Inspired By…Local Colour

This afternoon I have been cosied up on the couch with the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on telly in the background. The banks of the Thames are alive with cheering folk and British-themed bunting, adding a whole lot of local colour to an otherwise grey and drizzly London day.

But this is not a Jubilee post – having already given a nod to Her Majesty just last week – but rather a celebration of local colour right here in Fab Finchley…at our local railway station.

Finchley Central station is on the Northern Line (High Barnet branch) of the London Underground. It was originally opened in 1867 as Finchley & Hendon on a line that ran between Finsbury and Edgware. In 1872 a branch line to High Barnet was constructed and in 1894, the station was renamed Finchley (Church End). It was incorporated into the London Underground network during the 1930s and took its current name – Finchley Central – on April 1st, 1940.

Last night I went into London to see The Duchess of Malfi at The Old Vic so I set off to catch the tube from Finchley Central as usual. The early evening sky was traditional bank holiday grey and I whizzed through the ticket barrier, down the stairs and on to the open air platform hoping that the skies would not see fit to open upon my arrival there. (Contrary to popular belief, parts of the London Underground are not, in fact, under ground.) And not for the first time, I gasped softly in delight.

You see, Platform 3 (for trains travelling south to London) had been transformed into a riot of glorious Spring colour. I’ve seen this testament to green thumbed locals before but the last few weeks of rain – sun – rain has brought forth vibrant purples, bashful pinks, delicate whites and golden yellows in abundance. And as a picture paints a thousand words, here’s a little photo tour for you that I prepared earlier (I love my HTC Desire):

This was my first glimpse – look at all that glorious colour!
Here’s a little nod to the Olympics – but keep this under your hat. We wouldn’t want the organisers to know!
There was some Union Jack-ery in evidence too…
…and a sweet attempt at prettying up ‘Bill Steamshovel’.
There were also a few quirky critters dotted around.
There were a few of these piggy planters…

…a bee who’d come to see a man about a dog…
..and some sheep (a big ‘un and a lil ‘un).
And what’s this hiding in the grass? More quirk-ery perhaps?
It looks to me like a bunny with ears made of carrots!

Isn’t it pretty? There’s real sense of pride – not to mention fun – evident as you walk along the length of the garden and I caught myself smiling as I discovered each of its quirky inhabitants.

So it’s a big (green) thumbs up to the folk at Finchley Central Tube station for making my damp, grey evening just a little less grey. Well done old chaps!

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