Apologies for the delay, but you only have yourselves to blame – we had a large number of entries this year and they needed careful marking.

Anyway, prizes are now here – we have several DVDs, and three copies of the truly excellent Underground: How the Tube Shaped London together away, all of which have been kindly signed by London Transport’s newest knight, Sir Peter Hendy, just to make them that bit more unique. We also have a number of wallets to distribute.

I will announce the winners tomorrow but in the meantime, the answers are below in green. Like the DfT, all our answers are final. Honest.

The Answers

Q1: What links, in two steps, this lady’s bad hair day to Sweden?

An easy one to start – you will of course find this lady at Waterloo which was famously sung by Abba.

A Bad Hair Day

A Bad Hair Day

Q2: What links this model to groups of musicians, philosophers, and engineers via a London Transport icon?

The Marklin Gauge 1 model is of the Great Western Railway’s only 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive “The Great Bear”, designed by G.J.Churchward and built in 1908. 
“The Great Bear” is also the title of a 1992 lithograph by Simon Patterson which takes as its foundation Harry Beck’s iconic London Underground map. Simon Patterson used each line to represent groups of people. Musicians give their names to Metropolitan line stations, and philosophers the Circle, whilst the Bakerloo line stations are named after engineers.

A very particular model

A very particular model

Q3: Which six stations are featured in the montage below?

They are, in order: Baker Street, Leicester Square, St Johns Wood, Gants Hill, Holloway Road and Charing Cross

The Tube squared

The Tube squared

Q4: If Oliver was 2 and Florence 17, how “old” were John and Sarah (You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out the answer but it might help)?

Metropolitan Railway engine Oliver Cromwell was locomotive Number 2 and Florence Nightingale, number 17. John Hampden is thus 5 and Sarah Siddons 12. Sherlock Holmes, of course, would under these rules be 8.

Q5: Which three alphanumeric traditions does the New Bus for London carry over from the last bus London Transport designed for itself (the Routemaster)?

A real test this one – particularly the third part which very few people seem to have noticed:

  1. Class letters and numbering starting from LT1
  2. They all feature LT as part of the registration
  3. The fleet number can be worked out from the number plate. The RM had the numerical part of the registration the same as the fleet number – eg RM10 = VLT10. Registration rules have changed since but look closely and you’ll find that, LT1/8, are instead LT61AHT to LT61HHT – the first LETTER reveals the fleet number. TfL have confirmed that this is the case.

Q6: Other than route 38, which is the only other bus route to have featured the New Bus for London in public service this year?

Not quite a trick question – at least not if you’re a regular reader – Route 23A from Warminster Station to Imber, to which we are tempted to make an LR field trip in the summer.

Q7: Lord Ashfield and Frank Pick aside, who is the longest serving person to have been at the head of “London Transport” (in its original form and its successors)? A bonus point if you can also tell us the last “LT Chief” to be knighted…

Peter Hendy is the answer. The answer to the bonus is… of course… SIR Peter Hendy who rather inconveniently managed to get himself knighted in the New Year’s honours.

We have spoken to Sir Peter, who has apologised and promised not to do it again.

(We will still accept the original answer of Sir Wilfrid Newton – Sir Malcolm Bates’ knighthood predated his appointment as Chairman of London Transport)

Q8: What links an algorithmist, a cartographer, two queens and a Kingdom? Explain your workings – that’s a clue not an instruction…

We were genuinely surprised how many of you stumbled over this – they’re all Crossrail TBMS:

  • Ada – the algorithmist. 
Ada Lovelace was one of the earliest computer scientists. She worked with Charles Babbage on his ‘analytical engine’, and is regarded as having written the first computer program.
  • Phyllis – the cartographer. Phyllis Pearsall single-handedly created the London A-Z. A portrait painter, she got lost on the way to a party in 1935 and decided the maps were inadequate. She walked 23,000 streets, and a total of 3,000 miles to compile the map, delivering the first 250 copies in a wheelbarrow.
  • Victoria and Elizabeth – the Queens (no explanation necessary)
The Kingdom – Sophia Kingdom. the mother of railway engineer of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the wife of Marc Isambard Brunel who built the first tunnel under the Thames.

