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Review by The Londonist

Down The Tube: The Jubilee Line, by Carole Blacher and Judy Worham

The tube-exploring grannies are back, and they’ve changed from black to grey (tube line colours…not their hair). If our parenthetic comment sounds a bit cheeky, it’s because we feel we’ve got to know Carole and Judy, having enjoyed their repartee during adventures on the Northern and now Jubilee Lines.

Their idea is simple: visit every station on the Jubilee Line, see what there is to see in the surrounding area, then find somewhere for a re-energising cup of tea. The whole thing’s written as one big conversation between two old chums, which gives it a very different flavour to the zillions of other recent tube-themed books. The pair are both retired teachers, and as such have no qualms about asking questions of security guards and poking their noses into interesting places. We’re pretty sure they taught us something new about every station, even though we lived on the Jube for the best part of a decade. With bonus chapters on the Jubilee Depot, Emirates Air Line and the 2012 Olympics, this is a rib-tickling sequel and a good warm up for when they eventually tackle the 60-station District Line. Buy direct from Worbler Press.


We’re back!

It’s been a while since we blogged but now, with our new book completed and about to be released, we’re finally joining in the 150 years of celebration of the magnificent London Underground.  Having visited all fifty Northern Line stations and publishing our book in 2011, we decided to make our lives a little easier this time.  For our next book we chose the twenty-seven station line going to the Olympic site.  Starting in the freezing winter of 2012 we worked our way from Stanmore to Stratford, arriving at our goal two weeks before the opening Olympic ceremony.  It was quite a journey with lots of interest to see including a visit to the Camden Arts Centre, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Wembley Football Stadium, Florence Nightingale Museum and so much more.  Watch this space.  Here is a picture of Carole at Westfield which we visited as part of our initial reconnoitre.  We were impressed by the coffee…


Down the Tube The Jubilee LIne

London’s Favourite Line

Book cover Jub (7)

DOWN THE TUBE THE JUBILEE LINE by Carole Blacher and Judy Worham

Carole and Judy, the two zany companions seen on BBC TV’s The One Show earlier this year, continue their exploration of the London Underground with the second title in their next in the Down the Tube saga.  This time travelling along the length of the Jubilee Line, they get off at every stop, joking, bantering and discussing in their own inimitably entertaining way and finding places, people and stations of interest including:

  • Seeing half an elephant and men with sheep on their heads at Waterloo.
  • Crawling down the entrance shaft to Brunel’s famous tunnel between Bermondsey and Canada Water.
  • Coming over all arty-farty at Tate Modern.
  • Being forbidden to tread on Wembley Stadium’s hallowed turf, but sitting in the Royal Box.
  • Discovering  in the Royal Mews it’s not just cats that mew.
  • Bowled over by the elegant pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
  • Searching in vain for the missing planetarium but finding Sherlock omnipresent at Baker Street.
  • Feeling queasy at the Old Operating Theatre and learning the recipe for snail water at London Bridge.
  • Contemplating their spiritual side while marvelling at the beauty of Neasden Temple; practising mindfulness in the Willesden Buddhist Temple; covering their heads at the Central Mosque, and assimilating the history of Southwark Cathedral.
  • Being bowled over by the elegant pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Authors Carole and Judy said: ‘We had a great time swinging over the Thames on the cable car, and were dazzled by the modernity and efficiency of the Jubilee Line train depot.  Then there’s the stations themselves; some old, some impressively new, some borrowed from other lines, and one in particular, very blue.’ You can join the fun and discover amazing facts with Down the Tube the Jubilee Line for just £8.50 plus postage and packaging from www.worblerpress.com.

The Northern Line review by the Londonist says: ‘Carole and Judy are such joyful company you’d love to be a part of the adventure.’

For further information and to interview the authors contact worblerpress@yahoo.com.

BBC TV ‘The One Show’ features book, ‘Down The Tube: The Northern Line’

BBC TV program, ‘The One Show’ featured Judy and Carol, talking and singing about their book ‘Down The Tube: The Northern Line’.

This clip was broadcast on BBC TV on Wednesday 16th January 2013,  and here is their song:

‘You put a passenger in, a passenger out, in out, in out, you shake them all about.

You open doors, close doors and mind the gap. That’s what it’s all about.

