please empty your brain below

"A phalanx of photographers" is my new favourite collective noun.
Excellent...and Wesley Road used to be on one of my running routes up until a year ago when I left the area. An extra special route now. Cheers for that, as ever DG.
Beck was born in a more formal age, and was always referred to as Henry C Beck or H C Beck on the diagrams drawn in his lifetime. (See Maxwell Roberts's page on this .) Everyone now refers to him as 'Harry', but you sense that might not have been how he would have preferred to be recalled on either a blue plaque or a postage stamp.
Great post, though!
My favourite type of DG post. Well-researched, heart-warming, and twisting us away from easy conclusions. Thanks again for all you do DG!
You had me fooled for a minute with your comment there was a tube map on the plaque (I hadn't read on to see what you really meant!). It's interesting that Harrys local station (for the short time he lived here) didn't feature on the map.
Well of course it wasn't on the tube map when he lived there. Neither the map, nor indeed London Transport, would exist for another thirty years.
He could hardly have devised the tube map if it already existed before he was born!

Indeed, in 1902, although the "subsurface" network was largely complete, the central London underground network was little more than a circle with a line across the middle, (sounds strangely famliar......)
Don't dismiss the first two years so lightly.We may not consciously remember many incidents but an enormous amount must be absorbed in that time.A fascination with trains could be one of them.
"The family left Leyton 40 years before Harry drew an orange line to mark the nearby passage of the Central line, and a century before the station at the bottom of the street made it onto the tube map as part of the Overground."

Was Harry Beck's Central line originally orange? When did it turn red on the map?
I've always instinctively called the Central line's colour orange. You may call it red.
TfL also call it red :)
1835 last night

"Was Harry Beck's Central line originally orange?"

Yes, it was - the Bakerloo was also a much more reddish brown than it is now, and the Met a much bluer purple. {link]

Pre-Beck versions had no standardised colours - the 1908 version has a blue Central Line, reddish-orange Met, blue-grey Hampstead tube, yellow Picadilly, and orange Northern City Line. [link]

"When did it turn red on the map?"

The familiar colours were more or less established by 1936. [link]

For a few years in the 1940s all the subsurface lines were shown in green. [link]

In 1949 the Metropolitan reverted to purple, with the Circle line service shown as a separate "line" for the first time. [link]

The East London Line and H&C were only shown in distinctive colours from about 1990 - previously orange had for a short time been used for British Rail lines, including the Waterloo and City Line.

[link] [link]
Thanks v much for the info. I remember the old "Metropolitan (East London service)" and I know the current Overground is a different shade to the tangerine 90s ELL - unless you're at stations like Wapping and Rotherhithe where the old Pantone remains - but some of the colours you mention are enlightening. However thanks to Diamond Geezer answering my question in the first place I can see my brain forever referring to the Central as orange from now on. It will be one of those little niggly things that will stick in my mind!

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