Q9: The traditional captive locomotive question – where was this engine built? Where is it now?

VR 794 was built in Tampella, Finland in 1925. It is now standing in Blumsom’s Wood Yard in Barking.

A lonely little engine

A lonely little engine

Q10: In what year did the London Underground suffer its first Irish terrorist attack?

In 1883, during the Fenian Dynamite Campaign, both Paddington (Praed Street) and Westminster Bridge were targeted, resulting in over 70 casualties.

Q11: Going back in time, where in London were we in the photo below, and what piece of transport infrastructure would you find there now?

Dalston Junction, now much transformed as part of the London Overground.

A trip back in time

A trip back in time

Q12: In the quote below, who was “Denis” talking to, and what piece of London’s rail network were they building?

[X] said to me, “Denis, this programme is going to have a design committee of two, you and me.” And I said “What are you talking about, [X]? We’ve got LT Standing Orders and we’ve got a design committee with the great and the good on it.” He said, “I know, Denis, that’s exactly what your job is: to keep them off my back while I build the railway.”

Denis Tunnicliffe was talking to Roland Paoletti, and they were building the Jubilee Line Extension.

Q13: Merchant, ????, Pembury, Billet, Market, Goose, Flower, ????, Station. Which two stations are missing from this London railway line.

This is a short, alcoholic, trip up the Chingford Branch of the Lea Valley Lines – stopping at the nearest pub to each station (and to the regular departing platforms at Liverpool Street) – one word from the names of each form the list. The missing stations are Bethnal Green and Highams Park

Q14: The “name that line” question (also known as “Tingey’s downfall”). Name this tube line:

Guess the line

Guess the line

Waterloo & City?! Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves! It’s the Tower Subway.

Q15: A number of TfL services pass beneath the Thames, but how many tunnels do they do it in?

Twenty Five by our count. To list them in full: DLR x2 (King George V-Woolwich Arsenal), Jubilee Line x2 (North Greenwich-Canning Town), Jubilee Line x2 (Canary Wharf-North Greenwich), DLR x2 (Island Gardens-Cutty Sark), Jubilee Line x2 (Canada Wharf-Canary Wharf), London Overground x1 (Thames Tunnel), Northern Line x2 (London Bridge-Bank), Waterloo & City Line x2, Bakerloo Line x2, Northern Line x2 (Waterloo-Embankment), Jubilee Line x2 (Waterloo-Westminster), Victoria Line x2 and finally the one that caught a lot of you out…

…the 108 bus x2 (Blackwall Tunnel).

Q16: In the car park of which South London depot will you find this rather lonely looking Roundel…

You will find it lurking in Bromley Bus Garage.

A very lonely Roundel

jump to the end
There are 31 comments on this article
  1. Greg Tingey says:

    As setters, you obviously have all the answers … I’m suprised at how badlly I did – though the “tunnels under the Thames” one was due also to different interpretation, ditto the “knighted” one.
    However, it is also the responsibility of the setters to make sure their own aswers are 100% correct & complete.
    And question 4’s answers, as given are not so.
    See my partial list below & especially q 4 ….

    Q 4. John Lyon, No 1; John Milton, No9, John Wycliffe No19, Sarah Siddons IS No 12.
    NOTE THE THREE “John’s” !
    The “official answer given in the main post is WRONG, or at the very least, incomplete. PLEASE re-read my original answer.
    My information comes from
    ISBN 0 7110 1721 2
    Ian Allen/LT Museum joint publication … London Underground Surface Stock 1863-1959

    Q.7. The current holder, Hendy @ 6 years & 10 months (!) – & Sir Malcom Bates 2001-3
    Correct & possibly wrong (answer originally submitted in 2012) BUT – you did NOT specify “knighted in post” – you just said “knighted”, so that someone who was already dubbed wouold qualify (?)

    Q 9. Built by Oy Tampella Ab, 1925, Blumson’s woodyard, Barking. IG11 0DN

    Q 10. 3rd February 1939, Tottenham Court Road & Leicester Square stations.
    WRONG – & I blame(d) Wikipedia – but (OOPS!) someone has corrected their pages, since I looked in 2012
    It has now been modified:
    … interesting.

