June 1st, 2008 by zorfling

Yesterday marked the end of an era. The last day you can legally drink on the tube. (and in fact all public transport)
(for those not in the know, the tube is London’s underground rail network)

I can remember my awe when I first realised you could drink on the tube. Back home we can’t even drink in the park (technically) and here we were, with our ‘walkies’ on the tube heading out for the night.

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and London’s new mayor, Boris Johnson, has outlawed it. From June 1st 2008, you’re no longer allowed to drink on any tube, bus, tram or train in London.

But is it a good thing? Yeah probably… I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to move carriages to avoid some drunk old Polish blokes because they’ve spilt their beer on the tube… at 11 in the morning.

But this new rule takes something else with it. The circle line tube crawl. This is a pub crawl where you drink at a pub at every stop on the circle line (so called because it’s a circle.. duh). Of course this means, no end…. so you just keep going til you can’t go no more.

My first encounter with the circle line tube crawl was on Waitangi Day (NZ national day) 2006. Me and some kiwi mates experienced the madness that was the circle line tube crawl. The platforms were packed like sardines as were the trains, and they managed to close down a number of major stations including Victoria and Westminster. Dangerous, yes, but an experience none the less.

However, almost to the prove the point of the new rule, many people went on one last tube crawl on Saturday night, advertised on social networking like Facebook. Despite starting out for most as a peaceful protest to show that they could drink on the tube sensibly, mayhem ensued with 17 arrested, four train drivers and three other tube staff assaulted, a police vehicle damaged and two officers assaulted with another injured. A number of trains were also damaged.
So this madness almost helped to endorse the new rule.

Regardless of right or wrong, it’s the end of an era and I for one am glad I had the experience before its time.

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