© london transport museum collection
Simply London by tube and bus, by Jake Sutton, 1999
- Medium: Watercolour
- Dimensions: Width: 760mm, Height: 1250mm
- Reference number: 2006/12013
The range of entertainment on offer in London provided countless vibrant and enticing subjects for transport posters. Rather than advertising specific venues or events, posters usually promoted general activities such as shopping or going to the theatre. Many aimed to encourage travel to the city in the evenings and at weekends. Others encouraged regular commuters to stay in the city after work, rather than travelling home at rush hour. In the 1930s, posters were also issued with listings of specific events scheduled for that week.
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The West End
In the same way that the City is traditionally London's business district, the West End has always been its centre for entertainment. Whether for shopping, eating out, going to the cinema or seeing a show, the West End featured on numerous London Transport posters. Being essentially a work destination, the City was rarely promoted for entertainment. However, it did occasionally feature on posters celebrating historic buildings and churches.
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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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