To Hemel Hempstead; to Virginia Water, by unknown artist, 1938
- Published by London Transport, 1938
- Printed by Waterlow & Sons Ltd, 1938
- Format: Double royal
- Dimensions: Width: 635mm, Height: 1016mm
- Reference number: 1984/70/20
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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Towns & villages
Early Underground posters encouraged Londoners to visit the 'old world' towns of Uxbridge, Edgware, Harrow, Chigwell and elsewhere. Many of these destinations were swallowed up by the expansion of Greater London during the 20s and 30s.
Consequently, posters promoted day trips to towns even further afield, including St Albans and Tunbridge Wells. Some of these were aimed at commuters who had moved out of the city to the new suburbs.
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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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Posters have rarely been about commuting, though they frequently encouraged people to move out to the suburbs where they would become regular commuters to central London. Almost as many posters have tried to get passengers to avoid the rush hour, though efforts to get Londoners to 'stagger the working day' have never had much impact. Not surprisingly, posters do not tend to promote the benefits of a commuting lifestyle, but try to mitigate its less appealing aspects.
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