Above: The east-bound platform at Bethnal Green Underground Station with its unusual clock.
The Central Line extensions to east and west of the City are the last expressions of the heroic, inter-war years of London Transport and its design ethos. The eastern extension was built just before the war but only opened afterwards. The tunnels served as bomb shelters and underground aircraft factories for years before finally carrying underground trains. The station was opened as part of the long planned Central line eastern extension in 1946.
Above each of the two platforms at Bethnal Green is a rather splendid round clock. All the platforms of the underground have a small digital time-piece but only a few stations still have an analogue clock. Each clock at Bethnal Green has a brass surround and instead of numbers on the dial there are twelve small roundels, also reproduced in a gold colour. The well-known London Transport roundels – with a red circle and a blue bar – first appeared in 1908 and they have been in use ever since.
The clocks at Bethnal Green Underground Station date from around the 1940s – when the two platforms were first opened for use by underground trains on the Central Line. Each clock was restored in 2009 and they are still looking bright and shiny. Apparently the design of these two clocks is unique on the underground system. Gants Hill Underground Station has a clock with a similar design but instead of being gold coloured the twelve little roundels on the clock face are the normal red with a blue bar.