Cheap day return tickets to Southend, by unknown artist, 1954
- Published by London Transport, 1954
- Printed by The Baynard Press, 1954
- Format: Panel poster
- Dimensions: Width: 216mm, Height: 584mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/11453
Beyond the city
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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Southend was the only seaside resort advertised on the Underground. Electric trains took holiday makers as far as Barking, where mainline steam locomotives took over for the rest of the journey.
Several of the most striking designs were painted by the marine artist Charles Pears. Others, by VL Danvers and Frank Newbould, are very similar to contemporary railway posters for coastal destinations.
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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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