The Derby, by Dorothy Paton, 1929
- Published by Underground Electric Railways Company Ltd, 1929
- Printed by Adams Bros and Shardlow Ltd, 1929
- Format: Panel poster
- Dimensions: Width: 465mm, Height: 295mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/8886
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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Most London Transport posters illustrate the destination rather than the journey, for obvious reasons. Featuring the mode of transport, whether bus, train or tram, offers less imaginative scope to the artist and has less appeal to the majority of customers other than enthusiasts. With a few exceptions, the posters where road vehicles or railway rolling stock dominate tend to be more literal and lack artistic creativity. The best often make good use of humour and photographic images manipulated into surreal juxtaposition.
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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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