how gaps can be charming
the Evening Standard made an interesting non-story
last week about the charm of warning people that
they risked falling onto the rat infested
How British is that? It's the way that the warning
is given and apparently the person whose voice
Originally there was Oswald Lawrence, an actor,
on the Northern Line. No, he didn't act there.
On the Central , it was Peter Lodge's
timbre that saved many a shoe from
He did it because the actor he signed up
to do it wanted royalties. I'll bet he was
willing to count trains too.
London's U-ground used to be ashamed of
their gaps because they were dangerous
and looked like the bad engineering that
they were. But, nothing like tea and
a warm voice to smooth things over, over here.
Now, of course, it's a money-making venture
with mugs and t-shirts and other useless bumf.
well, people gotta drink, and wear something to
spill something on.
There's the American comic perspective too.
Arj Barker says "I don't mind the gap. In fact
I love it." Never lost a shoe, then.
There's the personal. In my experience as
a young lad, the gap that we were interested
in was between girls' legs.
The bigger the gap, the fitter the girl, was the
I don't mind that gap. In fact, I love it.
I know when I've been beat. There's this Chive
website that does this regularly:
Oh ya? Chive? Well, check this knowledge, son:
checkit: Eve Standard
Andrew Martin: Why ‘mind the gap’ is central to London’s charm
12 March 2013
Until last year, the iconic “mind the gap” announcement on the northbound Northern line platform at Embankment was one of the original, rather schoolmasterly ones. Yet Dr Margaret McCollum would make pilgrimages to hear it — because it was spoken by her actor husband, Oswald Laurence, in the late 1960s; he had died in 2007.
Last November, Dr McCollum realised that a new, more emollient voice had replaced that of her husband. She wrote to London Underground, which has promised to restore her husband’s recording. The widespread coverage of this heart-warming tale confirms the appeal of the gnomic injunction to “mind the gap”.
Gaps occur where the curvature of the platform — usually necessitated by the need to skirt around important foundations — is greater than the curvature of a train. A friend of mine can list them all as a party piece, and once undertook to do this for me. Five minutes in, I stopped him and asked, “How long is this likely to take?” He said, “about 20 minutes”, so I asked him to confine himself to gaps on the Northern line, and he was off: “Woodside Park has a very slight
For those concerned about the damage to the world
from this post, there's comes help in the form
of Sociology prof Camille Paglia, who says that
male gaze theory is not logical:
Read 'em: Times Higher Education
Paglia goes on to criticise feminist critics who have
"waded into film studies with a theory that
'the male gaze' is intended to objectify and degrade
She adds: "The same argument was used about strip clubs.
Whenever they are shown in movies, you have this
ridiculous politically correct thing of the poor
women on stage and the men laughing derisively.
"But I went to three different strip clubs for Penthouse
in 1994, and what I saw was the woman on stage ruling
the room and the men desperate for their attention,
begging them to take their money."