Let me set the scene for you: you’ve packed your bags, got your camera at the ready, and you’re travelling down to London for the day. You’ve got “Here Comes The Sun” playing in your ears, and you’re bursting with excitement at the prospect of getting the perfect shot on that zebra crossing. You jump off the DLR at Abbey Road… and you realise that you’re not on the tree-lined, north London street that you’ve seen on the front of the beloved Beatles album cover. You are, in fact, at a train station in Newham, surrounded by some rather ugly buildings, a whopping ten miles from where you wanted to be. Uh oh.
You may laugh, but it’s true: bemused Beatles fans have struggled to find the iconic Abbey Road zebra crossing for years. So much so, that the staff at (the perhaps slightly less iconic) Abbey Road station had to install a light-hearted sign, featuring Beatles song titles, to ease confusion.
The sign reads: “Unfortunately you are the wrong Abbey Road. However, we can work it out and help you get back to the correct location. So, let’s come together and take the DLR one stop to West Ham and change to a Jubilee line train to St John’s Wood station. Passengers need a ticket to ride.” The sign also features the legendary photo of the band, as well as the road sign that visitors need to keep an eye out for.
The sign was first placed at the east London station back in 2013 but was upgraded and made a permanent fixture just a few years ago. Almost 2,500 trips have been made between Abbey Road and St John’s Wood in the past three years and TfL suspect that a large amount of those journeys were made by bemused Beatles fans.
The Fab Four were pictured crossing Abbey Road in St John’s Wood for the cover of their 1969 album of the same name. Since then, it has become one of the most famous crossings in the world and crowds have flocked there to recreate the legendary snap.
So, if you happen to see some disorientated day-trippers roaming around West Ham in the future; now you know why. It turns out that all you need is love CityMapper.