Here at www.eastendtours.com we cannot believe that only 30 years ago the smoking ban on the underground was introduced. The last and second-to-last carriages on the underground were reserved for those smokers who couldn’t wait a few extra minutes. And they certainly made the most of it; according to passengers at the time, there was an unavoidable stink that drifted around the stations from such habits.
However, while London made some attempts to ban smoking, these were largely ignored. Instead, people simply took it as a request, and persisted with smoking. Unfortunately, London was due to get a shocking wake-up call in the winter of 1987. A lit match was dropped through the gap in an escalator and intensified due to the, then unheard of, ‘trench effect’. The fire was initially described to be the size of a large cardboard box, but upon the approach of firefighters, it developed into a terrifying fireball and engulfed the St. Pancras tube station, killing 31 and injuring a further 100.
The tragedy was quickly laid at Transport of London’s door; they were criticised for failing to be sufficiently prepared for a fire and lacking any kind of evacuation plan. Staff were said to be untrained and ill-advised in the face of an emergency situation, which was left wanting when the fire broke out in the busy station that dreadful evening. Visit our website for the top things to do in London!
The way in which London and its various transportation links have developed over the years has enabled people to travel in a safer environment with the knowledge that the staff are better equipped to deal with emergencies.
One of the best things about taking a tour around the capital is that so much history is still there to be seen, and in its absence there are countless monuments in tribute. However, while taking a wander around London, you are more than likely to come across a lot of interesting aspects – but there is no match for a true Londoner to take you round.
If the fire at Kings Cross has captured your imagination, come to London and get an idea of what the people here were dealing with, both inside and outside the tube station. You can also use an Oyster card on both the tubes and the buses, to ease congestion and travel around the city easier.
Whether your interest lies in the unknown of London’s great East End Tours, Jack the Ripper or The Jewish quarter, take a look at the London tours offered across our site and you are sure to leave London in love.
With the city and its history that is!