Walking between Holborn Underground Station and Russell Square, I have often wondered about this tunnel:
Recently my curiosity built up to such a level that I conducted an internet search of the phrase: tunnel tramtracks near holborn. Insultingly, my search engine corrected my spelling of tramtracks to tram tracks and directed me to an article about the (frankly crassly named) “Kingsway tramway subway” on the Simple English Wikipedia. My pride was wounded by this species of pedantic, arbitrary and apparently tasteless rules about compound nouns, which I had never before encountered.
However, I was confirmed in my suspicion that this tunnel near Holborn with tramtracks was exactly that. This is where a part of central London’s tram network, disbanded in the early 1950s, would dive underground, emerging again at Waterloo Bridge. There is something particularly exciting, to my mind, about the idea of a tram emerging from the bowels of the city to seamlessly join the realm of the living. This is probably for the same reason that I find myself walking from Holborn to Russell Square in the first place: because I can’t stand using the lifts on the Piccadilly Line. However, a secondary factor is a fond memory from my youth of the (admittedly) pie-in-the-sky public transport proposal for the city of Newcastle, to install a ‘diving tram’ network as an extension the current Metro system in the run up to the area’s bid for European City of Culture. However, for some reason Liverpool won the bid and the fantastically named Project Orpheus (as the plan was genuinely called) turned out to be doomed to failure!
For those of you who don’t quite get the sense of adventure, mystery and majesty that I have come to associate with this half-cetury dead transport conduit: just watch this!
Gertie the Beetroot Seed
a fist and could it could. a reel & be or & to up and be to down. perhaps alone & together it would not being in not & not yet still not not yet not. traintrack and articulate chalk.
a knuckle & bone, not yet but soon
The internet is often conceived of in (pseudo)biological terms. Videos go viral, fragments of language replicate themselves as memes, and yet when it comes to the subject of transmission we tend to degenerate into a nursery school cant about sharing. Here at Ecstatic we know what the internet is really all about: infection. Wyndham Lewis once said that laughter is the mind sneezing. If this is true, then a blog post is the majestic residue sliding down the window of the number 55 bus.
Ecstatic is a scrapbook, jotter and general soapbox for the thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams of the students of the London Consortium and all the fascinating people that we know. It is being launched in anticipation of the exciting renewal of the Consortium’s student edited journal Static as platform on which to make important announcements and build enthusiasm. We want to write about living and studying in London, about the things that we see and do, about things that we read, the places we go to and the things we organise. We want to take these things and lock them in a room together: Ecstatic is a chicken-pox party for suburban toddlers.
And we want to infect you too. For what is an infection if not something you share with a lover or give to a friend? Please leave comments or email us if you want to get involved with the blog or want to know more about Static magazine or the London Consortium in general.
Ecstatic is a sniffle in an early morning morning lecture, a chesty cough on a crowded tube carriage and a sneeze in the cinema when the lights go down.