Monday, 27 June 2011
Bank Underground Station, King William Street EC4
The two figures were carved by Oliver Wheatley, who had trained under Thomas Brock and in Paris. The woman on the left represents Electricity, surrounded by billowing thunder-clouds and shooting lightning bolts from her extended finger. Mercury reclines on the right, representing Speed. Scrolls above the figures where originally intended to bear the name of the company.
I ought to love a composition as barkingly mad as this, but it is strangely unsatisfactory. The figures are oddly stiff and lifeless and look rather cheap. Perhaps the railway had run out of money after paying the church £170,000 for the use of the crypt.