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5 Ways to Celebrate 150 Years of The London Underground

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published January 10th 2013
Mind the gap
monopoly, london underground

On the 9th of January 2013, the London Underground celebrated its 150th Birthday. The Metropolitan Railway opened on the 9th January 1863, with the first train travelling between Paddington and Farringdon Street. It is used by millions every year, and although we may grumble and complain, where would we be without it. To celebrate London's iconic mode of travel, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Ride The Tube

It sounds pretty obvious, but what better way to appreciate the London Underground than to take a ride down the line. Take a trip out for the day: visit tourist sites, museums, galleries, or go shopping. With eleven lines to choose from, the tube could take you anywhere you want to go.

2. Memorabilia

Every significant anniversary is always celebrated (or exploited) with torrents of souvenirs. Be it be the Queen's Jubilee, a Royal Wedding, or indeed, the London Underground's birthday. The Royal Mail are produced stamps, coins, mugs, tea towels, and even a special edition of Monopoly.

3. Poems on the Underground

Poems on the Underground was launched in 1986, with the aim to bring poetry to a wider audience. You have probably seen posters with poems all over the tube as 3000 advertising spaces a dedicated to them. These poems are available in print, and the most recent edition was made especially for the 150th anniversary. The are two hundred and thirty poems to read from Sappho to Carol Ann Duffy.

4. Art on the Underground

This one's easy. All you have to do is keep an eye out. Art on the Underground is a project that has commissioned fifteen leading contemporary artists to create an image as one in a set of fifteen artworks to be displayed at every station. There will also be screenings of London Underground archive footage provided by the BFI.

5. Visit The London Transport Museum

There are several scheduled events at the London Transport Museum , including talks about the history of the underground, a poster art exhibit, and behind the scene days.
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Why? Celebrate 150 years of travelling underground
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