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Londoner's library, by agency Clement Dane Studio, 1954

  • Published by London Transport, 1954
  • Printed by The Baynard Press, 1954
  • Format: Panel poster
  • Dimensions: Width: 216mm, Height: 889mm
  • Reference number: 1983/4/11423

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Beyond the city

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Leisure travel into the area now known as Greater London (and beyond) was promoted to increase revenue during off-peak periods. For similar commercial reasons, commuters were encouraged to live further out from the city in the new suburbs. Posters advertising days out by tube, bus or tram, were prominently displayed at station entrances and on the vehicles themselves. They include some of the most attractive and evocative posters produced by the Underground/London Transport.
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Country walks

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Country walks were marketed as a healthy antidote to a week spent in an office or factory. Longer distance 'rambling' became particularly popular during the interwar years. Many of the posters shown here promote country walks booklets. These included maps and details of rural paths reached by public transport. 'Circular tours' allowed walkers to alight at one stop and rejoin the train or bus further along the route.
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Open air London

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Londoners are very fortunate in having a large number of green open spaces, where they can escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Many of these were the former grounds of large houses or royal parks, whilst others were specially created as London expanded. The River Thames also offers Londoners a variety of day trips. Further outdoor attractions include London's public sculpture and historic sites like Highgate Cemetery. All these open air destinations have been promoted by London Transport posters.
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London's gardens have been extremely well promoted on posters for the Underground. The subject lends itself perfectly to bright, vibrant and eye-catching design. Many posters simply publicised the seasonal bloom, particularly bluebells, crocuses and daffodils. Others advertised travel to specific locations, such as Kensington Gardens. The world famous botanical collection at Kew Gardens has appeared on more Underground posters than almost any other subject. The gardens at Hampton Court were also promoted as an excursion from London by tram.
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There are over 5,000 acres of historic parkland in London. The Underground has always promoted parks as offering a peaceful retreat from the bustle of city life. Each park has its own unique history and character, an element of which is often the subject of promotional posters. Chestnut Time at Bushey Park, the deer at Richmond and horse shows in Hyde Park have all been the subject of posters promoting open air London.
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From its first pictorial poster in 1908, the Underground and then London Transport have promoted sightseeing in the capital. Posters encouraged visitors and Londoners alike to either take a conducted tour or to explore the city themselves. Well known landmarks such as Nelson's Column and Buckingham Palace featured the most frequently, although lesser known places of interest were also publicised. Many posters focused on a specific sight, others simply encouraged visitors to 'See London by coach' or 'See London in summer'. Green line coach and country bus services allowed sightseeing to extend beyond the city.
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