Mystery solved?

tube seat
The tube seat pattern

‘I guess, just be careful you don’t wear any negative shoes, or they might get lifted?’

Comment from A gorilla’s existential crisis

Well, it’s looking like the mystery of the black star has been solved. Although the answer itself may be a diversion, a trick to pacify us. Claims of Illuminati, black holes and aliens are still under consideration.

Weather: blazing!

Mood: chirpy

Word of the day: Hypogeal – underground

So the black star update:

The gorilla blogger, Matt Johnson (unusual name for a gorilla) did some searching around and came up with a theory to explain the star (for anyone who missed the beginning of this, there are stars on the ceiling of tube trains in London and NOBODY else appeared to have noticed them or knew what they were).

The website he linked to had this comment, which I didn’t read properly at the time.

And look out for the little star on the ceiling, that indicates the floor hatch for lifting Negative shoes.

Then after posting on a London underground forum, I got lead to another post, which led to some comments under an article about the underground, and this said basically the same as Matt’s research.

The blue stars are an indication of where the shoes are on the train, in case they need to be lifted. They were on all the old Victoria line trains and are on the baker loo as the trains are basically the same.

For anyone confused about negative shoes, this is the wiki description of shoes. Somebody had fun coming up with names for stuff.

Electric railways with third rails, or fourth rails, in tunnels carry collector shoes projecting laterally (sideways), or vertically, from their bogies. The contact shoe may slide on top of the third rail (top running), on the bottom (bottom running) or on the side (side running). The side running contact shoe is used against the guide bars on rubber-tired metros. A vertical contact shoe is used on ground-level power supply systems, stud contact systems and fourth rail systems.

I suspect it’s the vertical contact shoe that needs lifting and is marked by the star (which I still say is black.)

So I’m going to leave the mystery alone for now, but it won’t be forgotten. I suspect London is full of odd little mysteries, I’d like to connect some of them up. Any ideas how?



18 thoughts on “Mystery solved?

    1. Nothing odd about a gorilla with a blog, although I’m surprised at all the poetry, I’d be thinking more recipes, maybe celebrity gossip.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would have thought his blog would have been more DIY and informational based – – like Building Your Nest in 5 Easy Steps or Secrets to Keeping Your Silverback Happy.

        I’ll have to check it out now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, it seems even gorillas have hidden talents. We should be nicer to them, if we keep logging the rain forests, then think of all that literary ability we’re losing!


    1. I’ve never been one for collecting anything and I only ever have one pair of shoes (except for steel toe-capped boots, I seem to have an abundance of them), so no, I’m not sure.
      But if I *did* have collector shoes, I would definitely want them projecting laterally from my bogies!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Thanks for the follow up but I’m not buying it. It’s obviously information written with enough detail to seem both credible and mundane with the purpose of throwing those who are curious off the trail. I mean why a star? Wouldn’t a shoe symbol be more appropriate? Not if you are the Illuminati.

    However, they went to great lengths to write and plant that boring technical explanation to distract you. If you ignore it and press on, no telling what lengths they’d go to to stop you. Probably best to leave well enough alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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