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CITY LINKS - BARING WITNESS TO FRUITS OF PARTNERSHIP

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As London mayor Ken Livingstone and deputy prime minister John Prescott bicker about how the Tube should be finance...
As London mayor Ken Livingstone and deputy prime minister John Prescott bicker about how the Tube should be financed, perhaps they should take heed of a tale from a gentler age.
Partnerships between London Transport and the private sector are, of course, nothing new. Barings, that grand old dame of the City, recently celebrated a century-long relationship with what is now London Regional Transport.
In 1930, for example, Barings helped with the issue of£500,000 of debenture stock to finance a development programme.
But the bank's biggest contribution to the capital's transport system came three years earlier.
In 1927, the managing director of Barings, Edward Peacock, became responsible for a piece of advice which has been invaluable to Londoners, commuters and tourists over subsequent decades: 'Mind the gap.'
The warning, synonymous with the Tube, came about after Mr Peacock wrote to Frank Pick, assistant managing director of The Underground Electric Railways.
He complained about the large gap between the train and platform on the eastbound Central Line service at Bank station: 'I quite expect to break my leg there some day when I happen to have a moment of forgetfulness.'
A legend, in more ways than one, was born.
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