Last month Transport for London’s Summer Roundel Campaign kicked off with fun tube station signs, completely unnoticed by the Barbarians.
16 STATIONS, 16 FUN TUBE STATION SIGNS
One single tube station sign per station has been changed for 16 central London stations. Many of these stations have more than one line, so earlier today it took me a little while to spot them.
HYDE PARK CORNER – “HERE COMES SUMMER”
At Hyde Park Corner I entered the tube station. On the Piccadilly Line platform for trains going to the centre (Destination Cockfoster, Eastbound) you will find a sign that reads “Here Comes Summer.” It is supposed to remind people of nearby Hyde Park and the Serpentine Pond. I then took the Piccadilly Line from that platform and got out at Piccadilly Circus.
PICCADILLY CIRCUS – “GOING OUT OUT”
At the Northbound Bakerloo Line platform you’ll find a sign that says “Going Out Out,” a reference to the many night clubs of nearby Soho. Stand-up comedian Micky Flanagan had made this phrase popular as a way to distinguish properly going clubbing until 5am from just having a few drinks at the pub or a bar until the closing bell rings at 11pm, as it does.
OXFORD CIRCUS – “RETAIL THERAPY”
Again, I took the next train from the platform. I got out at Oxford Circus. The fun tube station sign I was looking for is “Retail Therapy.” It can be found on the Southbound Victoria Line platform.
BOND STREET – MORE “RETAIL THERAPY”
I walked from there to the Westbound Central Line and took the train from there. When the train arrived at Bond Street, I got out. On the South-/Eastbound Jubilee Line platform you’ll find yet another Retail Therapy sign. A few shots later, I took the Northbound Jubilee Line train to Baker Street, where I changed back into Bakerloo Line, this time Southbound.
REGENT’S PARK – MORE “HERE COMES SUMMER”
I got out at Regent’s Park. To my disappointment, I witnessed another duplication: yet another “Here Comes Summer” sign, just like at Hyde Park Corner. Nevermind, I hopped back onto the Bakerloo Line and got out at Piccadilly Circus.
LEICESTER SQUARE – “OPENING NIGHT”
From there I took the Eastbound Piccadilly Line to the next stop: Leicester Square, theatre district. On one of the two Northern Line platforms you’ll find a fun tube station sign that reads “Opening Night.”
TFL’S ‘WELCOME BACK LONDON’ CAMPAIGN
This is all part of the TfL’s ‘Welcome Back London’ campaign. The roundels have been relabelled to reflect the reopening of our city after a line of painful lockdowns. It is part of a bigger effort to bring tourists back to London.
MORE STATIONS – MORE FUN TUBE STATION SIGNS
I’ve not been to any of the other stations yet, but apparently Shoreditch High Street and Brixton feature “Going Out Out” just like Piccadilly Circus does. Shepherd’s Bush, where the massive Westfield Shopping Centre is located, mimics Oxford Circus’s and Bond Street’s “Retail Therapy.”
The remaining stations, not yet mentioned above, are:
Gloucester Road (District and Circle)
Cutty Sark (DLR)
Covent Garden (Piccadilly)
Barbican (Met, Circle and H&C)
Hackney Wick (LO)
Canary Wharf (DLR)
Canary Wharf (Jubilee)
A GOOD IDEA?
I’ll be frank, it took me some convincing to see the point in this campaign. Grumpy old men like me like to ask questions like “wouldn’t there have been better ways to spend all this money” or “do we really want to encourage large crowds to enter the tube system for the sole purpose of spotting fun tube station signs”?
ROUNDELS ARE AS ICONIC AS ROUTEMASTER BUSES
On the other hand, these roundels are as iconic as Routemaster buses, red phone boxes, Battersea Powerstation, or Tower Bridge. If changing their appearance every now and then attracts more tourists to the capital and makes a lot of people happy, then I guess I’m not going to complain.
Looking for more fun things to do in London? Check out our posts about ‘London Never Dies’ at the London Cabaret Club, open water swimming at the West Reservoir Centre, the immersive ‘Van Gogh Alive’ experience in Kensington Gardens, or the Sherlock Holmes Escape Room experience in Shepherd’s Bush.