© london transport museum collection
Boat Race, by Charles Paine, 1921
- Medium: Oil
- Stylistic influence: Art Deco
- Dimensions: Width: 499mm, Height: 748mm
- Reference number: 2004/19943
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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The River Thames has always offered Londoners a variety of day trip destinations. London Transport posters have subsequently marketed the river in a number of ways. The depiction of a bustling port celebrates the river's historic importance as an artery and hive of industry and commerce. Picturesque scenes have publicised the river's more tranquil reaches and historic sites. Recent posters, depicting the South Bank, have promoted the Thames as a site for culture and entertainment.
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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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The annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities was one of London's most important sporting fixtures. Additional Underground services were provided to cope with the influx of spectators, who would gather on every Thames bridge and riverbank. Travel to the event was mainly advertised on small panel posters inside Underground trains, but would occasionally appear on a full size poster. Rowing was also the subject of several posters promoting regattas in and around London.
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