Friday, 22 May 2009

Classical music and incense sticks at Vauxhall Station

I'm sure I can't be the only person to commute through Vauxhall tube station during the middle of the day to be surprised at the pervasive smell of incense and loud classical music. A friend advises that the incense comes from a shopowner who is burning sticks of it underground, but the classical music...?

Well, I caught an item in Camden New Journal that suggested there have been classical music "trials" in Vauxhall station in order to "soothe stressful journeys" and "cut crime" (they're trying it in Camden at the moment). Well, apparently, it's too early to say whether the trials are working, and I'm not sure whether the music is to be a permanent feature. They appear not to play music in the mornings when most of my commute takes place (or maybe the trial lasted only a few weeks).

Do readers have any more info? Do you like it? The quality wasn't very good, and I would prefer buskers (but I've heard some dire buskers underground too).

Oh yes, the Victoria line strikes are rather annoying (hardly "strike hell" as a certain newspaper suggested. But I'm pleased that there are still unions large enough to be able to suggest strike action, and be taken seriously. Power to the people (those that still have powerful unions, anyawy), and all that.


Mark L said...

The incense comes from a stall owner, the music is through the tube's PA system, and sometimes alternates with ear-piercingly loud public awareness messages "please remember to keep all your belongings with you, etc...."

I don't know the official reasoning behind it, but I would be willing to put money on it being a tactic to reduce the number of homeless people sleeping / begging in the subways. Sadly a CD is cheaper than actually tackling the problem and helping people.

As for the union strike action - apparently the new trains on the Victoria Line (due to start coming into service at the end of the year) have the safety equipment that the unions are demanding. So I'm somewhat baffled as to what's going on here, to say the least...

Bathsheba said...

There is also classical music at Stockwell. My understanding was that it was a tactic to keep the local youngsters away, as they find it uncool and, dare I say it, *jarring*.

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