The Anonymous Widower

The Joy Of Freedom

I set out my views on masks in the title of Should We Be Given More Discretion Over Mask Wearing?.

Today was the first Friday under the relaxed rules on masks, when I have done my pre-weekend Friday morning routine.

  • Take a bus and a Northern Line train or a direct bus to Moorgate.
  • Have a Full English breakfast in Leon.
  • Visit Marks & Spencer on Moorgate and get my weekend food.

These are my comments on today’s trip.

  • I rode the bus to Angel without a mask and had a pleasant chat with a lady of my age about Putin.
  • We felt that the Brutus solution for Vlad the Poisoner would be best!
  • On the train between Angel and Moorgate stations, I was the only passenger not wearing a mask.
  • It was easy to walk up the steps at Moorgate station.
  • Leon was busy, with about half of customers and all staff wearing masks.
  • Marks was about half full and it was nice to be able to shop wearing my glasses, which don’t fit my mask.
  • I should say, that I need my glasses to read sell-by dates.
  • There were no naked faces on the bus home.

It was such a joy for me, to be able to travel and do my shopping without a mask.

But then at no time, was I in a crowd, which might have made me reach for my mask.


I doubt at no time, I’ll go back to full-time mask wearing.

Incidentally, I used to have a racehorse called Joy of Freedom.

February 25, 2022 Posted by | Food, Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Reminder Of The Sixties

This advert at Angel station has echoes of me of a series of jokes of the 1960s.

I can only remember one!

Question: What is the definition of a mistress?

Answer: Something that goes between a master and his mattress!


August 2, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

All Platforms Should Be Wide Like This

It is my view, that all platforms, like this one at Angel station should be wide.


  • It must be less likely, that passengers get knocked onto the tracks.
  • Wide platforms must be easier for all passengers to navigate.
  • Blind people with of without guide dogs must find it easier.

Let’s see a few more. And with step-free access between platform and train!

January 9, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 9 Comments

Braving The London Underground

I took these pictures today, in a short Underground trip between Angel and Kings Cross St. Pancras tube stations.

It’s not very busy! Is it?

  • There was no-one else in the tunnel as I walked between the escalators at Angel station.
  • There was only two other people in my carriage on the train.
  • There were few people in the tunnels at Kings Cross.

Isuspect that I travelled during lunchtime helped.

May 8, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Do We Need More Angels?

Before my reader, thinks I’ve gone all religious, I’m talking about the Angel tube station.

The station was substantially rebuilt in the early 1990s and this is said in Wikipedia in a section about the rebuilding.

For years since its opening, the station regularly suffered from overcrowding and had a very narrow island platform (barely 12 feet (3.7 m) in width), which constituted a major safety issue and caused justified fear among passengers. Consequently, the station was comprehensively rebuilt in the early 1990s. A new section of tunnel was excavated for a new northbound platform, and the southbound platform was rebuilt to completely occupy the original 30-foot tunnel, leaving it wider than most deep-level platforms on the system. The lifts and the ground-level building were closed and a new station entrance was opened on 10 August 1992 around the corner in Islington High Street together with the northbound platform while the southbound platform opened on 17 September 1992. Because of the distance between the new entrance and the platforms, and their depth, two flights of escalators were required, aligned approximately at a right angle.

So that explains why the station is unusual and safe. Rather than unusual and scary!

This map from shows the layout of the tunnels through Angel station.


  1. The dotted lines of the original tracks.
  2. The track to the North (top) was the original Northbound track.
  3. The Southbound track still has the same layout.
  4. The original twelve-foot island wide platform has now been widened to create the platform labelled 2.
  5. The platform labelled 1 and the track labelled 1992 is new work.
  6. The other dotted line was a siding.

I suppose the only complaint, is that the new station is not step-free, but then the work pre-dated the time from when disabled-access became commonplace.

London Bridge station went through a similar process in the late 1990s.

This map from shows the track layout of the Northern and Jubilee Lines at the station.

London Bridge Tube Station

London Bridge Tube Station

The work that will be carried out at Bank station follows some of the things that were done over twenty years ago at Angel.

This map from shows the current layout at the station.

bank Tube Station

bank Tube Station

Note the following about the current layout and future developments.

  • Platforms 3 and 4 are the current Southbound and Northbound platforms respectively, with non-traditional on the right running.
  • A new single-track Southbound tunnel is being built to the West of the current one, to create a space between the lines.
  • The current platform 3 will become part of the passenger space as it has at Angel.
  • Platforms are being widened.
  • Better  step-free access is being created.
  • There will be escalators direct to the Central Line.
  • Oversite development is being added on the top of the new station entrance on Cannon Street.
  • In some ways too at Bank station, the precedents set by the new Walbrook Square entrance are also being followed.

This visualisation, shows what the new Bank station will look like.

I think more stations can be rebuilt along using similar techniques.

