An 82-year old tube roundel still in its original design has been restored outside Uxbridge tube station. TfL had been contacted by the local borough councillors about the decaying state of the old roundel, and agreed to restore it to its original design rather than replace it with a modern roundel.

(c) TfL

The roundel, the totem holding it and the internal electrics were corroded and failing after eight decades outside in the British weather.

They were able to find the original drawings and images of the sign from the 1940s in local council archives to base the improvements to the new structure on. The concrete support structure holding the roundel was beyond repair so required replacement, and the failed electrical components inside the sign were also upgraded.

Around 90 per cent of the original roundel was able to be preserved, including the original brass collars holding it together. New energy-efficient LED bulbs were also installed along with refurbished acrylics in-keeping with the heritage London Underground Johnston typeface.

The works, carried out by Links Signs, was completed a few weeks ago.

Before and after (c) TfL

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11 comments
  1. More from the “transport is heritage” rather than “transport for now” brigade. I hate this kind of thing. Today’s standards, please.

    • Julian says:

      Today’s standards – which are? This gives us the best of both worlds, the latest power-saving light technology whilst recreating the pleasing appearance of the original. The sign’s appearance also fits with the period ambience of the station and goes to show that the Johnson typeface is timeless. I like this very much.

    • ChrisC says:

      It’s a sign for goodness sake.

      And it has been refurbished to today’s standards

      If things like this can be kept then they should be kept. Even if the glass etc couldn’t be reused then it should have been replicated as the station is Grade II listed and the sign is in keeping with that.

  2. Melvyn says:

    Seems rather appropriate that it uses ” Johnson typeface ” given let’s see ah Boris Johnson is MP for Uxbridge.

    I reckon smokers would like the cigarette machine inside the Station restored given to use it one needs 2 x 10 p !

    • Leon says:

      Although the name is similar to the Prime Minister’s surname, the typeface is actually called “Johnston” – named after its creator, Edward Johnston.

  3. JP says:

    The joys of a big U and a big D. Can’t beat ’em.

  4. Alex McKenna says:

    I love it – except maybe they could have used slightly warmer LEDs?

  5. Victoria Line says:

    It’s not subtle and is more in the spirit of the original, but it wasn’t torn down in favour of something truly horrid.

  6. Paul says:

    I think for the most part it costs more to restore heritage assets than replace with new – this fact is underappreciated by many who like to enjoy these features but grumble about the higher taxes/fares required to pay for them.

    The “cost of heritage features in transport networks” is a topic I’d be interested to see explored further.

    • Oliver Green says:

      We’ve come a long way in building conservation since the 1960s, when the standard approach to apparently outmoded Victorian buildings was to replace them with something bland and modern. Look at Euston, where sweeping away the Doric Arch and the Great Hall was deemed essential by British Railways. Compare this disaster with the more recent rebuilding of Liverpool Street, St Pancras and King’s Cross, where old and new have been seamlessly put together to create practical, functional transport hubs that work well but retain their impressive heritage features. Uxbridge is more modern and on a smaller scale but surely deserves appropriate care of its historic infrastructure. Or would you prefer an open station with a bus shelter to wait in? Much cheaper but it wouldn’t encourage anyone to use public transport…

  7. Paul says:

    @Oliver Green
    I didn’t want to pass judgement on value for money, which I think is subjective. My point was more simply that there is a widespread underappreciation of the costs involved with maintaining heritage assets.

    To set the record straight on Euston though – the issue was not cost per se but the profound need for longer platforms, which the Great Hall and Doric Arch sat squarely in the path of. Could it have been done differently somehow? Maybe, but that’d just be speculating.

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