geography to encompass a whole series of train lines. New animals are constantly revealing themselves, so one must be always on the lookout.