Epsom, by Clodagh Sparrow, 1939
- Published by London Transport, 1939
- Printed by Dangerfield Printing Company Ltd, 1939
- Format: Panel poster
- Dimensions: Width: 318mm, Height: 255mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/10405
The range of entertainment on offer in London provided countless vibrant and enticing subjects for transport posters. Rather than advertising specific venues or events, posters usually promoted general activities such as shopping or going to the theatre. Many aimed to encourage travel to the city in the evenings and at weekends. Others encouraged regular commuters to stay in the city after work, rather than travelling home at rush hour. In the 1930s, posters were also issued with listings of specific events scheduled for that week.
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Circuses & fairgrounds
Circuses were a popular form of family entertainment in London, particularly in the 1930s. They were advertised on small panel posters inside Underground trains and occasionally on full size posters. At Christmas and New Year, circuses often featured on the same poster as seasonal pantomimes. Travel to fairgrounds in and around London was also promoted by the Underground. Hampstead Fair was particularly popular and the subject of several posters.
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London's sporting calendar has always been well advertised by London Transport. Leading artists took pride in designing posters for major annual events, such as Cup Finals, the Boat Race and Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Local football, rugby and cricket fixtures were also publicised for their ease of access by public transport. Other spectator sports to have featured on posters include show jumping, greyhound racing, ice hockey and speedway. Although outside the capital, the Derby at Epsom was advertised as it could be reached by a special bus service. Surprisingly the 1948 Olympics only appeared on one pictorial poster.
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Horse shows & racing
The horse shows at Olympia and Richmond regularly appeared on London Transport posters. Derby Day was well promoted for its special bus service to Epsom Downs, running every two minutes from Morden station. Open top double-deckers were also available for private hire, affording the spectator a grandstand view as well as transport to the grounds. In the 1950s, posters listed the numerous other racing venues accessible from London by bus, tube and coach.
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