London Underground: Roundels at four Jubilee line stations

Let’s have a look at four stations along the Jubilee line and at the roundels that can be found there. The four stations in question are Baker Street, Bond Street, Green Park and Charing Cross. They have a lot in common in terms of design.

A short bit of history

This 1979 line diagram shows Baker Street, Bond Street, Green Park and Charing Cross stations of the Jubilee line. Today Charing Cross station isn’t a Jubilee line station any more, but it was back in 1979.

The four stations in question were built in the context of the ‘Fleet line’ project. According to early plans the Fleet line was to take over the stations from Stanmore to Baker Street (formerly a branch of the Bakerloo line). From there new tunnels would be built down to Green Park station, then to Charing Cross station, and from there to Fenchurch Street, and further on.

Plans changed. For one thing the new Underground line got a new name: When it opened in 1979 it was called ‘Jubilee line’. And, later on, the extension took another direction: It didn’t depart from Charing Cross station, but from Green Park station, in the direction of Westminster, Waterloo, and Stratford. When the extension opened in 1999, Charing Cross (Jubilee line) station was closed.

A short side note: Take a look at Baker Street station in the above line diagram. The Jubilee line appears to run perpendicular to the Bakerloo line. In reality the platforms of these two lines are parallel, and the Jubilee line tunnels run eastward almost to Regent’s Park station before turning towards Bond Street station (see here; external link).

Similar design, colourful platforms

The four stations mentioned above were designed in the second half of the 1970s; the Design Research Unit and Misha Black were consultants.

The platforms of these four stations are very similar, and colourful. The main access to the platforms is marked by a yellow section of the tunnel wall.

(For a picture taken in 1979 see LTM 2002/15158.)

Roundels opposite platform, on a yellow background

At all four stations there is one large roundel per platform situated on the yellow wall section opposite the main access to the platform. It is larger than the other roundels opposite platform (the ones on a grey background).

I find this roundel rather exceptional because of the yellow background, and because of the white counters that make it ‘part silhouette’.

There are a few differences between this roundel and today’s roundels:

  • Proportions of this roundel are ‘FARRINGDON’-type proportions from 1971 (designed by DRU / Design Research Unit);
  • the text size is rather large,
  • and the text is light in weight.

Smaller roundels opposite platform, on a grey background

A few smaller roundels like the one shown here are located opposite the platform. Again the counters are white, differing from the surroundings.

Proportions are again ‘FARRINGDON’-type proportions from 1971.

A few of these small roundels show some wear (above, left). It appears that if a roundel is replaced, then the replacement roundel will adhere to today’s design standards (above right; ‘KING’S CROSS ST. PANCRAS’ type). But the replacement roundel will still have white counters, which makes it a  ‘part silhouette’ roundel, and is noteworthy.

Small roundels on friezes

Small roundels like the one shown here can be seen on the platform-side friezes. Properties:

  • Proportions are of the ‘FARRINGDON’-type again.
  • The colour of the background more or less matches the official colour of the Jubilee line. (The roundel itself is white or almost white, even if this doesn’t show very well in the photograph.)
  • There is no text on the bar.
  • This roundel is a full silhouette roundel – the dark grey background can be seen through the counters.

Roundels replacing former illuminated roundels

Originally there were illuminated roundels on the platform wall. They were removed later on, probably between 1988 and 1992. The roundels that are in place today are not illuminated:

Proportions of these roundels are interesting. They are not of the ‘FARRINGDON’ type. Instead they are mixed proportions where the bar is identical with the current ‘KING’S CROSS ST. PANCRAS’ type and the circle is identical with the older ‘PARK ROYAL’ type (click here to see a comparison). There are a few other roundels with these proportions, e.g. at Ladbroke Grove station. Perhaps this type came into existence not by intention, but rather by accident; maybe by a mix-up of screens during screen printing.

Counters are white. This is, again, a ‘part silhouette’ roundel.




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