Stephen Sondheim wrote a marvellous song for “Company” titled “Another Hundred People.” Company is one of my all-time favourite Sondheim shows. A few of the lyrics of the song include:
“Another hundred people just got off of the train,
And came up through the ground,
While another hundred people just got off of the bus,
And are looking around
At another hundred people who got off of the plane,
And are looking at us,
Who got off of the train,
And the plane, and the bus,
Whenever I’m in Liverpool Street Station, I think of Sondheim’s song. If you’ve never listened to “Another Hundred People,” do check it out. The song not only reminds me of trains and all of the people getting on and off trains but London in general. Londoners are busy and they fiercely guard their precious time. If only I had a pound for every time I’ve heard – “let me check my diary…”
That said, here is another busy day at Liverpool Street Station in London. It is interesting to stand above and watch how people navigate and weave through one another. Why doesn’t anyone bump into another? During busier times the people dodging one another look like scrambling ants on the ground.
Off the top of my head, I can think of only two train stations in London where you can stand above and watch the mad rush of commuters on the main floor below. One station is Victoria Station and the other is Liverpool Station.
Being an observer of society, I enjoy catching the view of people interacting even if they are not directly engaging with one another. It’s almost like a human race or maze. People weave in, weave out. Some people abruptly stop without ever thinking someone might be behind them. All the while no one seems to collide, trip or fall. How does this happen, I wonder?
For those of you wanting to either photograph or capture video at a London train station or Underground station, do beware. Many London stations are privately owned, which means you are capturing private property. If security or a station manager finds you, you will be told to stop. In my case, the station manager at Waterloo Station (who was also not very pleasant) called the police making a mountain out of a nothing at all.
The outside of the station is sort of interesting, which you can see in the photos below ::
I was laying on the ground to capture this image. As luck would have it, a London policeman stood over me before he realised I was neither hurt nor drunk.