Gold Card Adventures
Review of the year 22 September 2002 - 23 September 2003

During the year Gold Card Adventures was carried out, the Iraq war was fervently opposed in a series of national demonstrations in central London. Ellie used her Gold Card to travel to the demos on 28 September 2002 (month 01), 15 February 2003 (month 05), 22 March 2003 (month 06) and 12 April 2003 (month 07).

2003 was not a good year for commuters in London. The national firefighters strikes were held during month 04 and month 05 from 21 - 22 , 28 - 30 January and 1 - 3 February. A heightened fear of terrorist attacks made these very anxious times for travelling. London Underground closed twenty deep level stations served by lifts in order to maintain customer safety.

Anti War Badge from the National Demonstration 15 February 2003

Ellie actually found returning back to Ealing on the Central line on 21 January, during the first firefighters strike, was quicker than usual because the train did not stop at: Holland Park, Lancaster Gate, or Queensway. Unfortunately this was not the case during the second or third strikes…

At approximately 13.52 on Saturday 25 January during month 05, a westbound Central line train derailed as it entered the platform at Chancery Lane Underground station. 32 people required medical attention as a result of the accident; the most serious physical injury reported was a broken ankle. Ellie was fortunate to not be travelling in London on that day.

This incident meant that the Central line was closed for nearly three months. Given that the Central line was one of Ellie’s main routes back to Ealing, the closure caused considerable stress and delay to her daily travelling. Parts of the Central line began to reopen after 20 March and Ellie’s first recorded trip on the Central line happens in month 07 on 25 March.

More information about Ellie’s experiences in London from January - April 2003 can be found in her web based work My Head's Swimming, made during this period.

Ellie was unable to use her Gold Card at several times throughout the year, as she was away from London. From 21 - 28 December 2002 (month 03), Ellie spent Christmas with her family in Wales so did not travel. From 15 - 26 April (month 07) Ellie went to Scotland on Holiday and called at Nottingham on her way home for a few days, they would not accept the Gold Card on their local buses! From 30 July - 3 August (month 11) Ellie went to Venice on a trip with the rest of her course at Goldsmiths College, she was not able to use her Gold Card on the Vaporetto either!

On 29 July (month 11), Ellie took down her degree show at Goldsmiths College and left for good. She has not made a trip to New Cross or New Cross Gate since. From 4 - 29 August during month 11 and month 12, Ellie worked two jobs: one at Royal Festival Hall and one at Tate Modern. She used her Gold Card during this time to make frequent trips to Blackfriars, Southwark, Waterloo and Embankment, which are the nearest stations to these work places.