Example of a Tubespiration! station prompt

Mornington crescent

is an inspirational station.

Indie pop band penned a song ‘Mornington Crescent claiming they had fallen in love with the station.

Novelist Robert Rankin uses Mornington Crescent as the home of the Ministry of Serendipity, a fictional agency which aims to uphold the British Empire ruling the world by working with aliens. (He claimed this explained why the station was only open on weekdays and closed for ‘repairs’ for much of the 1990s because of the top secret work being done there!)

Mention ‘Mornington Crescent’ to any BBC Radio 4 listener and it might raise a wry smile. For the station inspired an eponymous panel game featured in the comedy radio show ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’.

A fitting tribute to the programme came when Mornington Crescent station reopened in 1998 after six years of closure for lift repairs. (Not to hide top secret work!) London Transport invited the show’s team to perform an opening ceremony. There is also a memorial plaque at the station to the late satirist Willie Rushton, one of the show’s longest-serving panelists.

The panel game consisted of each team member announcing in turn a landmark or street, most often a Tube station.  The evident aim was to be the first to pronounce ‘Mornington Crescent’, amidst previous humorous banter and discussion about the rules or legality of each move, or the strategy being adopted.

The truth however, is that there are no rules to the game; the station naming and intense debate about the rules were actually fabrication; it gave the impression of a game of skill and strategy, with long-winded, complex rules and strategies, but was in reality, a parody.

So, in the game ‘Mornington Crescent’ there are no rules – yet people act as if there are.

In your life:

  • How much are you bound, stopped from what you are doing, or want to by ‘rules’?
  • What ‘Mornington Crescent rules’ are there in your situation?
  • What assumptions are you making?
  • Are these ‘rules’ in your life important?
  • Can these ‘rules’ be broken?



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