Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tube Relief report

Because I can't be arsed to type out a proper Tube Relief Challenge report (with logs and everything) you should go and read Geoff's excellent report here.

I am completedly knackered out of a couple of events last weekend but I will do a little summary on what happened on our team that day. Just a general report (no station to station logs) out of obligation to those who sponsored us online and offline. Look out for Jenni's report in the next few days too.

We did 250+ stations. When I meant '+' it is because everytime I get a clean map to retrace the route I would count either 250, 251 or 252 stations. I always miss something! So officially we did between 250 and 252 stations.

Geoff has a good write up on what happened early on between Amersham and Harrow & Wealdstone. Most of us were still clinging on together before making our way down the Bakerloo Line.

We split at Elephant & Castle before heading toward Stratford on the Jubilee Line. But our train had to terminate at Canary Wharf so we had to change here. Here we got our first warning through the tannoy with a stern warning that 'any forms of photography is strictly prohibited'.

As far as we are concerned, we knew that photography is allowed on the underground as long as flashes are supressed so we did not really heed the announcement until a second warning came up on the tannoy. We then noticed a security guy walking around. We hid behind the large 'Canary Wharf' underground sign and heard his walkie talkie blurting out something to do with 'people taking pictures'. Fortunately for us the next Jubilee Line train arrived and we dashed in.

We only met one other group at Woodford. Norm and Matt were on the same train as us from Epping but we only met them at Woodford. We did the Hainault loop together before splitting up at Stratford with us heading towards Central London and they doing the Jubilee Line.

After doubling back from Stanmore down to Wembley Park we wanted to take the Met Line to Uxbridge. We were pretty sick of our Snickers and energy bars by now and because the next Uxbridge train leaves in 10 minutes we decided to get a 'proper meal' outside the station. I frequent Wembley Park often so I know the layout outside pretty well. Two minutes later we were at Subways, got our foot long Italian BMT, paid and leave. We got back on the platform with 3 minutes to spare. Not too bad.

The Northern Line was possibly the most boring part to do. With so many doubling back it was a time consuming line. We did a break at Euston meeting up with the Euston support crew and getting our polaroids taken. Then was back to business.

The Victoria Line as usual was stuffy with hot air. Down at Morden we took the bus to Wimbledon. Nice area. Very upmarket.

At Aldgate East around 10pm at night we disembark down from the District Line train only to find the station closing! Tiredness is creeping in and I did not know what to do. At the ticket platform it was chaos. We needed to get the Hammersmith & City line but the platform was locked shut. Luckily for us the SA heard our plea and he found his keys and let us into the westbound platform. Phew.

We arrived at Upminster around 12.45am. It was hell of a journey. At times my body just felt sick and I had a genuine feeling of dropping out when we were at Ealing Broadway (my bed is 10 minutes walk away).

Helene sent us back to Ealing. It was an amusing ride, listening to them bickering with Neil.

We got home sometime after 3am and I wrote a short blog entry, read a little bit of Annie Mole's live blogging then slumped down the bed till about 2pm.

Feeling slightly better I went to hunt down Ealing Times as I knew they would be printing a newspiece on my Tube Relief attempt.

As of today we have as a collective, raised over £11,000 (US$20,000) for the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund. There is still a chance to donate here.

Will I do this again? Of course I will. If we did not mess up the Hainult loop (by going anti-clockwise first time round), got dumped at Canary Wharf, didn't have to do so many toilet breaks, cancelled our original planned route (Elephant & Castle to Morden then the bus to Wimbledon) then it was possible we could have done 275 stations that day.

But we did not. And it costed us dearly. So dammit of course I will do it again next year.

Pictures are on Flickr. Group pool. Post-event report.

Update: Blimey, I hadn't realise how my long my 'summary' went! Jenni has a pre-24 hour Tube Relief report.

Update 2: More pictures here:

Billy (Cowfish)'s Tube Relief
Matt's Tube Relief/post-event party
Neil's Tube Relief
Neil's post-event party
Norm's Tube Relief
Norm's post-event party
Stephen's Tube Relief

plus videos by Luke Hopewood

plus post-event party write-up

and another meet-up some months later

Links to all Tube Relief bloggers:

Annie Mole Geoff Tami Helene Anne-Marie Liz Billy Neil Norman Ann Chz Matt Ric Chris


HardiJ said...

You going to do it again?! Prepare not to count me in ;)

Too many toilet breaks? I've told u that empty bottle are there for a reason.

Jay said...

Well done! You're definitely the better person - I don't think I could ever have done that!

Jon Choo said...


Caugh up caugh up!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun.

Jon Choo said...

It was!