On Saturday 26th January 2019 I caught the train from Farnborough into Waterloo. After my earlier visit to a Hidden London tour I had received early notification when the next tranche of tours were made available. This tour was to be to the modern station under Charing Cross that was sidelined when the Jubilee Line was extended.
Not the James Bond London tour
My instructions were to go to Exit 3 of the Underground station and join the tour there at 10.30 am to be ready for an 11 am start. My tube from Waterloo did not deliver me to Exit 3 and I was advised to go up to the Strand and come back down into the Underground station from out side the railway station.
I found Exit 3 and the small Hidden London sign. There were about 20 people congregated there listening to a guide describing the shooting of scenes from the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ at the station. No-one bothered to check me off and I joined at the back of the group and listened as we exited the station through an almost deserted corridor back to the Strand. This was then I was when I started to think that this was a strange way to visit hidden tunnels. As we walked towards Chinatown I asked the people at the side of me just what this tour was. I was in the James Bond London tour!
By now it was after 10.30 and I headed off back to the Underground station across the Strand. Back at the sign there was now another group of people and this time I double checked if this was the correct group. A few minutes later we were joined by TfL Museum representatives and were checked off a list after we had shown picture ID. Another representative issued us with high visibility yellow jackets that had to be worn all the time.
Down to closed station
We followed the two representatives through the turnstiles and down into the station. We then went through a door and were in a hall with escalators in front of us. We walked down the escalator and were greeted in the lower hall with our two guides for the tour.
This was the start of the tour proper. After a safety briefing we listened to introductory talks from both the guides.
I was fascinated to discover that the modern Charing Cross Underground station was in fact three stations now joined together. These were Trafalgar Square, Strand and Charing Cross. Each of these stations had had access to the surface at one time and were on different lines.