© london transport museum collection
Hyde Park, by Edward Bawden, 1925
- Medium: Watercolour
- Dimensions: Width: 560mm, Height: 608mm
- Reference number: 1995/4024
- Current event: The art of the poster
This artwork features in the current exhibition: The art of the poster - Exhibition details »
Open air London
Londoners are very fortunate in having a large number of green open spaces, where they can escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Many of these were the former grounds of large houses or royal parks, whilst others were specially created as London expanded. The River Thames also offers Londoners a variety of day trips. Further outdoor attractions include London's public sculpture and historic sites like Highgate Cemetery. All these open air destinations have been promoted by London Transport posters.
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There are over 5,000 acres of historic parkland in London. The Underground has always promoted parks as offering a peaceful retreat from the bustle of city life. Each park has its own unique history and character, an element of which is often the subject of promotional posters. Chestnut Time at Bushey Park, the deer at Richmond and horse shows in Hyde Park have all been the subject of posters promoting open air London.
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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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