I had always wondered why the balloons were there, and having lived in the area for the last 5 years and never hearing anything about it, I decided to look on the interwebs. Clever ol' wikipedia says this:
"When the Victoria line was built in the 1960s, the walls in Finsbury Park station were decorated with mosaics of hot air balloons and duelling pistols, which can still be seen. This was based on a mistaken identification of Finsbury Park with Finsbury Fields, which was used by Londoners since medieval times for archery and sports, and also associated with 18th-century duels and one of the first hot air balloon flights. However, Finsbury Fields actually occupied a location close to the present-day Finsbury Square."
Silly people not doing their research properly! Still, it means we get some of the prettiest London Underground mosaics right on our doorstep. I really love the pronounced round shape of the balloons - perhaps I'll try to recreate them in paper and tape and sparkly bits...
Have you seen them? Do you have a different favourite set of station mosaics?