It’s fair to say I’m fairly chuffed right now. I’ve managed to get hold of a Canterbury Tube Map.
Yes, you read that right: Canterbury Tube Map.
Based on the London Underground map, it takes the stops and lines and even special little features and transposes them to Canterbury.
Created by the London-based artist and designer Elliot Smith, the map has just celebrated its 10th birthday.
The 45-year-old, a former pupil of the Boys Langton in Canterbury, got the idea for it while visiting friends in the city and enjoying a drink in the bar at the Chaucer Hotel in Ivy Lane.
I managed to track Elliot to the south London studio from which he operates.
He told me: “A group of us were just sitting there having a few beers talking about things when we realised a lot of Canterbury matched the shape of the Underground map.
“We talked about it and realised that Canterbury’s Ring Road kind of matched the Circle Line.
“The Northern Line, meanwhile, matched up with the High Street.
“So for, example, the Northern Line has stops along it called Clocktower, Longmarket and Ducking Stool.
“That’s what we did that night. We just sat there and literally worked out on the back of a beer mat what the stops might be.”
Elliot felt that the map shouldn’t be something he and his friends talked about, but rather it should become a reality.
And so he got hold of an original Tube map from the time and set to work.
“It took quite a bit of research,” Elliot went on.
“I’d lived away from Canterbury for a long time so I had to look things up or ask people who might know what was where.
“I enjoyed making it and it’s always been a talking point for people who know or grew up in the city.”
Elliot has even stayed true to some features of the real Tube map. For example, the station marked Speedway has a line through it, denoting how the sport and its stadium no longer exist in Canterbury.
As well as the stations, the lines have got names, too. There’s the Invicta Line, London’s silver Jubilee line.
The Tannery Line is Brown like the Bakerloo. London’s Piccadilly Line is called Augustine while the Victoria Line is renamed Blackfriars.
Of course over the years the Underground itself has changed – and Elliot is in the process of updating his map.
I’ve managed to get hold of a copy of his 2008 version from someone who is to receive a new version.
It now proudly sits on my wall.
Now let’s say, I wanted to go for a beer tonight, but didn’t fancy walking…
Yes, that’s it. Board the train at Ducking Stool on the Northern Line and that will take me all the way to Oaten Hill and the Old City Bar.
If I fancy moving on I can take the Invicta Line from there straight to the Two Sawyers, which has its own stop. What’s more, the Miller’s Arms, Simple Simon’s (now The Parrot) and the Jolly Sailor all have their own stops.
My favourite stop, however, has got to be the Elvis Roundabout, which is actually the St Peter’s Roundabout. It is so named because the house at the end of St Peter’s Street immediately next to it has for decades had picture of Elvis Presley in the window.
Elliot put the map on the internet in 2009. You can view it here to see what your local stop would be.