Hidden London tours
This month, I thought I would talk about some of the best heritage tours I have been on in recent years, the Hidden London tours. In February I went on a tour of Down Street Station, my third Hidden London tour over the last year, the first two being at Clapham South Station and 55 Broadway.
Hidden London tours are organised and run by the London Transport Museum in agreement with Transport for London (TFL). On the tours, you are shown around by some of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers and staff of Hidden London. The tours offer a glimpse at some of the disused stations of the London Underground system, telling you about the history of the original station and other uses it might have had, such as an air raid shelter. When in the stations or building, you can feel yourself become immersed in the history of the site, imagining them as they were in their heyday.
As I said, I have visited Down Street Station, this is described as Churchill’s secret bunker, having sheltered down there for a period in WW2; Clapham South Station, which served as a deep level air raid shelter during WW2; and 55 Broadway, the high art deco building created as the head offices of London Transport (now TFL) in the 1920s. But these are just small parts of the histories these sites have to tell.
I would recommend any of these tours for both history and train enthusiasts, and anybody who is just fascinated by being able to explore places normally off limits. You will learn and experience the history of the sites and have a chance to see the intricacies of how they worked.
If you would like to find out more or want to join one of the Hidden London Tours, I would recommend joining the London Transport Museum newsletter mailing list to find out when new tour dates and tickets are released.
By Annabelle Arnold, Resilience Syndicate Intern