Starting life in 1870 as Hoe Street, the station became Walthamstow Central when the Victoria Line burrowed into town in 1968. Reversing the usual unfavourable comparison between Underground and National Rail stations, the Tube station here comes over as the poor relation. Unfinished like much of the Victoria Line the overall effect is very temporary and prefab though, of course, it is a permanent structure. The somewhat more impressive bus station across the road is linked to the station by a subway and has a Tube ticket office; hence the LU roundel on the exterior but it is not really part of the station. While the station is not exactly an architectural gem it does have one outstanding feature in the platform tiling by June Black commemorating William Morris, the designer and utopian socialist philosopher, who was born nearby. The house in which he was born is now home to the William Morris Gallery. It is just possible that the name Walthamstow is derived from the Old English word, ‘wilcume’, meaning, as you might guess, ‘welcome’: which is quite a nice way to think about this interesting and very diverse area (with some really nice coffee shops).