    Q.12. Denis is: Tunnicliffe, MD of LUL 1988-98, chair to 2000, so it has to be the Jubilee line extension, & the other speaker is almost certainly Bob Mitchell. (Roland WHO?)
    Half correct

    Q 13. It’s the Chingford Branch! So the missing stations are Bethnal Green & Highams Park.
    Correct (wasn’t that a suprise!) Incidentally, there IS a pub very close to Highams Park Station – just out of sight round the corner .. the “County Arms”.

    Q 15. Running East to West.
    [$LIST] …Wrong for two reasons – I missed the Blackwall tunnel & the question treated each tunnel as a pair, if they were separate bores ….

    16. Not a clue! …..

  2. Greg Tingey says:

    P.S. And a nasty snark … why the hell should I know anything about some second-rate mushy & drivelling Swedish pop group?
    What song “waterloo”?
    Polite request for next year …
    Include a question with an Opera answer or theme?

  3. Anonymous says:

    And a Happy Christmas to you too, Greg…..

  4. Littlejohn says:

    Q4 – Greg is right, there was more than one John and any of the four would be equally correct. Of course while Sarah is very active, John Hampden is still with us and living quietly in an old folks home. Perhaps the question should have asked ‘…how “old” ARE John and Sarah’. As an aside, Ada Lovelace (Q8) was also the only legitimate offspring of Lord Byron (whose age was of course 4).

  5. John Bull says:

    Yeah, to be fair I’ve accepted any of the relevant “Johns” as it stands. Although Hampden is the one we were technically after.

    I’d probably have done the same with Sir Malcolm if it had made a difference, but it didn’t in the end.

  6. John Bull says:

    Polite request for next year … Include a question with an Opera answer or theme?

    Therein lies a challenge for you then Greg – for next year you need to come up with an Opera-related Quiz question for me.

  7. Martin Smith says:

    I didn’t answer this year for the first time in three or four years – I was way too busy to give it the time needed to get the nearly 100% last year showed necessary to place in the prizes – but reassuring to see the ones I got were right, and fun to find the answers to those I couldn’t guess!

  8. Martin Smith says:

    OK, I’m ashamed of myself; why the Tower Subway and not the Waterloo and City line?

  9. Fandroid says:

    I decided that I had too many commitments to enter this year. Well, that’s my official excuse. The reality is that I was having such tough time researching the answers that I realised that I would have to abandon all social activities if I was to have a realistic chance. I really had a good go at the Finnish loco (northern origin betrayed by the enclosed cab) but failed utterly to find its location listed anywhere. Greg dropped enough hints to help identify the Tower Subway.

  10. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Well, arguably, the W&C would not be shown vertically. And would have interchanged with the the forerunner of National Rail at Waterloo. Also it would have been far too easy an answer for a LR Christmas quiz!

    The main thing is that the question showed that the line was on its own. By the time the W&C was built the District Line had reached Mansion House (1871) and so would have had to have been shown as well.

    Maybe the wording could have originally been, well, more pedantic but from the comments made it appeared that people had realised it couldn’t have been the W&C and there was more to this question.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just to note that it was Sir Wilfrid Newton, not Wilfred. Sir Wilfrid passed away fairly recently.

  12. John Bull says:

    Well spotted – thanks.

  13. Pedantic of Purley says:

    The Telegraph obituary for Sir Wilfrid Newton contains the wonderful quote that:

    His thankless task, he observed, was to transport six million commuters “who don’t really want to travel, at a time they don’t want to leave, to a place they don’t want to go… in conditions they find uncomfortable and at fares they think too high. And that’s on a good day.”

  14. Mwmbwls says:

    We had to doctor the Finnish tank engine picture – I did not know it was there until I was researching the Dagenham Docks extension of the DLR when I caught one the Barking ELT buses which turns left just next to the site.The engine came from Epping – perhaps some of our illuminati could explain how they got to Epping in the first place.

  15. Littlejohn says:

    If it is Finnish, and noting its location, I wonder if it is wood-burning.

