Numbers 1-25

Which station makes sailors seasick?These aren’t unique to Turnham Green, but seem to be in much better condition here than elsewhere along the District line.

Should you be at all taken by the shape and the sheen of a good bench, moreover one that incorporates both a crisp slab of signage and half a dozen windows to boot, then the station least beloved by seasick sailors* is the place to be.

There’s a quiet, gentle beauty to such atypically multi-purpose public transport furniture.

Two things are going on here. One is an appreciation of form, and the other is an attention to detail. Each complements the other, and from their marriage emerges the sort of place I’d be happy to sit for half an hour or so, cocooned from other people and the elements, with only my thoughts and a good (but not great) book for company.

Attention has also been paid to how they look as part of the station as a whole.

See how the dashes of white on the columns supporting the roof line up perfectly with the white on either end of the benches:

A bench benchmark The colours in turn mirror those on the roof itself, which is a rather fine piece of architecture in its own right thanks to that intricate threading of wood and metal.

Either tucked up inside or facing them from an adjacent platform, you can’t help but feel these benches have benefited from having that extra bit of thought, even love, put into their construction.

And that feeling is what encourages you again and again to conclude that the Underground is a thing of greatness. For where else is the same care lavished upon somewhere to rest your legs as somewhere to carry millions of people under a giant river four times or 18 metres over a valley?

*An oldie, but a goldie.

Peer-ivalePerivale station was given Grade II listed status in July 2011. I’m surprised this took so long. The building was opened in 1947, meaning a total of 64 years passed before it was deemed worth protecting in law.

This does seem an awfully lengthy period. I’d have thought – or hoped – the station’s elegance and style would have been self-evident the moment it was finished.

Perhaps there was lingering ill-feeling towards such a unashamedly modernist construction taking the place of what went before, for there has been a station a Perivale since 1904. And to be fair, the original incarnation does sound quite charming, with “long wooden platforms” and “pagoda huts”.

But times, and tastes, change. I’m not sorry this rather dashing building exists.

On the list

Minute precisionI didn’t go looking for these. I found them by accident while searching for something else. As is always the case in such circumstances, their discovery was all the more delightful.

I spotted two of them, though there may be more. One is in the main hall of the Hammersmith station that serves the Piccadilly and District lines. Another is on the westbound District line platform.

I received more than the usual number of inquisitive, not to say menacing, looks from passers-by when taking photos of the clocks, especially the one in the entrance hall.

About faceFunny how, whenever I’m taking these kinds of photographs, a message is “suddenly” broadcast over the station’s public address system reminding passengers to report any “suspicious-looking behaviour”.

If it’s meant to be intimidatory, it works. I always put my camera away and beat a retreat.

By the big handThe clocks are, as the pictures hopefully suggest, completely charming. The colours of the two lines the station serves – Piccadilly (dark blue) and District (green) – form the outer ring, while the 12 hours of the day are denoted by the Underground map symbols for a station and an interchange. So simple, but so effective.

Why the hands of the clock are the colour of the Central line, which runs nowhere near Hammersmith, is another matter… although if it’s been done just to make the whole timepiece look nice, that’s fine with me.