10th February 2020 · ‘The Bank Job’

Presenter: Lester Hillman

Of the 25 or so persons present at Weston Favell on 10th February 2020 to listen to Lester Hillman give a presentation headed “The Bank Job”, there were several ideas offered of what to expect! Suggestions were banking duties on Shap, or Dainton; a history of specialist banking locomotives; or an update of London railway upgrades.

In fact, Lester gave a professional lecture on the unique details of Bank station and Junction underground site, during which we learned that there are around 270 stations on the London underground system, of which eleven are underneath the City of London.

Bank station handles approximately 52 million passengers a year. Also within the City, Moorgate handled 25 million and St. Pauls, 17 million, as at 2014.

We were informed that coping with maintenance had become somewhat more difficult since “the night tube” began its current operation in 2016. All sorts of non-rail events within the overground area of the City serve to cause difficulties at weekends. An event likely to cause difficulty in 2020 is expected to be the celebration of the “Eagle” comics 70th anniversary in April and the incidence of the Samaritans 1953 start-up date may well do likewise.

Other thought provoking comments came regarding “buskers” and the room they take up – an area that would, if left unsupervised, or challenged, would only spread outwards. Apparently if some buskers knew what they could find under their feet with a very large drill, and a great deal of private time to use it, they would never feel the need to busk again!

Information came thick and fast thanks to a good use of statistical charts, but perhaps the strangest one was the answer to a Quiz question that most of us are yet to be asked. It would seem that the highest point above sea level on the original Monopoly board is “The Angel”, Islington. Even stranger is that the phrase “not many people know that” went unuttered by the assembled throng.

This was an unusual subject, full of interest, professionally given by a Speaker who really knew his subject.