|Commuters on a trail trip on the Metropolitan railway in 1863|
from Cassell's Old and London New
This week marked the 150th Anniversary of London's first Tube journey. The stretch of line between Paddington and Farringdon, which was then the Metropolitan Railway, opened on 9 January 1863, with the first passenger journeys on the following day - making it the world's very first underground railway.
As our Victorian ancestors made plans to service London's population of approximately 3 million people, I wonder if they could have imagined that their design, engineering and architecture would be the heart of the city 150 years later with an average yearly passenger number of 1,107 million!
The Underground's logo, station signs and maps have become iconic symbols worldwide, and have often crossed paths with art and culture. The London Transport Museum's shop has a huge range of vintage art posters to peruse, and it's designs grace many accessories and interior furnishings.
We teamed up with Transport for London at designjunction to print the large murals for their Pop Up Canteen held during the UK’s most important design event – The London Design Festival.
The Canteen was designed by Michael Sodeau to be light and airy - helped by the venues huge wall of windows - and complemented by our black and white large format wallpaper featuring carefully selected photographs from the London Transport Museums Curatorial Department. We collected the original photographs from the Museum, some dating back over 100 years, and brought them to our studio in Lancashire to be scanned and turned into digital collages. These were then scaled up to fit the large temporary wall spaces in New Oxford Street's 1960s Postal Sorting Office. Our installation team put up the easy fit pre pasted wall coverings on site, ready for the Canteen fit out with furniture by Modus and lighting by Very Good and Proper. The walls also featured the original ceramic tile design that adorn Underground stations, and the seating matched the Tube trains moquette fabric.
We celebrate the history of England's iconic transport system with a range of wall murals featuring any design or image form Transport for London’s vast collection. My favourite is the original 1930's Underground Map by Harry Beck, available to print to fit any size wall - looks perfect printed onto our Tactile wallpaper - a finish designed for stylish properties and commercial interiors with an embossed coating that adds a sophisticated look to the mural with subtle colour rendition.
Another top choice is the modern day Tube map - For the millions of passengers who use London's Public Transport System every day, this maps is invaluable - and it's style has become an iconic symbol worldwide. Now you can turn the map into a statement wall in your office. Most customers have the Underground Map printed onto our "Pre Pasted" wallpaper due to it's vivid colour graphic reproduction with high-definition detail, and it's ease of installation.
As well as the famous TfL maps, you can also choose from the various collections that are commissioned each year for the Tube Station posters.
A huge range of events and activities will be held this year by TfL to explore London Underground's fascinating history and the vital role it continues to play - both in the lives of Londoners and to the economic life of London and the UK. Many of the events focus on Art in the Underground, and we look forward to seeing new designs and maps that we can feature on our floor and wall products.