So here is the complicated knot of tube lines meeting underneath the City of London at Bank station. There are multiple entrances, a warren of tunnels, lines and platforms on different subterranean levels, including a connection to Monument station nearby, and trains of the Central Line, Northern Line and the Waterloo & City Line. All this and tens of thousands of passengers every day (and pre-dating the Docklands Light Railway).
Yet for 20 pence in 1985 I could buy a platform ticket and wander around for not more than 60 minutes and not travel in any train. It does seem crazy that such tickets were considered, let alone printed and sold for this station.
This ticket is dated 5th November 1985: Fireworks Day. It’s still a traditional Edmonson pre-printed pasteboard ticket, and the date is stamped from a traditional punch machine in the ticket office, both technologies dating from the 1840s. Within a few years all this would be swept away by computerised and ultimately contactless ticketing.
Similarly, directly above the station major changes were about to sweep away decades of tradition with the so-called ‘Big Bang’ in the City of London and that would come into effect the year after I bought this ticket. Read more about the Big Bang here. Read more about Bank station here.