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London's freedom for the south west suburbs, by Charles Paine, 1926

  • Published by Underground Electric Railways Company Ltd, 1926
  • Printed by The Baynard Press,
  • Format: Double royal
  • Dimensions: Width: 635mm, Height: 1016mm
  • Reference number: 1983/4/2096

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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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Suburbs

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Interwar London witnessed an unprecedented housing boom, fuelled in part by the expansion of the tube system. Following the earlier success of the Golders Green extension, new suburbs were vigorously promoted by the Underground. An even more ambitious policy of suburban development, known as Metro-land, was pursued by the Metropolitan Railway in north west London. Both companies used posters to sell the ideal of a better life in semi-rural surroundings, connected to the city by fast and reliable electric trains.
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Entertainment

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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

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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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