The Wonderpass is now open. The Marylebone subway, next to Baker Street Tube Station, has been transformed to showcase the area's colourful history and its cultural attractions. In 2014 Baker Street Quarter Partnership, who commissioned the project, approached me to research the timeline for the Wonderpass. When it opened in January 2016, I was very proud to visit and see the results of my research on display.
As well as the decoration, structural repairs have been undertaken and the Wonderpass provides a safe, alternative route from crossing the very busy Marylebone Road. It's been designed by Sing London, the people who put the ping pong tables in public spaces and brought you talking statutes, and funded by Transport for London and Westminster City Council.
On one side are five Cabinets of Curiosity and some fun pieces of trivia, such as Baker Street Station was the world's first underground station.
One of the displays features Madame Tussauds, the popular wax works, which was founded by Marie Tussaud who made death masks of the executed members of the royal family and other nobels during the French Revolution.
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, where Judi Dench and Vivian Leigh have both performed.
On the opposite side is the Timeline, featuring significent and interesting events in Marylebone's history. My favourite fact is that in 1810 London's first Indian restaurant opened.
When I was undertaking my research, I was mindful that the dates needed to be acurate as they are on public display, and I got quite pedantic about the detail of the wording. Hence while, what was to be become known as, London Zoo opened to its members in 1828, it only opened to the public in 1847.
Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective with the address of 221b Baker Street, gets two mentions in the Wonderpass.
If you would like to visit the Wonderpass for yourself it is open daily from 6am to 8.30pm.
UPDATE: I'm thrilled that Baker Street Quarter Partnership's Wonderpass has been shortlisted for the New London Awards 2016 in the category of Transport & Infrastructure. The winning scheme will be announced on 7th July.
If you would like to know more about the history of the area please consider joining Mark or me on one of Baker Street Quarter's free guided walks.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.