8. The platform clocks at Gants Hill

Telling the time, sensibly, steadilyThey’re not ideal if you’re trying to teach someone to tell the time. In fact they are useless. But in every other regard – which admittedly are not many – the platform clocks at Gants Hill are to be praised.

In a station graced with more eye-catching features than most, thanks chiefly to the inspired machinations of its architect Charles Holden, the clocks are understated gems.

Their design could be said to be informed by the same principles that guided Harry Beck towards his groundbreaking London Underground map: that less is sometimes more; that information should be there to serve others and not simply itself; and that on occasions the fundamentals of time, place and space are not actually that important. After all, a glance at the hands of a clock are all most of us ever want or need.

They also boast an abundance of Underground roundels – and, let’s be honest, you can never have too many of them.

Gants for the memory

  1. Almost everything about Gants Hill is gorgeous; I hope this gets multiple return visits. The only sadness is there’s no surface building, just subways. There were plans for a clock tower but it was never built.

    Personally I’d love to have one of these clocks in my home. But there’s so much about the Underground I want to yank off the wall and stick in my living room.

    • Yup, I’ll definitely be returning here. If there was such a thing as the Holden Globe Awards (do you see?), Gants Hill would be nominated in almost every category.

  2. Christopher Hilton said:

    Incidentally there are also clocks like this at Bethnal Green.

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