Pig-headed to the very last, bolshie to the soles of his cavalry twill socks, Mr TubeforLOLs proudly announces The TubeforLOLs Awards – The LOL-OSCARS celebrating the ordinary, the tedious, the it-has-to-be-better-in-an-alternate-universe, as well as the good lunches, the heavenly hanging baskets, the extraordinary encounters, the delightful surpises and, of course, Mr T’s very own teases. With fellow judges, The Inner Curmudgeon and The Wee Professor, Mr T has short-listed candidates for each category below. The final decisions will be made public at the Gala LOL-OSCARS Awards Ceremony on Monday 16 December and are recorded here for posterity.


Special Readers Prize – See separate page METRO.


Wow! You should have seen the long-list for this most prized of awards. Alas, Bounds Green, Bushey, Croxley, Hainault, Hangar Lane, Limehouse, Upminster Bridge, West Harrow and many others haven’t made the short-list:

  • Anerley (A Sorry Little Parade of Shops, etc … [5/80])
  • Headstone Lane (A Harrowing Tale etc … [38/80])
  • Kilburn Park (Adventures in Yonderland [44/80])
  • South Hampstead (Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics [62/80])

And the WINNER is:


(All the short-list were sorry, very sorry, but Headstone Lane was the worst – the photo was even used (without a credit) by a Tory Councillor in Derbyshire for his newsletter to show how bad living in London was!)


Hotly contested, many neighbourhoods will be fuming that they’ve missed the cut including – Edgware Road, Elephant & Castle, Leyton, Newbury Park, New Cross Gate, Peckham Rye, Tottenham Hale and Wapping. Short-list:

  • Finchley Road / Swiss Cottage (Mornington Crescent Blues [32/80] and How The Luggage etc [66/80])
  • Finsbury Park (Mornington Crescent Blues [32/80])
  • Sloane Square (Ambiguous Neighbourhoods, etc [61/80])
  • Tooting Bec / Tooting Common (Of Beauty, Change and Loss [67/80])

And the WINNER is:


(Finsbury Park – with its pedestrians’ wilful disregard of traffic – almost won this. But the Tootings pipped them, partly because of the crabwise weaving of the Bec’s terminal alcoholics, partly because of the sheer numbers of emergency vehicles fighting their way through the two-way 24-hour snarl-up.)


Neighbourhoods of utter devastation (e.g. Bromley-by-Bow, Harlesden, Star Lane) or because of special circumstances (Northwick Park and South Kenton can’t be blamed for Northwick Park Hospital) were excluded. Nevertheless, there was no scratching around for a short-list:

  • Canons Park (Journeying through Smudges, etc [17/80]
  • Hatton Cross (A Harrowing Tale … [38/80]
  • Leyton (Four Short Straws [46/80]
  • Stonebridge Park (Tilting At Windmills [65/80])

And the WINNER is:


(Beaten-up parade of shops, broken-up road, bashed-up houses. Canons Park may have got better if I’d ventured further out but I was being bombarded by biblical-sized hailstones – and that, surely, was a sign from Him Upstairs?)


Places Mr T hadn’t visited before, or perhaps passed through without noticing, where he had no idea what to expect or had a completely muddle-headed idea of what was there. Some neighbourhoods surprised pleasingly, others swarmed with alligators. Those on the short-list surprised in spades:

  • Alperton (The Exotic, the Mundane and The Inner Curmudgeon [4/80])
  • Gallions Reach (Krispy Kreme Dreams [34/80])
  • Imperial Wharf (We Need To Talk About Kennington [41/80])
  • West Acton (Five Views Of Shangri-La [73/80])

And the WINNER is:


(Imperial Wharf with its million-pound flats on the Thames bought as investments by super-rich Arabs almost got the prize. It was pipped by Alperton and its totally unexpected and wedding-cake wonderful Hindu temple, the Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir. )



Lets get this over as quickly as possible. Short-list:

  • Canons Park to Chalfont & Latimer (Journeying through Smudges, etc [17/80])
  • Chalk Farm to Chigwell (An Excess of Imagination etc [18/80])
  • Harrow & Wealdstone to Headstone Lane (A Harrowing Tale etc [38/80])
  • Holland Park to the Hounslows (The Good, the Bad and the Missing Post [42/80])
  • South Acton to South Kensington (Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics [62/80])

And the WINNER is:


(It was no accident that the post was called A Harrowing Tale of Staggering Fortitude Against Impossible Odds. The Harrows won it, tubes-down. )


A running theme / sore – stations named after places nowhere near the station, or that give the wrong idea of the station, or haven’t moved with the times. Short-list:

  • Chiswick Park / Turnham Green [ Toot! Toot! etc [19/80] and A Fruity Little Number [69/80])
  • Rayners Lane (aka Zoroastrians Lane – 2013: A Tube Odyssey [57/80])
  • Royal Oak (Around The Tube In Eighty Posts [59/80])
  • South Hampstead (Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics [62/80])
  • Stratford International (no international railway services from here: Tilting At Windmills [65/80]))

And the WINNER is:


(No oaks and nothing remotely royal-like about either station or neighbourhood. )


