© london transport museum collection
Westminster; effigies, by Shirley Mensforth, 1961
- Medium: Watercolour
- Dimensions: Width: 800mm, Height: 1000mm
- Reference number: 1999/24214
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
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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Places of worship
London's historic churches have always been popular sightseeing destinations. Posters regularly featured St Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey and occasionally smaller churches and chapels. To encourage leisure travel by Green line coach and country bus services, posters also depicted places of worship outside London. These ranged from St Albans and Waltham Abbey to Jordans Quaker Meeting House in Buckinghamshire.
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