Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front

Extended to Sunday 19 April 2015

Free with General Admission Ticket

Exhibition Family Trail [1.87 MB]

Join our experienced guides every Friday – Sunday at 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00 for an introductory tour of the exhibition. Tours start at the exhibition entrance and are free with a General Admission Ticket.*

This major exhibition reveals the untold story of London’s Home Front during the First World War; how drivers took their buses to the Front to support the war effort, how women advanced into the transport workforce for the first time and how Londoners came under deadly attack from the air as total war came to the Capital.

Goodbye Piccadilly commemorates and explores the contribution of London’s motor buses and their drivers to the First World War and the upheaval for Londoners on what became for the first time the ‘Home Front’.

Goodbye Piccadilly presents London Transport Museum’s unique perspective on the First World War, exploring how the conflict accelerated social change, how it impacted on the lives of Londoners and the essential role undertaken by bus service staff and buses in the war effort, both at home and abroad. It looks at the impact of aerial bombardment on life at home, as well as sheltering on the Tube and rationing – both of which were introduced for the first time. A key theme of the exhibition is to examine the lives of women who were employed on a large scale to do the jobs previously occupied by men, including working as bus conductors and mechanics on London buses and as porters and guards on the Underground.

The exhibition brings together objects from several collections for the first time, at the heart of which will be ‘Ole’ Bill’, a 1911 B-type bus No. B43 on loan from the Imperial War Museum. It was one of over 1,000 B-type buses to be requisitioned by the War Department in 1914 for use on the Western Front. After the war it was refurbished as a permanent memorial to the role played by London buses in the First World War. Named after ‘Ole Bill’, Bruce Bairnsfather’s popular wartime cartoon character, it became a symbol of the military and civilian struggle endured by men and women of the London General Omnibus Company and it appeared regularly in the Armistice Day parades until the 1960s.

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Exhibition Family Trail [1.87 MB]

Other highlights include First World War recruitment posters, rarely seen propaganda posters specially designed to be displayed in army billets overseas as a reminder of home, and a 1914 female bus conductor’s uniform. Six animations by University of the Arts Central Saint Martins students plus new poetry from SLAMbassadors UK offer new creative interpretations about the impact of the war. A highlight of the display is a newly acquired piece of ‘trench art’ – a decorated Daimler bus steering wheel from the war - which gives visitors the chance to reflect on what it might have felt like to be a bus driver on the Western Front.

*Please note that our guides are volunteers and tours may be cancelled at short notice.


The Prize for Illustration 2015: London Places & Spaces

Exhibition opens 15 May to 6 September 2015

Friday Late public opening night: 15 May 2015

The Prize for Illustration 2015: London Places & Spaces exhibition will display 100 illustrations that capture a variety of aspects of London’s unique character and qualities. Together they will show a multi-layered metropolis and reflect the city’s distinct personality and communities; from grand scale architecture and famous landmarks to London’s secret spaces and places – used for commerce and work, leisure and living.

The works in the exhibition will range from contemplative to the crowded and loud, imaginary or real, and from the past to the present – all places that form part this amazing City. Each of the illustrations is accompanied by a short description written by the artist revealing the inspiration behind their creation.

All the artworks are entries for the prestigious Prize for Illustration. The annual competition is open to illustrators and students of illustration throughout the world. The shortlist of 100 entries was selected from over 1,000 submissions by an expert panel of judges from the world of art and design. The winning illustration will be announced in May.

London Places & Spaces is organised by London Transport Museum in partnership with the Association of Illustrators (AOI).