London abounds with parks, country parks, town-squares, community gardens, nearly all balm to Mr T’s soul. Alas, too many failed to make the short-list:

  • Hoxton (St Mary’s Secret Garden in We Need To Talk About Kennington [41/80]))
  • Island Gardens (time-warp; stunning views across the Thames to Greenwich in We Need etc [41/80]))
  • Regents Park (2013: A Tube Odyssey)
  • Temple (Inns of Court Gardens in Of Beauty, Change and Loss [67/80] )
  • Wanstead Park (Wanstead Flats in Tears Before Bedtime [71/80])

And the WINNER is:

Hoxton – St Mary’s Secret Garden

(Wanstead Park is for psycho-geographers, Island Gardens Regents Park and Temple for tourists, but St Mary’s wins hands down because it’s a delight, a secret and a working oasis for the people of Hoxton. )


A constant joy through the spring and summer – hanging baskets, free-standing pavement displays, beds and displays at stations. Too many to mention – short-list:

  • Ealing neighbourhoods (not Northolt, see Rivers of Babylon [51/80] for North Ealing and Northfields)
  • Northwood (A Three Pipe Problem [52/80])
  • Stratford High Street (Tilting At Windmills [65/80])
  • Theydon Bois (Of Beauty, Change and Loss [67/80])
  • Turnham Green station (A Fruity Little Number [69/80])

And the WINNER is:


(No longer are hanging-baskets found only on pubs. They are everywhere and there’s definite competition between local authorities. Newham Council, with Stratford High Street, ran Ealing Council close but in the end the West London borough won it for sheer blanket coverage. )



As Samuel Johnson said, ‘A man who is tired of the Tube hasn’t had a good lunch’. Many tired and wilting paninis have passed my lips this year often in unconvivial surroundings. But toothsome and companionable succour has been received in Brixton, Eastcote, East Ham, Hampstead, Parsons Green, Rayners Lane, Upton Park and Wembley Park amongst others. The short-list:

  • Hackney Wick  (the Hackney Pearl in The Long Delays of Justice [36/80])
  • Kingsbury (the Rose Vegetarian Restaurant in Adventures in Yonderland [44/80])
  • Rickmansworth (lunch on the narrowboat, Justice, in The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Curmudgeons [58/80])
  • Westbourne Park (the Galicia in Happy Talk [74/80])

And the WINNER is:

The Galicia in Westbourne Park

(All eateries provided fine dining at pretty good prices. But dining is about the company as well as the food. The Galicia wins over the lunch with Steve & Moira in their narrowboat, Justice, only because it’s a restaurant and open to everyone. Besides which, Steve & Moira are currently moored somewhere on the Llangollen Canal – even the Metropolitan line doesn’t go that far!)


TubeforLOLs has been graced by many encounters – with Station Attendants, Tube Drivers, Shopkeepers, workers and members of the public at Boston Manor, Chiswick, Cockfosters, Leytonstone, Paddington, Poplar, South Woodford, Swiss Cottage, Theydon Bois, Tooting Bec, Tottenham Hale, etc. Short-list:

  • Elverson Road (The Prodigal Son [29/80])
  • Plaistow (Bewitched in Plaistow, Spellbound in Poplar [55/80])
  • Totteridge & Whetstone (Accentuate The Positive! [68/80])
  • Willesden Green (They Shoot Sofas, Don’t They? [77/80]

And the WINNER is:

Elverson Road

(The meeting with our old colleague, Frances Lass, at Willesden Green would have won if the award had been given for the most unlikely coincidence. But my meeting with Candi, his persuading me back to his mother’s flat in an awful tower block near Lewisham, the encounter with both them and his ‘Uncle’ Tony – Italian rather than West Indian – has to rate overall as the most unexpected.)


Mr T’s teases have mainly been small whether at Canary Wharf, Dollis Hill, Newbury Park, Penge West, Shepherd’s Bush … Or the many jokes I’ve played on you, Dear Readers, with fake literary & other references (Come in Ben Johnson, Shakespeare, Defoe, Goldsmith, Dickens, RLS – your time is up!) and more. The short-list is:

  • Knightsbridge (My attempt to buy an alligator for my brother, Jim, in Sweetly the Valley Thrushes Sing [45/80])
  • Mornington Crescent (I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue [50/80] And, of course, this tease goes on …)
  • Old Street (Declaration of the Free Democratic Republic of Silicon Holm in Deeds Not Words [53/80])
  • TubeforLOLs – The Movie (My Wimbledon Epiphany [63/80] CATCH IT AGAIN ON ITS OWN PAGE – ‘MOVIE’)

And the WINNER is:


(It has to be Knightsbridge if only because it was the tease that bit back. There I was, supposedly buying an alligator for my brother Jim. Then, before I knew where I was, I had almost made a down-payment on an alligator!)

One thought on “LOL-OSCARS

  1. Marilyn Rogers

    as per last post i will have more time n retirement from teaching next year to read and enjoy all the bogposts from a sometime tube user, tfl oyster60+user and granddaughter of a london Transport signalman at Neasden (length working 48years and 9months)


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