Monthly talk: John Polley – Driving under London

Monday 19th April saw us enjoying a very interesting talk given by John Polley called ‘Driving Under London’.

John’s knowledge of the underground railway in London and its history was fascinating.  As I originated from London I was particularly interested in its history.  I didn’t know for example that in the early days of the underground system some lines had steam trains running on them and that some of the tracks were different sizes.

As they built new lines they went deeper, but apparently (I can’t remember the figure) there are so many miles of track that are not underground at all.

What particularly interested me was why there were hardly any underground network in South London and apparently this was because South London had such a brilliant overground transport network that it was felt that it wasn’t needed.

At the beginning of train travel the Powers That Be didn’t want trains running into central London and so the underground network was built and used to ferry people from the overground train stations into central London.

Thank you John, your talk was an eye opener for me.

Reported by Patricia Angove