London memories; Wimbledon Common, by Emilio Camilio Leopoldo Tafani, 1918
- Published by Underground Electric Railway Company Ltd, 1918
- Printed by Avenue Press Ltd,
- Format: Double crown
- Dimensions: Width: 508mm, Height: 762mm
- Reference number: 1983/4/714
The Underground Group, and later London Transport, produced a wide variety of public information posters during the First (1914-18) and Second (1939-45) World Wars.
The majority of wartime posters advised staff and passengers on emergency rules and regulations. Others were more overtly patriotic, often focussing on the valuable war work undertaken by transport employees. Some First World War Underground posters even urged onlookers to enlist with the armed forces.
During the Second World War, posters were also used to explain tube 'etiquette' to the vast numbers of war workers and servicemen using the underground for the first time.
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First world war
First World War posters often carried a direct propaganda message. Before conscription was introduced (1916), the Underground published recruitment posters urging men to volunteer. Another series, depicting rural England, was commissioned to send to British troops overseas as a reminder of what they were fighting for.
Back home, posters advised Londoners of wartime regulations and what to do in the event of an aerial attack. Some posters continued to advertise day trips, until fuel shortages put an end to non-essential travel.
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> 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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Commons & heaths
Historically, London's heaths and commons were managed as an agricultural resource for the local population. Typically less formal than traditional city parks, these rural landscapes also provide a haven for wildlife. Trips to Wimbledon Common and Hampstead Heath were regularly promoted by London Transport. Until the early 19th century Hounslow Heath formed part of the Forest of Middlesex. It is now largely buried beneath the runways of London Airport, but early posters featured its historic associations with legendary highwayman.
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