More than just a quota picture, honest.
Considering I’ve never lived in London, I have always had a strange fascination with the London Underground. I’ve never lived in Budapest, Paris or Berlin either, but I have a strange fascination with their underground systems as well. Sheffield, Oxford and Cape Town don’t have underground systems (too hilly, too small and big flat lump of rock in way, respectively), but I was happy to flirt briefly with the Metro in Newcastle whilst studying there. It was fun for a while, but it was never going to last. I was so hurt when I discovered that she had been allowing other people to ride her during our time together.
Anyway, one of the best known things about the London Underground, aside from its innate ability to attract young muslim men with rucksacks, is the famous network map. First devised by Harry Beck in 1931, the evolved version is now a design classic and inspired Simon Patterson’s 1992 piece The Great Bear, which I don’t have a copy of.
What I do have is a copy of is the map above by Gerald Higgins, downloaded from here. And, thanks to my wonderful wife, it is now framed and sitting (vertically) on the wall right next to me.
Yes, this is the UK Motorway System documented in the style of Beck’s Underground map.
Revisiting Higgins’ site recently, I see that he now has another one (which has nothing to do with Beck or the Tube) to add to my collection: It’s Grim Up North – a map showing all the towns and cities mention in the KLF’s 1991 song of the same name.