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God's Wandering RelicsAnother unexpected find. These benches must be at least almost a century old, for they bear the emblem of a company that helped to build and run this stretch of track long before anyone thought or tried to stitch together a single, unified Underground.

They’re on the Hammersmith platforms that are served by the Hammersmith and City and the Circle lines. It’s a chunk of the network that’s been subject to a number of revamps and rebrandings during the last 150 years. Decades ago it was the Metropolitan line that terminated here; centuries ago it was the Hammersmith and City Railway.

Each name change brought its own batch of new signs, furnishings and corporate clutter. Much will have been cleared up and thrown away down the years. But these benches have somehow survived, and they bear the imprint of the Great Western Railway: the company that helped build this bit of the line all the way back in 1863-64.

GWR: God’s Wonderful Relics, Granted Wise Reprieve.

Granted Wasteful Reprieve

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.