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London Underground's Northern Heights
December 23, 2009 6:12 AM   Subscribe

An excellent short film about a branch of the London Underground that was never built.
posted by cillit bang (31 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Background on Wikipedia here, more photos here and more about a different part of the scheme here and here.
posted by cillit bang at 6:13 AM on December 23, 2009


That was awesome! Give me more! Unfinished London, that is.
posted by intermod at 6:38 AM on December 23, 2009


That was pretty damn good.
posted by grouse at 6:42 AM on December 23, 2009


That was awesome! Give me more! Unfinished London, that is.

Yes, absolutely, I agree, ^THIS, etc! In the meantime, is there a London equivalent to, say, Forgotten NY?
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:48 AM on December 23, 2009


Beardygran was kinda posh, wasn't she?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:01 AM on December 23, 2009


Very cool.
posted by atrazine at 7:04 AM on December 23, 2009


I love it and its low-budget but high-enthusiasm quality.
posted by Sova at 7:06 AM on December 23, 2009


Not bad at all. Would love to see more of this. Makes me feel kind of relieved that in this case the irreversible change from countryside into suburbs was avoided. Also makes me wonder what this country might look like if the sprawl had halted earlier on, and just built up vertically like Hong Kong or something.

Interesting stuff.
posted by Acey at 7:15 AM on December 23, 2009


I really enjoyed that, especially as I used to live around there. Charming presenter.

Love the fake letter at 4.01 as well.
posted by cryptozoology at 7:40 AM on December 23, 2009


I would totally watch a TV series of more of this stuff.
posted by toekneebullard at 7:52 AM on December 23, 2009


I would have killed for a Northern Line station at either Stroud Green or Crouch End.

Finsbury Park station just isn't as awesome.

Thanks for this!
posted by generichuman at 7:54 AM on December 23, 2009


Wonderful, even for those of us who live sarf of the river and have heard of but never seen one of these mythical "underground" trains :)
posted by fallingbadgers at 7:59 AM on December 23, 2009


Give me more! Unfinished London, that is.

The Northern Heights scheme is kind of on its own in terms of getting so far and then abandoned. There's a similar film to be made about the perpetually-about-to-be-greenlit Croxley Rail Link, and a few bits and pieces elsewhere: the Fleet Line to Thamesmead, the deep level District and the express Northern Line.

Outside London, nothing quite rivals Charleroi in Belgium, which has whole lines and branches that were completed but never opened.
posted by cillit bang at 8:10 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


nthing Give me more! Also: more things need to have British people saying the words Bushy Heath repeatedly.
posted by edbles at 8:48 AM on December 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sweet! (Him and the documentary.)
posted by binturong at 9:17 AM on December 23, 2009


That was better and more interesting than most of the doc stuff on tv at the moment....
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:30 AM on December 23, 2009


As an anglophile and ex-urban planner, this ticks all the boxes for me. I'd pay to watch the whole series if it ever got produced. Great find cillit bang!
posted by gofargogo at 9:50 AM on December 23, 2009


Fantastic! Just my kind of thing, what with being from London and all that, and I've just finished reading this which covered the same subject; click here
posted by kenchie at 10:55 AM on December 23, 2009


Fabulous video, well presented, researched and paced. Would watch more!
posted by maxwelton at 11:09 AM on December 23, 2009


Completely amazing that an amateur youtube video about trains and town planning history, was funny, informative and very well presented. I might write a letter to Channel 4.
posted by greytape at 11:17 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brilliant. And I think I know the producer, though his name at the end was a shock.
posted by alasdair at 11:41 AM on December 23, 2009


Terrific video, more please. I hope he gets some musician to contribute original music, however, instead of the canned stuff.
posted by davejay at 11:53 AM on December 23, 2009


That was quite fun to watch actually.
It can be fun to read the history of your urban landscape. My local favourite was to see the remnants of different stages of the waterlinie; a line of fortresses and carefully constructed inundation areas.
Hey, if it worked to keep out the Spaniards in the 17th century why wouldn't it keep out this mr Hitler we've been hearing so much about lately.
posted by joost de vries at 12:13 PM on December 23, 2009


That was great, even considering the clich├ęd bouncy-bouncy editing (similar to the late, lamented Wild Chicago). I have to say I understand more about London geography after that than I could have imagined.
posted by dhartung at 12:16 PM on December 23, 2009


Is it typical for british TV that the presenter must always walk around hurriedly while talking? I mean, he even runs along the M1 at one point. Why does he do that?
(It reminded me of the Mitchell & Webb - Football, Football, Football bit)

Fascinating video though, thanks for sharing.
posted by ts;dr at 1:11 PM on December 23, 2009


pretty cool
posted by djmayne2001 at 2:37 PM on December 23, 2009


That was a pleasure to watch. Thank you!

There's heaps more information about disused/abandoned London underground stations and lines at these information-rich, but terribly ugly websites. And of course there's a couple of good articles at Wikipedia.
posted by jonesor at 5:02 PM on December 23, 2009


Excellent video; although this was clearly made because the presenter lives in the area, one would hope that they expand it to other parts of London.
posted by armage at 6:44 PM on December 23, 2009


I can sympathize. The Hobb's lane extension was never finished, for some reason.
posted by SPrintF at 6:53 PM on December 23, 2009


Hey, if it worked to keep out the Spaniards in the 17th century why wouldn't it keep out this mr Hitler we've been hearing so much about lately.

Airplanes. Specifically: Rotterdam bound bombers.
posted by atrazine at 10:52 PM on December 23, 2009


Jay Foreman's website has several other videos, but they focus on his career as a singer of silly songs (his words).
posted by Hoenikker at 9:59 AM on December 30, 2009


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