Sunday, 12 February 2017

Lost & Found! The Adventures of MooMoo A Soft Toy Lost on the #LondonUnderground

DC Editor Adam writes…

In December 2016 I posted the The Daily Constitutional's blog post number 5,000.

To mark the occasion I've been digging in the archive and over February 2017 I'll be reblogging The DC's "Greatest Hits" – my 50 favourite posts. 

In addition I'll be sharing my 50 favourite London photos to have appeared here since October 2008. 

I hope you enjoy them

Feb 2017

The second archive post of the day starring the London Underground and my daughter! This one is from March 2011…

In this post I'm hailing the people that keep our Underground stations going – the non-driving staff of the Underground. In particular, I'm saluting the good folk at East Finchley Station (although the sentiment applies right across the network).

Here’s East Finchley station’s most famous detail…

And here’s MooMoo…

MooMoo is the principal character in our story – a melodrama, with a happy ending, in which I prove that both London and the blogosphere needn't be such angry places after all.

MooMoo is the favourite toy of Isobella, my three-year-old daughter. MooMoo goes everywhere with Isobella. As you can plainly see…

Isobella without MooMoo is like Pie with no Mash. Elephant sans Castle. Wills with no Kate. Unthinkable.

Last Sunday, however, on the return journey from seeing mummy lead her Royal Wedding Walk, Isobella left MooMoo on the train…

(If Isobella could interject, she would probably pick this point to do so. And she would point out that it was in fact her idiot father who was responsible for this atrocity and that both Isobella and MooMoo remain unimpeachable in this catalogue of neglect and near-disaster.)

It was only as the doors closed, leaving us on the platform, that we noticed that MooMoo was heading toward the wilds of High Barnet. Alone.

Tears ensued. Tears the size of flashbulbs.

Isobella was crying, too.

As we approached the station staff to see if anything could be done, my cynical Londoner’s inner voice kicked in. It’s futile. They’re busy people. They won’t want to know.

How wrong I was.

The station supervisor Derek sprang into action. We followed him to the office. “What carriage were you in?” he asked. We told him we were in the front carriage.

In the office, he called ahead to Finchley Central. But as he did, a light on his computer screen went from red to green.

“Ah!” he exclaimed in exasperation. “See that?”

He pointed to the green light on his screen.

“That’s a green signal at Finchley Central. The train’s on the move. We’re too late.”

Our hearts sank. Hitchcock couldn’t even aspire to such dramatic tension.

Derek made another call, this time to West Finchley, where he informed the station of MooMoo’s plight.

“We'll try to get MooMoo at West Finchley,” he informed Isobella.

The wait was an anxious one – although my mood was lightened by the fact that Derek was now calling MooMoo by her first name.

When the phone finally rang, it was Peter at West Finchley station. MooMoo was saved and waiting for us in the safety of the ticket office! A short trip to West Finchley station and an emotional platform scene to rival anything out of Brief Encounter – and our melodrama was over.

We’ll never forget the day that we lost MooMoo.

And I doubt that this one tiny vignette was a one-off that day.

I’m willing to bet that if Derek’s computer screen had an animated diagram of the similar small acts of kindness that took place all over the network, then it would have been flashing like the sky on Guy Fawkes night.

Okay, there are grumpy and intransigent LU staff, too, of course there are. All Londoners have got a tale to tell on that front. But the good grace with which the Good Guys perform their everyday tasks shouldn’t go unnoticed just because of the growly ones.

Big thanks to Derek and Peter and all the great folk we met that day on the Northern Line. London’s finest and no mistake.

As a post script to this story, The Archer, East Finchley's local paper, featured this story on their front page a few weeks later in June 2011…

In addition, if you look very closely at this picture of my wife (and fellow London Walks guide) Karen, you will see MooMoo pulling off a photobomb…

Travel + Leisure magazine had listed Karen among their World's Greatest Tour Guides and wanted a picture to go with the article. 

How to grab a shot when simultaneously trying to keep your child safe in central London? 

Hide said child in the shot, that's how!

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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