District – Preview (Commute)

I’m currently working on a project all about the District line. Here’s a little chunk from what I covered today, while looking at my commute. For this project, it’s my intention to visit every station on every branch of the District line, and take a picture of its roundel. Today I covered Wimbledon- Embankment.

The project got off to a horrendous start with the discovery that Wimbledon station doesn’t have a roundel. How is that even LEGAL?! I even crept into the back area where they were storing excess signs and couldn’t find any.

Otherwise from that, it ended up being a really enjoyable experience, as the chunk from Southfields – Embankment is my Mon-Thurs Commute (Fri is Southfields – Aldgate East) and it was the first time I ever made the journey getting on and off at every stop. Some stops I could just hop off, snap a pic and jump back on the carriage; others, like Putney Bridge and Fulham Broadway had multiple types of roundels and were worth a poke around.

It was interesting to see also all the station features that I’ve never noticed before (while busy commuting and getting annoyed with crowds, signal failures etc) including some very optimistic stickering by Chelsea fans.

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Needless to say, I made zero friends doing this today and attracted a lot of weird looks. Every time they made the ‘if you see anything suspicious please tell a member of staff’ announcement, I could feel everyone’s eyes on me and I couldn’t help but think ‘yeah, actually this qualifies as suspicious. Y’all should probably tell someone.”

Commute Square

“‘Commute’ in it’s original sense means to give something in exchange for something else, or to change one thing for another. A criminal sentence might ‘commuted’ from, say, hanging, to life imprisonment….This new kind of travel, commuting in the modern sense, was a new thing: traveling a considerable distance, there and back every day, in order to work in one place while you lived in another.” – John Lanchester, What We Talk About When We Talk About The Tube

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