Trawling through a weird glossy magazine that landed in my letterbox a few weeks ago, I noticed an advert for a “unique interactive exhibition” being held nearby.

That in itself wasn’t enough to interest me, but the topic, archaeology and plans for the East London Line, most certainly did peak my interest.

The exhibition is being curated at a community type centre in Blackheath, which seemed a bit odd for a railway that won’t be going anywhere near the place, but it is moderately convenient for me to get to.

Alas, after traipsing over yesterday afternoon, the exhibition, which promised a selection of historic artefacts recovered during the construction and models (note the plural) of the stations, turned out to be one model and one glass cabinet with 6 items on show.

There was however the “interactive” display, which was a “Dummies Guide” to the railway, with a perpetually scrolling background behind the text that nearly caused me to have a seizure. I’m not sure what the elderly ladies nattering in the background over their tea and cake would have made of that!

The display also had a picture of a tunnelling shield which it claimed was related to the Thames Tunnel – only it was very obviously the wrong one, and that should have been noticed by even the most cursory of glances from a tube historian.

The sole model of the stations was of Haggerston station, which is also not the most interesting one to look at, being just a raised couple of platforms above a viaduct.

Overall, quite a disappointing display with very little to show for itself. I suspect it exists so that the ELL project managers can tick the box marked “community outreach”. It certainly doesn’t seem designed to attract visitors.

If you are in Blackheath, then pop your nose into the Age Exchange (11 Blackheath Village) for a look, but I wouldn’t expect to spend more than 5 minutes in there.


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  1. Exit, Pursued by a Bear says:

    You did, of course, make your views known to the appropriate people?

  2. IanVisits says:

    The old dears serving tea and coffee?

    I doubt they would be interested.

    Frankly, I am not in the habit of making formal complaints to people unless extremely irked by what happened.

    If I wrote a letter every time I was disappointed with something, I’d spend a fortune in postage stamps.

  3. Exit, pursued by a bear says:

    No, TFL.

    So many people think there’s no point in complaining about stuff like this. Which is why things never get improved. Sometimes the only thing to get things done is to fire off a letter or an email, otherwise why bother complaining on your website? If you’ve time to bemoan it here, then you were obviously sufficiently disappointed to make it worthwhile complaining formally. If I’d spent time and money getting to this place and it turned out to be a) pants and b) not what it purported to be, then I’d complain.

    Tip to save postage: make complaints by Email instead.

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