September 2, 1966

On this day in south west Hertfordshire

On this day in south west Hertfordshire

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Nostalgia Editor

Almost a year to the day since he set up a new record of 16 hours, 56 minutes for travelling over London’s Underground, a 16-year-old Bushey schoolboy is making another attempt.

At 5.48am on a chilly platform at Ongar in Essex, Alan Jenkins, of Chiltern Avenue, will board the first of many trains which he hopes will carry him to Upminster by 10.43pm – via every station on the system.

Alan, who set up his present record on September 7, 1965, hopes to knock 61 minutes off the record. He is making the attempt because he understands a man from Sidcup will be doing the same today (Friday).

He hopes to change trains at Watford Metropolitan Station at 8.45am.

[From the Watford Observer of September 2, 1966]

NOSTALGIA NOTE: The following week, the Watford Observer reported that, in his own words, Alan “failed dismally” to beat his record.

“I missed a connection at South Woodford at about 7am and then got progressively more and more behind,” he’s quoted as saying. There is no record of whether the “man from Sidcup” had any better luck.

Alan held the record until November 1, 1966, when he was overtaken by Leslie Burwood (who may or may not have been from Sidcup). At the time there were 273 stations on the network. Today, there are 270 stations and the record stands at 16 hours, 20 minutes and 27 seconds. It was set just over a year ago, on August 16, 2013, by Geoff Marshall and Anthony Smith.

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