‘Mind the Gap’ a guide for beginners

Botheration. Someone has just sent me a newspaper cutting calculated to wind me up. And it did! It was yet another article by a journalist on the ever-milkable subject of ‘Mind the Gap’. This is an expression that has been around for about ninety years (and maybe a lot longer) but which has suddenly been grasped as something to write about. It is an especially appealing easy target area for the poorer journalists to work on as it is uncontentious and nobody much is interested in whether anything said is accurate or not. ‘Mind the gap’ is a current craze, it seems.

Actually I am interested in accuracy and was so appalled by the drivel that I spent the rest of the day trying to get to the bottom of the issue (it isn’t a proper issue, but it is a ghost that not only needs laying but nailing down and firmly flogging; then perhaps the hacks will move onto something else). I found I had more information than I thought.

I had at first considered it would be fitting material for my blog, but after six pages even I realized it was a bit long. Since there is clearly a need for a proper source to help the ‘journalists’ who are disinclined to delve beyond wikipedia, I have put the item on my website, where it will be added to as new information arises. The link is HERE.

One area about which I found my own resources were wanting was that of public address systems on the Underground. There seems to have been surprisingly little written, and in the same gulf lies the starting up of automated announcements. It is an obvious gap in my draft book on telecommunications. I would be very interested if anyone can give me any pointers in this area. As one who worked on stations being armed with no more than a megaphone I can testify to the difference it made in providing passenger information.

So, more anon.




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About machorne

I have always lived in London and taken a great interest in its history and ongoing development. This extended into the history of its transport services, about which I have written a number of books - I have spent most of my working life working in the industry and observing changes from within, mostly to the good, but not always so. I continue to write, and have a website with half finished stuff in it so that it is at least available, if not complete. Several new books are in hand. I have many 'works in progress' and some of these can be found on my website; the we address is http://www.metadyne.co.uk
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