In the long history of the London Underground, many stations have had changes of names. I don’t think there’s been a more confusing history than that of those that have held the name “Strand”.
Going back to the tail end of the “Tube boom” of the turn of the 20th Century, the Piccadilly line’s final route emerged after years of haggling, legal work, and the merging of three companies, one of which had proposed a route from Wood Green to the Strand. The northern part of this line wouldn’t be completed for another few decades, but the southern part included a branch line from Holborn to Strand Station, which opened in 1907.
As Clive’s Underground Line Guide says about this branch:
The erstwhile Aldwych branch has always been a curiosity. It was left over from the GN&SR route when the Piccadilly to Holborn section was added, and it remains unclear why it was ever built. Although the GN&SR powers to build north of Finsbury Park were formally abandoned, the same didn’t happen here. It is possible that attempts were made but Parliament rejected them; if so, no record has been left.
The branch is located directly under the Kingsway and its tram subway, which were being constructed at about the same time as the Piccadilly. Tunnelling for the branch had to wait until they were finished, and it opened after the rest of the line. Before construction even started the Yerkes group applied to have it extended to Temple, but they were only allowed to go as far as the south side of the Strand.
Further adding to the mystery is the strange track layout. Though the branch was constructed as double track, it was done in a way that meant it could not be integrated with the rest of the line. The eastern (“southbound”) track connected to the northbound at Holborn, while the western track terminated in a separate bay. Furthermore, the two tracks were connected by only a single crossover just south of Holborn. The platforms at both stations were also much shorter than those on the rest of the line.
All of this left the station something of a curiosity for the 82 years it was in service. Adding to the confusion, the name (despite being carved into the elegant tiles of the station facade) was changed in 1915 to Aldwych.
However, there was another station about to join the story. As the name of the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway might suggest, its southern terminus was at the main-line station of the same name. After the line was extended to Embankment, the names of the stations were shuffled; in 1915, the original Charing Cross became Strand, while the new station was Charing Cross (Embankment).
For over fifty years, this was how the names stood. At one end of the road was Strand Station, whose line was renamed the Northern in 1933, while at the other was Aldwych, running a shuttle service on the Piccadilly. Just south of Strand was Charing Cross (Embankment).
The coming of the Jubilee Line in the mid 1970s proved to be the point at which all this changed. For its southern terminus, the Bakerloo line station at Trafalgar Square (which had carried that name since opening in 1906) was to be combined with the Northern Line station at Strand, and the new Jubilee Line platforms. This station was to be renamed Charing Cross, while the station one stop south was renamed Embankment.
In 1994, Aldwych closed, but its classic station buildings are still clearly visible. In 1999, the Jubilee Line stopped serving Charing Cross, but the once-separate stations were left connected.
There’s one final curiosity to confuse you further. For some reason, Google Maps shows the old Strand/Aldwych tube station building as “Aldwych tram station”. This was actually on the Kingsway tram tunnel, just north of Bush House. That station was demolished when the southern part of the tunnel was converted to what is now the Strand Underpass, which users of the 521 bus will know well. (The northern part of the tunnel is still around, but not in use. You can see the entrance on Southampton Row.)
Just to try and summarise all of that, here’s a table.
I think that’s far too much tube dorkery for one day.
… but Techcrunch do. By leading his story with the default view (change in greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2006) rather than the actual emission figures (as shown here)
Erick Schonfeld managed to construct an argument that somehow Sweden and Canada were causing more climate change than the US, despite their lower per-capita emissions (and of course far lower populations). He went on to ignore (and ridicule) comments pointing this out, despite being the sort of site you’d expect to champion the idea that the audience might know better. (via gilest)
Ben Ward’s call to stop interacting with TechCrunch - and both its major editors - makes more sense all the time.
I woke up this morning to two posts from Ariel Waldman on Twitter:
- Hey, @sfgate, this article appears to be completely making up that the Chinese are banning women from being astronauts: Pseudo-science in space: bring your testicles
- I don’t understand where you make the jump from “no cavities, no illnesses” to “they also require testicles” w/out any facts
I thought this was a little unfair, although the original article is also slightly problematic. As I’m no good at condensing fact to the space needed by Twitter, and anyway am private there, I thought I’d post here.
Firstly, Ariel’s point. I agree there’s probably no explicit ban on women in the Chinese space programme. However, all seven of the Chinese astronauts to date are male, as are the five other members of the 1998 group and both members of the 1996 group. Moreover, as with the US and Soviet programmes, all fourteen are pilots. Apparently the PLAAF does allow women to become pilots, so that’s not an outright ban, but I’d suggest it does mean you’re recruiting from a heavily male-biased pool.
In summary: there’s no explicit ban, but past performance implies there’s going to be far more testicles than not.
Secondly, I’m a little unhappy with this section, by Doc Gurley in the SFGate article:
NASA’s ban on women was so effective that it took almost thirty years before the first American women piloted in space. This, despite the reality that Russian women astronauts began rocketing into orbit in 1963.
It’s true that one of the earliest Vostok pilots was Valentina Tereshkova, but the idea that the Soviet Union was a bastion of equal rights in space is rather undermined by the fact that it took nearly twenty years for her flight to be followed by that of Svetlana Savitskaya.
Of course, the USSR was flying plenty of missions during that time (and after the failure of their lunar programme, logged far more time in space (onboard the various Salyuts) than the US; so much so, they still have 70% more flight time than the US). The reason for the launch of Savitskaya, I’m sure, was the imminent launch of Sally Ride, the first US woman in space; since then, the list of female astronauts has lengthened considerably, and it’s dominated by Americans.
In summary: the Soviet Union launched women largely for propaganda purposes, rather than high-minded ones.
The actual post is full of spoilers, but who doesn’t know how part six goes? Still, you’ve been warned.
A random, longwinded observation of my own. Those “secure beneath the watchful eyes” ads that everyone from Boing Boing down took exception to (years after they were actually on the streets)? I was never that bothered by them, either. At least if you’re going to have CCTV, tell people about it.