68. The wall stencil at Stepney Green
Stepney Green station opened in 1902, and while the booking hall still boasts many of its original fixtures and fittings, for me the best spot in the whole building is – as with so many locations in life – halfway down the stairs.
Here you’ll find, stencilled on to the wall, a fading but impressively legible instruction to anyone confused as to where they should progress having purchased their ticket, and to those also curious as to where this angled sequence of steps may conclude.
The vintage of the stencil isn’t obvious, but the lettering suggests something richly antiquated and the whole design is saturated with nostalgic charm:
London’s Underground: it isn’t really anywhere, it’s somewhere else instead.
I would guess from the typeface that it couldn’t be post-1920s. But the thing that beguiles me most is that the pointing hand has not only a well-tailored sleeve and shirt cuff, but a rather elegant cufflink!