Special Post: Russell Square


This is the fourth piece of its kind, providing a deeply personal, station-by-station look at London. The previous three pieces focus on South Kensington, Tooting Bec and Aldwych.


Russell Square is served by the Piccadilly line and was one of the original stations on that line when it was opened in 1906. It is connected to the surface by lifts or stairs according to choice. It is the local station for the British Museum, but although I love that institution this is not the main importance of Russell Square in my life. Russell Square is also the local station for Great Ormond Street Hospital, where i was a patient for a very long time in my childhood. I managed by to be ill in way that they had never encountered before. They eventually worked out what had caused the illness by discarding all the impossibles and accepting that whatever was left (a previously unheard of reaction to a bout of chicken pox) however improbable it might seem had to be the answer. I eventually left the hospital for good 14 months (one sixth of  life to that period) after first being admitted.

There are three things I remember about this period. First of all, as a day patient in the last few months of my time at the hospital, it was during this period that I properly discovered London Underground, and began to develop an enduring interest in public transport. Secondly, it was as a patient at the hospital that I discovered my affinity for numbers, courtesy of the ward tutor, Don. Thirdly, I remember regular trips to nearby Corams Fields to get out in the open air.