notting hill tube poster discovery

21 Jun

Thames travel poster, London Underground

Just saw this post on website Neatorama and thought it was too cool not to share.   In short, “workers on the renovation of London Underground’s Notting Hill Gate Station were recently surprised (flabbergasted in fact) to discover a long abandoned passageway with all the original advertising posters from the 1950s [mostly c. 1958 and 1959] still intact.”

Poster by Victor Galbraith, London Underground

London Underground describes how it happened:

In around 1959 Notting Hill Tube Station underwent modernisation. The old lifts were abandoned and new escalators were installed. The passageways to the lift were sealed off. Recent work at the station has rediscovered these passageways and when they were opened they revealed a marvellous time capsule. The adverts which were on the walls the day the passageways were sealed off remained and reveal a world long since disappeared.

Mikey Ashworth, a London Transport employee, uploaded these photos to Flickr on June 6th.  You can see the ads individually or as a group (which is probably the most thrilling) and all in situ.   He writes, “I’ve worked for London Transport for over 20 years and we have ‘found’ other posters – but none quite as good as these. We have on occasion arranged for professional removal and/or conservation of old adverts – but in this case, given the scale of the survivals I’m minded to simply leave them and re-seal the ‘tomb’.”

Ideal Home Expo, London Underground

Pepsodent ad, London Underground

All the posters are illustrated – there are hardly any photographs – and they’re similarly stylized with this paper cutout look (as above). See the entire set here.


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