I'm sure many of us will remember 'Circle & Hammersmith' on the Northern line announcements up until 2016. Does anyone know the origin of how this phrase came about?
The announcements were recorded in 1998. By that time the H&C existed of course, but was there a push to try and describe it as one single line? Understood, line management is one, but from a public perspective they are two separate lines. Thoughts?
I think historically it must have come about once the rolling stock arrangements were unified.
Until the late 1950s the Hammersmith and City used 6 car O stock and the Circle 5 car P stock.
Some experiments had begun to convert the 5 car P stock on the Circle to CO/CP stock. The Circle fleet was extended to 6 cars with spare Q38 trailers converted to make each train up of two 3 car units. In the early 1960 the Hammersmith and City O stock was converted to CO stock. Once the fleets could be interchangeable I expect things started to change. This was continued with the C69 stock which consisted of 35 and 1/3 trains displacing the 37 COP trains. As the fleets were combined they needed fewer spares.
As far as the travelling public were concerned the Hammersmith and City was becoming more independent getting its own salmon colour in 1990!
My guess (and it is only a guess) is that given the Northern line didn't interchange with anywhere on the Hammersmith & City line that wasn't also on the Circle line, that a slot was saved in the internal data storage by having "Circle & Hammersmith" stored as one audio file so that there wasn't a need to have the two recorded separately. Similarly from memory there was also "Circle & District" recorded for the stations on the south side of the Circle, again because the Northern line didn't interchange with anywhere on the District that wasn't also on the Circle. By recording both together, three audio "slots" could be reduced to two, which at the time would probably have been worth doing.
In a similar vein, on the C stock I seem to remember that at Baker Street the announcement was recorded (or at least played) similarly as "Change here for / the Bakerloo line / the Jubilee and the Metropolitan line" as there was nowhere on the C Stock network that the Jubilee and Metropolitan interchanged individually - again this would have saved storage space for the audio announcements by using one slot rather than two.