Clapham North and Clapham Common stations are the last two Northern Line platforms with an island platform in the tunnel and must be towards the top of any list. This map from shows their locations.

Note their closeness to Clapham High Street station, I am sure, that eventually a better solution to these two stations will come about because of property development in the area.

  • Euston station must be added, but this will probably be sorted with HS2 and the rebuilding above.
  • Camden Town station is planned for a major upgrade with property development on top.
  • Finsbury Park station is being improved, but given the station’s future importance, is what is planned enough?

And then there is always Highbury and Islington station, which is probably the worst station on the Victoria Line for platform access.

This map from shows the lines through the station.

Note the following about Highbury and Islington station.

  1. The Overground has been sorted with step-free access.
  2. The bridge outside the station, which was decidedly dodgy will be fixed soon.
  3. Islington Council have ambitious plans for Highbury Corner.
  4. The Northern City Line is being upgraded to a high frequency with new Class 717 trains.
  5. The frequency on the North London Line is going to be increased a notch or so.
  6. There will be more trains to the South on the East London Line.
  7. The Victoria Line is going to get closer to forty trains per hour.

All of this adds up to a desperate need to rebuild the station with more escalators and lifts, probably on both sides of the Holloway Road.

There is a further unlikely possibility at Highbury and Islington station.

Note the Canonbury Curve in the map, which lies on a single-track electrified line that links the North London Line to Finsbury Park on the East Coast Main Line, Thameslink and the Northern City Line.

If, as I suspect, that in a few years the Northern City Line is upgraded to a higher frequency, once the new Class 717 trains, there will be an even bigger need to sort out this station.


September 10, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 Consultation – Angel Station

This Crossrail document is entitled Angel Station.

The current Angel station is not a run-of-the-mill station with long escalators, an unusual platform layout and a situation in the ground-floor of an office block!

But as it was only built in the 1990s, I suspect the design is such to aid the construction of the Crossrail 2 station.

This is TfL’s proposal for the Crossrail 2 station at Angel.

  • 2×250 metre long platforms.

  • Station platform tunnels around 30 metres below ground level to the top of tunnel

  • An increase in capacity within the existing Northern line ticket hall to accommodate a Crossrail 2 ticket hall on Islington High Street

  • An enlarged station entrance and a new second entrance onto Torrens Street

  • An underground connection between Crossrail 2 and Northern line services

  • A facility for reversing Crossrail 2 trains

The last item is possibly surprising, as although they need reversing facilities, I didn’t think it would be Angel.

This map from the document shows the layout of the station and the work-sites.

Crossrail 2 - Angel Station

Crossrail 2 – Angel Station

The four work-sites are as follows.

  • Site A – The site of the Royal Bank of Scotland building would be used for station tunnelling works and construction of the station entrance, station box and station shaft.
  • Site B – Includes Iceland and other properties to the north of White Lion Street. This site would be used for construction of the station shaft. Impacts on Chapel market would be avoided.
  • Site C – At the southern part of Torrens Street, the location of the old entrance to Angel station would be used as access to support the construction of the underground connection between Crossrail 2 and the Northern line.
  • Site D – The Public Carriage Office site, which is owned by Transport for London, could be used for construction of a facility for reversing Crossrail 2 trains at Angel. This is subject to further investigation.

I have walked round the Angel and the various sites taking pictures in the order A, C, D and B.

All of this leaves me with these observations, thoughts and conclusions.

  • All sites except D are bordered by roads carrying large amounts of traffic.
  • The chaotic Junction At The End of White Lion Street needs easing before rebuilding Angel station.
  • It is quite surprising how far the Northern Line platforms are from the entrance to the station. Sadly, this history will probably mean that there will be no simple interchange between the two lines as is promised at Balham.
  • I would split the Northern Line into two lines before building Crossrail 2, as this might take pressure off Angel station during building of Crossrail 2.
  • I think it is also a pity, that there is no entrance to the station shown on the Chapel Market side of the road.

On the plus side, I can’t see the design of the station causing too many problems in both design and construction.

A 2020 Update

It is now over five years since I wrote this post, so these are some new thoughts.

The Reversing Facility

The TfL document says that the facility will be for reversing trains at Angel station.

  • As the site is to the West of Angel station, it would reverse trains from the East.
  • Usually reversing sidings are between the two tracks and would be long enough to take a full-length train.
  • The facility would be underground and it could be built in the traditional way as the new Bank tunnel was recently.
  • The effect on buildings, would probably be the same as the main Crossrail 2 tunnels.

Operation of the reversing siding would be as follows.

  1. Trains would pull into the Westbound platform at the Angel.
  2. After all passengers had got out, the train would move forward into the siding.
  3. The driver would then change ends.
  4. When the line was clear move into the Eastbound platform.

It should be noted that Crossrail doesn’t have a reversing facility under London, and I think it would have been useful in enabling the route to open in sections.



November 9, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments