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The St George the Martyr Year 6 Writing Group worked with Michael McMillan to create these historical and creative writing pieces for the project.

You can read about some important events in the 150 year development of the London Underground, as well as some poems and writings inspired by meeting and talking to tube workers and enthusiasts.

Booklet Cover

Click on the image above to download the history and creative writing booklet.

Some Conversations

  • There were some different people who worked on the London Underground who we met. Some of them were from different parts of the world like the Caribbean. They told us stories about the work they did as station cleaners, ticket collectors, guards, drivers, inspectors and managers.
  • One woman from Guyana was so ashamed to be a station cleaner that she would hide the broom behind her when the train came into the station.
  • As a ticket collector she received a lot of abuse from passengers including racist comments and offensive remarks such being a 'slave driver' because she was dressed in a uniform.
  • One guard talked about being chased by a stranger with a knife for no reason at all. He also said that as a guard they would not normally leave the train, but one of them did and the train left him. Luckily, the train was going so slow that he was able to run outside and catch it at the next station.
  • If there was an accident on the Underground a driver would set off small detonators on the track to warn other drivers coming up in trains behind them. One driver said that one time they put them on the tracks for a joke but the consequences were unexpected!
  • Once a station manager had to go under a train to see if a woman who had jumped in front of a train was still alive. She was dead. She had cancer and had killed her two children at home before she jumped on the Underground tracks.
  • We also looked at models of steam and electric Underground trains and carriages that were brought in by a manager who worked on the London Underground. He was involved putting together train timetables and giving 'white paddles' to station staff who signal the train drivers while telling passengers to 'Mind the Gap' on the platform.
Shelter from air raids

All archive photos are copyright Transport for London, from the London Transport Museum collection