Tuesday, 27 April 2010

All Aboard!



During the Easter Holidays we went up to London to visit the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. We had visited before but only for a cuppa and a mooch around the gift shop. We had always intended to spend more time there and this time there was the added incentive of visiting the exhibition on Suburbia, which I had been meaning to visit for a long time.



I must say that I am not into cars and transport in general.



I grew up on the outskirts of London in a suburb and getting a bus or tube into and around London was something I took very much for granted.



I didn't even notice the art deco tube stations that I travelled to and from each time. This trip to the museum awoke so many memories for me...



Seeing the old tubes and sitting in the old compartments (not as old as this one)



reminded me of trips to London with my parents to see the lights at Christmas time at Regent Street, to visits to the theatre and to Hamleys to choose a doll or toy on a special occasion.



The greens and reds of the upholstery and the wooden trims serve as many a backdrop to my memories...



When I was older, I had a Saturday job in town. The tube journeys seemed to last forever, taking up a sizeable chunk of my weekend. By the time I went back into town on a Saturday night I would have already done four trains journeys back and forth... (but it was worth it as I clutched my earnings and headed off for some fun).



After leaving University I worked and lived in London and the daily rush hour did little to improve my view of public transport. Nowadays, living down on the coast and away from the rush of the city, I love travelling by train. I savour them, even tube journeys, as they are now not the norm for me.



Walking round the exhibition I fell in love, as I knew I would, with all the beautiful posters designed during the Underground's heyday. With the advent of the Metropolitan line London as we now know it started to form. It sprawled out from the centre following the lines of the tube... Suburbs were formed, people were encouraged to come into the city centre for work, for leisure, entertainment and shopping.



The power of advertising was taken seriously, artists were employed to design posters and leaflets and people were encouraged to hop on a train and explore...



It all looks so inviting doesn't it...











Days out in the Spring



Shopping Trips







Trips to London Parks

A world away from the hurly burly that we now associate with the big city.



By the buses I stopped and stared, I remember travelling on buses like the one in the middle. The bus conductor and his ticket machine handing out rolls of purple printed tickets that would smudge in your hand. I always held on to mine tight as I sat next to my mother going up and down Oxford Street, always worrying that an Inspector would get on and i would have dropped my ticket...



A few months ago whilst reading an old copy of The Provincial Lady in War Time, I found a bus ticket tucked between its pages. A child's ticket from during the war, was it used as a bookmark? Had the mother put it there for safe keeping? I hope the child hadn't sat there worrying that her ticket had been lost...



We spent the rest of our day at the National Portrait Gallery, vintage prom dress shopping and ending our day by letting Little Sister choose one thing she wanted to do before going home. She chose to visit a shop in Oxford Street and as we sat on the bus heading for our destination I looked at her face and recognised that expression...

19 comments:

bellaboo said...

You brought back some lovely memories for me.I love those travel posters especially the Bushey Park one.
I hardly ever travel on the trains now,but when I was growing up in south London we went everywhere on the bus or train.I loved that clickety-clack noise the train used to make.They don't seem to do that now do they?
The lest time we went on a train it was on a steam one to Swanage...lovely!

Bellaboo :0)

Amanda and Tim said...

OH how lovely... not being able to drive has meant I have relied on public transport a lot through the years and I must say that the novelty does wear off when you do it daily. But how I remember the excitement of journeys by train when they are a treat - when we went on a sleeper train in Russia the families all climbed aboard, took out their roast chickens and salads and away we went... we might not have such indulgences on our train journeys, but recently I shared a carriage with a little boy whose first journey it was and he was so excited and that made the whole journey so fun!!

Petit Filoux said...

Thank you for a lovely post!!

Thimbleanna said...

Ahhh, what wonderful memories Ms. Roses! How lucky you were to have spent so much time on the trains. I love trains too -- I really wish we'd get more of them here in the states!

A Thrifty Mrs said...

Oh wow you have awakened so many great memories for you. I lived on the outskirts of London as a teenager and had a Saturday job in town. I really loved the journey once I got down to the tube. It felt so grown up zipping around the city in a tin can.
I rely on public transport now as I don't drive. I am so lucky to have a train station within 5mins of my house. I really take it for granted how quickly I can get into the centre of Manchester (4mins).

I'd love to visit that museum next time I am back in London it looks like you had a lovely time.
x

Hollace said...

What a wonderful outing you had! The advertising in those days was so artful. I love it. Thanks for doing such a great job of showing it to us.

Sal said...

Oooh lovely...the posters are wonderful and I have a huge passion for them!
When I taught in Surrey,I took a class of children to the London Transport Collection,when it was at Syon Park,Brentford.
That was years ago! It was a lovely day out!
;-)

LittleGem said...

Thank you for showing us around the exhibition. I've only been for a wander around the gift shop too. Lovely photos too!
Gem

Lisa said...

You have the best days out in London!
Really lovely post sharing all that artwork and your memeories too.
Lisa x

dottycookie said...

Oh, the glass! I always like looking at the tiles in the various stations we travel through. I too grew up in a Greater London suburb and took it all for granted - not now!

I may be about to squick you out though ... years ago my engineer brother worked on a refit of the Central line trains. He said they had to treat the carriages with strong insecticides before they could start the work. I haven't felt comfortable sitting down on a tube train since!

Cowboys and Custard said...

Please can we go here for our next staff outing Milly?
I just adore those posters from another era..the romance of it all.
Seeing your delicious photos reminds me so much of film Howards End.

Two tickets to London please.

Dxx

Penny said...

What gorgeous posters, I love the bluebell one.. Looks like really interesting day out and a great post. P x

A Bookish Space said...

I really adore these posters and really want to go to the London Transport Museum - thanks for posting about this :)

silverpebble said...

I adore the Underground posters, especially those Kew Gardens ones, but do you know what made me uinexpectedly excited? The shapes and lines of the seats in that carriage - beautiful! Hmm, perhaps I am becoming eccentric.

A Time to Dance said...

Everything looks lovely, would love some of those posters on my wall...Sorry I havent been to visit for ages, I have been snowed under with work and havent had anything exciting to tell on a post...hope you are well...H (A time to dance...which was cocoa and blankets)

Barbara said...

I loved all your photos even the ones you said were bad...they weren't by the way....I miss the antique shops and shopping...I haven't been in awhile..

Louise said...

This post is lovely Kim, and has brought back many memories for me too. Both my parents and grandparents were born and grew up, either in London or in the Suburbs. My grandad worked on the railways and met my granny, who at the time, was working as a secretary in the office! What a lovely day you had, and thanks for taking all the lovely photos. x

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