A merry Christmas; a happy New Year, by Anna Katrina Zinkeisen, 1934
- Published by London Transport, 1934
- Printed by Dangerfield Printing Company Ltd, 1934
- Format: Panel poster
- Dimensions: Width: 325mm, Height: 305mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/9546
London's calendar has always been full of public events. These range from large scale annual events and one-off festivals, for which thousands of Londoners take to the streets, to smaller exhibitions held at a variety of specific venues. Transport companies have always taken the opportunity to promote travel to such events through their posters. On public holidays, when there were no scheduled events to promote, posters encouraged Londoners to travel out into the countryside or to explore the city.
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Public holidays meant that less people were commuting. Keen to fill empty seats on buses, trams and the Underground, London Transport used posters to promote the opportunity for leisure travel. Every Easter, Whitsun and August Bank holiday the public were encouraged to take outings to London's surrounding countryside, towns and villages or to explore the delights of the city. At Christmas many posters promoted shopping, while others simply offered their passengers festive greetings.
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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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The experience of using the Underground has changed in many respects over the last century, but some aspects of Tube travel are constant. Peak hours have always been crowded and moving large numbers of people under the city has always been a challenge. The Underground has often used posters and car cards to discourage anti-social behaviour and promote courtesy and good travel manners. In reality the ideal passenger of Lunt Roberts' 1927 poster whose 'fair average conduct helps the service' probably never existed.
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