  16. Mwmbwls says:

    Apologies about question 4 – I assumed that by linking John and Sarah the extant Metropolitan electric locomotives that entrants would discard the other Johns. Thanks to JB for exercising editorial fairness in accepting all Johns and saving my blushes.
    With regard to an Opera based question – your wish is our command. As with the Blackfriars heater I am sure you will have seen the answer on your travels – as with the Blackfriars heater the question will be just for you.

  17. David Bleicher says:

    Assuming that fractional points can be awarded for multi-part questions, I got 10.966666 out of 16. I really should have got 13.1666666 but I missed the obvious answer to question 1, and instead gave some spurious answer about valkyries and ancient Swedish mythology. Also, on question 11, I meticulously pinpointed the exact location of the photo using Google Streetview, then carelessly put “Hoxton” instead of “Dalston Junction” in my answer. Then I missed the fact that a tunnel boring machine was named after Isambard’s mum, and instead said that Kingdom was a reference to Isambard himself, who was no less of a tunnel builder than the Crossrail machines.

    I doubt if I qualify for any prizes, but I’d be interested to know how many people scored better than me!

  18. Pedantic of Purley says:

    If it is Finnish, and noting its location, I wonder if it is wood-burning

    I am normally in denial that I know anything about steam engines. But surely if it was wood-burning it would have had a different style of chimney. As I understand it, the wood burning locos have a funnel chimney that is much wider at the top as was typical in North America.

    I stand to be corrected. Anything I know about steam engines I have unavoidably picked up rather than actively learnt about.

  19. Greg Tingey says:

    You mean the Chingford line one wasn’t specially for me!
    OH! The dissapointment.
    Re: “The Opera” question, of course I#ll try to think of one, but that also depends on a (private?) answer to the question I put at the end of my original entry …..

  20. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Of course, if we could include the Paris metro it would be really easy to find a question about the Opera.

  21. Littlejohn says:

    @Pedantic of Purley 01:54PM, 15th January 2013

    You probably know more about steam engines than I do – I just wondered as Scandinavia has in general a lot of trees and it is located in a timber yard.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Well nice to see I had a few correct answers. However there were so many I had no clue about that it wasn’t worth submitting an entry to tax the minds of the markers!

  23. Mwmbwls says:

    fills in some of the pieces.

    Scandanavia does have a lot of trees and Finland is the largest exporter of paper and pulp wood to the United Kingdom.

  24. The other Paul says:


    IIRC the EOR used to have some Finnish locos on a specially laid section of 5′ gauge track at Ongar. Was this one of those that has somehow made it to Barking via Epping?

  25. Graham Feakins says:

    @ Pendantic of Purley 02.06

    Of course, if it’s going to be that easy, why not just use Covent Garden?

  26. Whiff says:

    Another excellent quiz – thanks to everyone involved. The only question I was disappointed not to get was the Crossrail TBM’s; I also think you may be over-estimating the knowledge of at least some of your readers if you think the first question was easy.

  27. Bruce Deane says:

    Thought i had found an alternative answer for question 3, the “H” letter. Checked Hampstead last night where the old name of HEATH STREET has been retained once on each platform. The “H” is in oxblood red, and preceeded by a dot , not a colon. Up at LR Tower you knew that.

  28. Pedantic of Purley says:


    Also if you look very carefully you can see the start of the next letter and it is most likely to be an “O” and certainly could not be a capital E with a straight left edge.

  29. Anonymike says:

    Ah, it’s nice to see I was right about Q14 – that it wasn’t the Waterloo and City – shame I couldn’t get that it was the subway.

    Well done to those of you that got some right. And well done to the setters for making the questions just as hard as previous years!

  30. Bruce Deane says:

    Yes i can see the sliver of “o” now that i look at it again. I had assumed that it was part of the rear of the mediaeval lady. Should have cleaned my glasses. Excellent Xmas quiz.

  31. Befuddled in Brockley says:

    After being quietly pleased with my performance last year, I was nowhere near enough of them to even think about bothering the markers this year. I need to mug up on locomotives and buses I guess. Now is that the best use of my 2013? I’ll keep reading anyway – keep up the good work.

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