A tour of Aldwych Station on the London Underground

Earlier this year, I along with a group had a rather rare tour of the disused Aldwych tube station. We were actually supposed to go somewhere else as part of a special deal arranged with the Friends of the Transport Museum, but a long story and a lot of problems resulted in our going to the iconic Aldwych station instead.

Of all the disused stations on the London Underground, this is one of the more famous – partly for its construction and its rather odd position on the tube network infrastructure.

I wont go into huge amounts of detail about the history of the station as there are plenty of online sources available, and I am reliably informed that a new book on the station is due for publication before the end of this year – doubtless to be sold in the book store inside the Transport Museum.

As a courtesy, we were asked not to put the photos into the public domain as it only leads to people bugging the museum for permission to visit it themselves – but today I became aware that they are actually auctioning off a tour for the general public to raise funds for the museum, so they can’t really complain now ;)

Abandoned Platform

Also, I thought I would put up a few photos as teasers of what is down there and you might be tempted to bid for the tour yourself. If you want to bid on the auction to go inside yourself – then it is being run on the ebay website.

The full photo set of the photos which came out (damn the blur and useless flash!) are now available to the public on my usual Flickr account.

Weblinks:

Underground-History

Wikipedia

Sub-Brit

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11 Comments

  1. Great photos Ian.

    In 2004 I went to a gig in the ticket office at Aldwych – which was great fun. The bands were mostly forgettable (although I recollect one having a very attractive guitarist) but being in the station, and having drinks served at the ticket office window, and using the ticket office loos was an amazing experience.

    It looks from your pics that it’s been restored since then – I remember it feeling a bit run-down, although then again a) it was dark, b) quite quickly I was quite drunk.

  2. IanVisits

    Thanks – I know some work was done in the station a few years ago to bring it up to modern safety standards (and alas removing some Edwardian piping from the loos), so that might explain the difference.

  3. Good pics – I’m sooooooo jealous and bet the tour’s going to go for a huge wad of cash! :)

    I too think the station looks modernised – videos on Youtube of Aldwych when it was still running make it look like a bit of a dump really!

  4. Having thought about the auction a bit more, I’m a bit miffed actually!

    They always give H&S reasons as no longer being able to conduct tours of places like Aldwych, but obviously it can’t be that pressing if they’re willing to auction one off. If this is the case, surely they could run a few ‘normal’ tours and get a load more money that way…the demand is surely there…

  5. IanVisits

    In my experience, a lot of places use H&S as an easy way of replying to requests without having to investigate the issue.

    I can slightly understand Aldwych as it is still used by LU, so any tour guide would (I guess) have to be compliant with full LU regulations – even though most of them would be pointless – and hence that will restrict the available pool of guides to take people round.

    I have been to other semi-restricted places where I have begged to be allowed to open them up for a day or two each year – as a team of volunteers and been told H&S won’t allow it. For those I know it is a lie, as I have been been inside them myself and know what H&S issues exist (or don’t exist as is usually the case).

  6. Paul

    I am Off to Aldwych in the Morning for a tour
    Hopefully i will get some good Pictures
    Im Afraid that the tour is for London Underground Staff Only

  7. IanVisits

    Have fun!

  8. Toby Belshaw

    I just received the same “Health and Safety” response as I imagine most of you have.

    Is there any other way to get down there besides working for LU or making a movie?!

  9. Hi, Thinking of contacting Aldwych tube station about doing some music shows there- I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with finding out how to hire the space- any ideas gratefully received as it would be perfect! Thank you!

    • IanVisits

      There is an official TfL film and media department which deal with hiring venues for filming.

      If by “music shows”, you mean having the general public in the station – then not a chance as there is very limited access to the platforms.

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