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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
21
Secret Underground London
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£24.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 1 July 2017
bought as a father's day present, he was very pleased with it and has found lots of new information he didn't know
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on 13 November 2017
Nice book
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on 26 June 2017
Item as described ...
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on 8 September 2014
If you have never realised the world of "secret" structures hidden from view underground in our capital city, you should get this book. It's an eye opener. I knew a little about there being some disused underground stations in London, but much of the information in the book was quite new to me. It is both interesting and sometimes rather shocking to learn of how many underground stations were decommissioned after as few as 10 years of use, due to inappropriate sites and therefore insufficient passenger numbers to make them financially viable. King William Street station is a case in point, work being started on the line from Elephant and Castle and Borough to the terminus at King William Street in 1896 and closed in 1900. Looking back, it's easy to think that market research into potential and likely passenger traffic was either still in embryo, or a very new and untried experiment. However, much more recently, there was the bank of escalators to take passengers from Charing Cross underground on the Jubilee line up to the Bakerloo line. Because the plan to continue the Jubilee Line from Charing Cross was changed and the Jubilee Line continued instead from Green Park, the new banks of escalators connecting Charing Cross to the Bakerloo Line were simply not needed. The Charing Cross station on the Jubilee line and the banks of escalators were closed to passenger traffic in 1999, though they were practically new at the time, just no longer needed. The line between Green Park and Charing Cross and the banks of escalators are now let out from time to time to film companies wanting a reasonably modern-looking set for a film of the underground. The pictures throughout this book are stunning - the author Nick Catford is to be highly commended for taking the trouble to visit so many intriguing places under London and photograph them for us to enjoy. There are in addition to old underground workings and stations some wartime bunkers scattered across the London area, and pictures showing how some of the now disused tubes were converted into accommodation for the London public as air-raid shelters. There is a stunning picture of a subway at Crystal Palace, where the ceiling is supported by pillars in the manner of an undercroft, and the most beautiful ornate patterning of the tiled brickwork fans from the top of the pillars to the roof itself, which we are told was done by Italian craftsmen, expert in such work, specially brought to England from Italy for the purpose. In addition, Nick Catford ranges out from London to give a general idea of the various Surrey stone quarries, Gatton Park and Godstone Hill, which were at one time served by a railway known locally as "the quarry line". There are also pictures of "ops" rooms at RAF Uxbridge, Royal Observer Corps monitoring posts at Northolt, Hounslow, Elstree, Morden and Knockholt, a set of Great Eastern Railway personnel files mouldering to dust on shelves at Bishopsgate Goods Station, RAF Fighter Command Bunkers at Bentley Priory, in a remarkably good state of preservation, and the old GPO underground railway back in London. A further item of interest is shown on the front cover as well as in the book itself - old coffins stacked on shelves at West Norwood Cemetary, catacombs now disused, but still with plenty of room for more coffins! The book is not cheap, but such good value for the price. It is a real pleasure - the paper is heavy china-clay finish, and smells delicious, the pictures are without exception clear and informative, as is the text. My sole gripe is that it is so weighty, it is impossible to hold it for any length of time without getting aching wrists, so if you're going to get it, have a cushion handy, or get a book stand to prop it on! Highly recommended.
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on 14 July 2014
I bought this book as a present for my husband. He is absolutely fascinated by both the photographs and information and says that, having read it all the way through, he will keep dipping in and out of sections in order to learn more. It is an excellent read and explains clearly that 'other world' under London and the hidden history of bygone times.
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on 19 August 2013
Excellent book with some excellent pictures and as a Londoner and a transport and London enthusiast it was great to find out some little details about which I've never been able to find out elsewhere.
The only (slight!) drawback is the size and weight of the book !
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on 8 January 2014
I bought this book as a gift and the recipient was delighted. It is thoroughly researched and filled with up to date photographs. My friend is particularly interested in closed underground stations and already had a high regard for the author's work,but has also found the other topics of great interest.
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on 14 June 2013
Super book & photographs of places you will never visit. This covers many aspects of an unseen city. Highly recommended.
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on 31 January 2016
This is an expensive book which is very well produced and nicely written. The photography is amazing and there are countless pictures here which cannot be found anywhere else. You will learn amazing things about underground tunnels and vaults in London. The caveat is whether you really need to do so. There are only so many brilliant pictures of mysterious ventilation shafts, of disused wartime control centres and former railway yards that can keep me gripped. My view is that it is a little over-zealous and that the pictures could have been scaled back by 50%, the 24 chapters by about 25% and the price similarly and this would have been a 5 star book.
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on 19 February 2016
I went to West Norwood catacombs which it shown on the front cover and it inspired me to purchase this book.

Very interesting
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