As much as I like to moan about the London Underground (don’t we all?), I secretly love our much-maligned transport system. In the grand scheme of things, TFL does an incredible job keeping a cosmopolitan city like London running.
As the oldest subway/metro/tube/whatever you want to call it transport in the world, the London Underground has a rich history of its own. So when the chance to visit the London Transport Museum Acton Depot Weekend came round, I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity.
Open to the public just 3 weekends each year, typically in April, July and September, this infinitely-fascinating depot is crammed with vintage tube stocks spanning more than 100 years to explore.
Once in, I snooped around old tube carriages from the swinging ’60s, sought out my local tube station from the vintage school tube maps on mezzanine dedicated to signage, and allowed my imagination to picture what London would have looked like with these old London buses on the road.
It felt like warping back through time
Like many, I was most excited at the prospect of stepping into train carriages from years gone by. To my delight, I saw that the old advertisement boards were preserved and so was the wooden floors. It felt like warping back through time and for any history buff like me, it was brilliant to feel so immersed in the past.
It wasn’t just the old trains that that you could look in, but the London buses too.
Tours and lectures took place throughout the day while the back area was where I found the food trucks supplying the sustenance needed to wander around this endlessly intriguing depot.
I very rarely purchase souvenirs, but for the more inclined, you can take home all sorts including ceramic wall tiles from Sloane Square station and even a Jubilee line train door button. Why you’d want to is beyond me but to each their own, eh?
But it also attracted families too with young kids in tow.
I noticed that the depot attracted the older crowd, reminiscing the days when these ornate machines and old carriages were once whisking Londoners to their destination. But it also attracted families too with young kids in tow. Family-fun zones and activities were set up around the depot to keep little ones busy and inspired. It’s an attraction for all ages.
As much as we love to loathe the tube, it is an intrinsic part of London’s lives and that millions of us have come to rely upon so heavily, including me. It deserves some love. I highly recommend visiting.
Book tickets to the next Acton Open Weekend on their website.