Friday, September 24, 2010

Mid-Century Modern

London, city of surprises. When I first moved here I often used to walk down White Lion street N1, past a recess in a wall thick with a palimpsest of posters. Full of the flush of gentrification, Islington council had a cleanup one day and half-heartedly removed them right back to the bricks. All that was left was the rearmost layer - a woodface advert for a house clearance dated 1937. I wish I'd nicked it, or at least photographed it - a day or two later the cleaner finished the job and that bit of everyday history was gone forever.

Recent renovation work at Notting Hill tube station has uncovered these cracking examples of mid-20th century graphic design, in a passageway unused since the station converted from lifts to escalators in about 1957. These images were captured by London Transport's Design and Heritage Manager, Mike Ashworth.

"What is this Ten Inch? Poster week?"

(© London Underground. Thanks to Picnic Design for the tip)


Anonymous said...

Amazing. I'm going to London for the first time next week. Seeing things like this has me seriously stoked.

TIW said...

You're welcome 'anonymous'. I doubt LU are allowing access to the posters but you could always ask. Have a good trip!

Anonymous said...

Of course, probably won't be able to see this site, but just the fact that I'll be in the same town is enough! London has the best blogs, too!

Affer said...

That's fascinating stuff! I was interested to see that Aldwich tube station has just been reopened with a 'Blitz' exhibition, and a lot of original poster work. I'm going to try to see it. But in the maze of lines and platforms underneath the city, there must be masses of stuff waiting to be found...especially at Hobb's End!

TIW said...

I had to Google Hobbs End!