Beyond the city
Leisure travel into the area now known as Greater London (and beyond) was promoted to increase revenue during off-peak periods. For similar commercial reasons, commuters were encouraged to live further out from the city in the new suburbs.
Posters advertising days out by tube, bus or tram, were prominently displayed at station entrances and on the vehicles themselves. They include some of the most attractive and evocative posters produced by the Underground/London Transport.
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Interwar London witnessed an unprecedented housing boom, fuelled in part by the expansion of the tube system. Following the earlier success of the Golders Green extension, new suburbs were vigorously promoted by the Underground.
An even more ambitious policy of suburban development, known as Metro-land, was pursued by the Metropolitan Railway in north west London.
Both companies used posters to sell the ideal of a better life in semi-rural surroundings, connected to the city by fast and reliable electric trains.
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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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Theatre & cinema
London's West End was often promoted by the Underground for its numerous theatres and cinemas. Posters encouraged passengers to travel there in the evenings and weekends. Others encouraged commuters to watch a film or see a show after work, rather than travelling home at rush hour. Theatres on the outskirts of London, such as Kingston and Hammersmith, were also occasionally advertised. At Christmas, London Transport issued posters specifically to promote seasonal pantomimes. These were particularly popular in the 1950s.
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