Tag Archives: London Underground

The Piccadilly Circus mystery – can you help?

Do you recognise any of the cast and crew from this shoot? © TfL from the London Transport Museum collection
Do you recognise any of the cast and crew from this shoot? Click on the image to enlarge it. © TfL from the London Transport Museum collection

Here’s a mystery – and a topical one too. To tie in with the 150th anniversary of the Tube, the BFI restoration of Anthony Asquith’s 1928 thriller Underground gets a theatrical release this week. What do you mean, you didn’t know? This happy news led Simon Murphy from the London Transport Museum to send me this intriguing photograph of what seems to be a film cast and crew at Piccadilly Circus station.

Simon writes:

The location is Piccadilly Circus and the date is 1929 or so I think, but could be later. I used to think it was 1928 and linked to the Asquith film Underground somehow, but the station was only just being built when Underground was shot in April-May 1928 and didn’t open to the public until December. I recognise Anthony Asquith, to the right of the guy with the pencil moustache, and the woman on the left looks familiar but I can’t place her …

So we’re asking for your help. Do you recognise any famous (or not-so famous) faces from British film history? Could they be filming a short, or some publicity material for another title? Perhaps these closeups will help:

Piccadilly Circus mystery closeup 1
The group on the left. Surely someone will know the glamorous woman in the shawl? © TfL from the London Transport Museum collection

The woman with the bob must be a star, surely? And is that really Asquith with his coat collar turned up?

Piccadilly Circus mystery closeup 3
How about this group on the right of the original image? © TfL from the London Transport Museum collection

I’ve heard a suggestion that the lone figure in the foreground of this group may be Michael Balcon. Do you agree?

If you have any suggestions, please add your comments below – or email londonsilent@gmail.com.