All up the Northern Line, all up the Northern Line, all up the Northern Line.

Morden, Edgeware, High Barnet.

We are wondering if it might be the next gangnam style song to go vinyl.


The One Show

Carole and I met with a film crew on Monday and did our piece to camera which was cut about a lot.  We featured on the One Show for a good 30 seconds travelling along the Northern Line on the underground.  Also a part of our slot was a lady who’d found an abandoned baby, a man who turfed people off the train at the end of the line, and a man with a whopping great dog.  As for our piece, was the singing a mistake?  I think only our viewers can decide that.  From our point of view we didn’t get as much opportunity to promote our book as we’d hoped.  Would we do it again?  Oh yes!

Hello Choose Happy

At the risk of sounding like something out of Miranda, I’m saying hello to welcome Carole’s new book of quirky poems.  Reasonably priced at £4 they are a welcome addition to the Worbler Press stable.  (Pretend to gallop around on a horse, oh dear, perhaps overdoing it on the Miranda references?)  it’s so hard to pick individual poems, they’re all so good but Millennium Bum made me laugh out loud and it is adorned by a great illustration.

Hoping to Kindle more interest

Yes, I know it’s corny, but we’re on Kindle via Amazon.  We can be purchased for a very small sum and there it is every station, every anecdote, every charming visit.  Share in our adventure, select the stations you want through the interactive table of contents and thrill with us that we managed to upload this book!  Go Northern Line!

Watch out Waterstones

Blog tubedate 5th December, 2011

Where’s the time gone?  How does time do that? The nearer Christmas comes it sort of swallows days and disappears them, mysteriously.  I really can’t use clearing out the loft as my excuse even though there’s a lot of old toot up there.  Having a new bright fluorescent light means that I can see all the rubbish that needs chucking out.  I wonder why I feel the need to hoard things that belong to the past?  Well no more, it’s all got to go so that my loft will be empty and pristine.

Caroline continues to push the book.  Beckenham Book Shop now have two copies and Sevenoaks Bookshop have sold two copies.  I’ve sold quite a few since Carole has been in Arizona.  Today she’s home which is a relief as I’ve been making it up on my own and it’s much more comfortable making it up with another rank amateur at this book selling business.  My sights are set on Waterstones – look out, ‘Down the Tube’ is coming your way soon.

Two minutes of fame

Blog: tubedate 22nd November, 2011

Rob at Reyvis sent a message through that Robert Elms was talking on BBC Radio London to newly published writers and looking for stories of people who have self-published.  Several people have told me that he has a particular interest in tubes and London transport and London and its history in general.  Good I thought, I’ll send him a message, that duly done I sat and listened to the programme and realised this is an opportunity not to be wasted.  The topic of the programme was writers, getting published  and self-publishing.  I lifted the phone, dialled the number and got through to Hayley.  I told her about the book ‘Down the Tube’, threw in a couple of anecdotes so she said she’d phone me back.  ‘What about my pneumonia jab at 3 o’clock?’ I asked, she said she’d phone back soon.  Was I nervous?  You bet I was.  The phone rang, it was my big moment.  I was convinced I sounded nervous, when I came off the phone I couldn’t remember a thing I’d said, he’d said but daughter Wendy put me onto listen again.  Should you want to hear me, here’s the link.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p001d7kb

It’s not as bad as I thought it was but do I really sound like that?

The Kennington Loop

Blog: tubedate 20th November

Met up with friends and found that John had worked on the underground installing the radio system throughout the length and breadth of the place, not only the tunnels where the trains go, but every part, walkways, steps, escalators and linking corridors.   He was a mine of information and it was fascinating to listen to his tales of how careful the authorities are regarding health and safety.   I also learnt that English Heritage have listed sixteen stations as Grade II buildings of architectural interest, several of them on the Northern Line.  Most exciting was his revelation of the Kennington Loop.  How I wish I’d know about this when writing ‘Down the Tube’, what a field day Carole and I would have had.  The trains can cross over – how good is that?  It conjures up visions of The King’s Group, The Royal Horse Artillery, those men who charge about an arena on horseback dragging  whopping great cannons behind them, criss-crossing with only inches to spare.  Imagine tubes swapping direction, missing each other, passengers wide eyed and pale.  What larks!