To town tonight, by unknown artist, 1954
- Published by London Transport, 1954
- Printed by Waterlow & Sons Ltd, 1954
- Format: Panel poster
- Dimensions: Width: 5474mm, Height: 546 mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/11364
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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The West End
In the same way that the City is traditionally London's business district, the West End has always been its centre for entertainment. Whether for shopping, eating out, going to the cinema or seeing a show, the West End featured on numerous London Transport posters. Being essentially a work destination, the City was rarely promoted for entertainment. However, it did occasionally feature on posters celebrating historic buildings and churches.
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London's transport system
By 1914 the Underground Group ran most of the Tube lines, three tram systems and the main London bus company, the LGOC. The posters publicise all these transport modes. Outside the Underground Group were the Metropolitan Railway and London County Council (LCC) Tramways, which ran separate poster campaigns. All these companies were merged into London Transport (LT) in 1933. The four main line railway companies also used posters to promote their London suburban services. Transport for London (TfL) replaced LT in 2000 with wider responsibility including taxis, streets, river services and some overground rail.
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Tickets & fares
Relatively few London Transport posters are just about promoting more ticket sales on the system. Like any urban transport system, London's is often overloaded at peak times. Posters have always targeted travel outside the peaks with special offers on leisure journeys because the objective is to increase revenue but spread the load. The ideal is more passengers but at different times.
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