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The flow of the river

Sport posters

The ribbon of water that flows through London is one of the city’s most recognisable features. The River Thames has been the subject of transport posters for over 100 years, encouraging travel to and from riverside locations.

This gallery explores how designers have engaged with the theme of the river. In posters commissioned by the Underground, London Transport and Transport for London, we see innovative techniques, an empathy with nature, and humour. All show the importance of the river in London’s transport story.

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You can also purchase print-to-order copies of posters from our online shop - just click Visit our Poster Shop from any poster collection record.

Inspired by the river

These posters are inspired by the river in all sorts of art formats, from the abstract piece by Hans Unger to the mysterious 1997 poster showing only the river and the statue of Eros, to Canary Wharf looking a little like a moquette pattern!

Poster; Waterside London, by Hans Unger, 1972

Waterside London, by Hans Unger, 1972

Poster; Canary Wharf, by Trickett and Webb, 2003

Canary Wharf, by Trickett and Webb, 2003

Poster proof; mini proof of Making London simple, showing River Thames and Eros, 1997

Making London simple, showing River Thames and Eros, 1997

Riverside life and nature

The river is home to all sorts of flora and fauna. In these posters, artists draw on the stunning birds, fish and flowers that populate it - and even some of the human activity that centres around the river.

Poster; Uxbridge, by Charles Paine, 1921

Uxbridge, by Charles Paine, 1921

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Kingston by tram, by Emilio Camilio Leopoldo Tafani, 1920

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River, heron, by Clifford Ellis and Rosemary Ellis, 1933

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Kingston by tram, by Charles Paine, 1920

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River Lea by bus and tram, by Emilio Camilio Leopoldo Tafani, 1915

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To Kew to Richmond, attributed to Charles Sharland, 1915

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Twickenham, by John Mansbridge, 1927

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London characters; the waterman, Elijah Albert Cox, 1920

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Boat Race, by Charles Paine, 1921

     

Bridges by bus, tube and river

Artists have drawn on the bridges that cross the Thames to create eye-catching posters. These posters below celebrate some of the bridges that help keep London moving, from Tower Bridge to Millenium Bridge, Lambeth Bridge and places you can go via bridges such as the Southbank.

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Bridges by Tube, bus and river, Lumsden Design Partnership, 2004

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Simply river by tube and bus, by John Miller, 2000

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North Bank, South Bank, by Robin Mason, 1993

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See London from a different point of view, by the agency Interfocus, 2000

Poster; The view of the House by Tube, by Frederick Gore, 1991

The view of the House by Tube, by Frederick Gore, 1991

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Winter fun - river walks, by Anna Hymas, 2016


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3 posters with wartime transport workers

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'Seeing it Through' was a series of posters commissioned in 1944 which commemorated the everyday acts of heroism by civilian workers during the Second World War.

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