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The picture completed, by Mike A Welch, 1983

  • Published by London Transport, 1983
  • Format: Double royal
  • Dimensions: Width: 635mm, Height: 1016mm
  • Reference number: 1995/390

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London's transport system

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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 Underground has a long tradition of high quality station architecture, and has consciously promoted its best new environmental design through posters since the 1920s. More than 50 pre-war stations, including many designed by Charles Holden, are now listed buildings. New developments, station modernisation and openings, artistic decorative schemes and special exhibitions at stations such as Charing Cross (Embankment), which had its own display gallery until the 1960s, have all been featured in posters
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From its first pictorial poster in 1908, the Underground and then London Transport have promoted sightseeing in the capital. Posters encouraged visitors and Londoners alike to either take a conducted tour or to explore the city themselves. Well known landmarks such as Nelson's Column and Buckingham Palace featured the most frequently, although lesser known places of interest were also publicised. Many posters focused on a specific sight, others simply encouraged visitors to 'See London by coach' or 'See London in summer'. Green line coach and country bus services allowed sightseeing to extend beyond the city.
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Literature & history

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Many sightseeing destinations in London have been promoted for their historic or literary associations. Posters depicted famous figures connected with towns or buildings as a way of encouraging passengers to visit them. These ranged from former Kings and Queens being used to promote associated royal palaces, to the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin being used to encourage travel to Hounslow Heath.
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