Imagine an entire conversation made up from London railway station names — that’s what the Two Ronnies did on 23rd January 1982.
The trip looks reasonably like it starts on the Central line platforms at Ealing Broadway and ends up at North Acton (Landis & Gyr factory on Chase Road in the background) on the Central line. Both locations being convenient for the BBC Studios at White City.
You can just about make out a tube roundel on the platform in the first couple of seconds of footage, and that does, with a bit of squinting, look like it says Ealing Broadway.
It’s a masterclass in writing to be able to piece together all the station names into not just a sensible narrative, but one that’s also very funny to listen to.
A transcript of the sketch as much as I can make out is below:
RB: Oh, High Barnet.
RC: Mornington Crescent.
RB: ‘ere, don’t Strand up there, Old Street, Regents Park your Barkingside down there.
RC: There we are. Well, I must say it’s Chorleywood to see you again. Harrow-on-the-Hill are you?
RB: Oh, mustn’t grumble. Still getting them pains in me Dalston Junction. Epping nuisance, they are. What about Euston?
RC: Ah, Fairlop to Marylebone thanks, you know. Tottenham Hale and Highbury most of the time.
RB: What about the missus?
RC: Oh, well.
RB: Oh, Dollis Hill, is she?
RC: No, no, Chigwell. Oh yeah, Chigwell, the old Elephant and Castle.
RB: And your brother-in-law, what’s his name?
RC: What, Greenford, you mean?
RC: Oh, still very
RB: A bit Queensway, is he?
RC: Yeah, Brent as Notting Hill Gate as a matter of fact. Mixing with a very funny crowd ‘n’ all. you know
RB: I heard that. He was going around with the Theydon Bois at one time, wasn’t he? Big fellas, aren’t they?
RB: Well, it was Islington down about six o’clock this morning, won’t it.
RC: Absolutely poured with Rayners Lane. Very Wembley Parky out there ‘n’ all now, you know.
RB: Still, good for the Covent Garden, isn’t it?
RC: What, all that Bayswater you mean?
RB: Yeah, Turnham Green that will. Here, my wife wanted to Dagenham up the old Arnos Grove, plant something Bushey and Oxhey instead.
RC: She know a lot about Kew Gardens, then?
RB: No, Vauxhall as a matter of fact. Watford High Street’s the matter with you?
RC: Earls Court up in my Hatch End, I think. There we are, that’s Becontree.
RB: Here, you fancy a Putney after work down the Angel?
RC: More than my Rickmansworth. My wife thinks I’m Maida Vale as it is. If I Ruislip down the Angel I’ll very probably end up all Totteridge and Whetstone. There’ll be Hammersmith to pay when I get home.
RB: Bit of an Aldwych your old lady, is she, eh? Yeah, mine’s just the same. I have to get down on my Hampsteads and Neasdens if I want to go for a Pimlico, you know.
RC: Rotherhithe than me. What’s this? Ah, here we are. That’s it. Aldgate off here, Watford about you?
RB: No, Cockfosters.
RC: Tooting Bec for now, then.
RB: Tooting Bec.
RB: Oi ‘ere, you left your Barbican. Silly Arsenal.