This December, we've been looking through our collection to see how London Transport has celebrated Christmas over the years. Browse photos showing how staff and shelterers have celebrated the season Underground, posters spreading festive cheer all over the network and some of the quirky items from our collection!
Photographs from our collection show how Christmas was celebrated around London - from trees and decoration across the network to the festive treats available for staff. In this 1931 photo, you can see a staff member dressed as Father Christmas loading toys into an Underground delivery van outside Embankment station (then Charing Cross). The toys are from the British Made Toys Exhibition which was being held in the booking hall at Charing Cross Station, and were to be distributed to children's hospitals across London.
A Christmas Party in progress at the South Kensington Dining Club (1925) by Topical PressLondon Transport Museum
This photo shows a group of people gathered at the South Kensington Dining Club for their Christmas party. This was part of a series of photographs recording the 1925 Christmas parties held over two days.
Christmas at wartime
Although the war made everyday life difficult - with many Londoners sheltering in Underground stations - adults tried to keep things normal for children. In this photo, taken just before Christmas in 1940, you can see a woman putting toys for children who were sheltering in nearby deep level tube stations.
A shelterers' platform canteen at Christmas (1944-12-22) by Topical PressLondon Transport Museum
This photo shows one of the temporary canteens set up on Underground platforms to provide refreshments to shelterers. This example is at St Johns Wood station. To the right of the shot are bunk beds that shelterers used to sleep on.
Staff decorating the Christmas tree on an Underground station during the Second World War (1941) by Fox PhotosLondon Transport Museum
This photo from 1941 shows staff decorating a Christmas tree at an unidentified Underground station.
These greeting cards were issued by the staff of the West Ham Tramways to staff serving in the First World War.
TOT Mutual Aid Xmas tin, given to company employees in the Services during the First World War (1916) by Underground Electric Railways of London Co. LtdLondon Transport Museum
During the First World War, many members of the Underground group staff joined up and served in the forces. This small presentation tin was given to serving company employees for Christmas 1916. On the outside is a portrait of Earl Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War.
This Brass metal 'Princess Mary' type gift box was issued to Charles Lee - a bus driver at the Front - at Christmas 1914.
From the late 1940s, all the food used in London Transport canteens and mess rooms was produced at the London Transport Food Production Centre. Staff could also buy certain products including Christmas puddings!
2lb Christmas pudding label 4'6, issued by London Transport Catering (circa 1970) by London Transport ExecutiveLondon Transport Museum
This Christmas pudding is one of the items that London Transport staff could purchase from canteens. For many years, this pudding was the mainstay of London Transport's festive fare, but was discontinued in 1983 when the Croydon Food Production centre closed.
London Transport Catering staff stirring a Christmas pudding mixture (1971)London Transport Museum
The Christmas pudding mix was actually made in August! This photo from 1971 shows Edson Braithwaite, a doughmaker; Valerie Coppleston, a bakery assistant; and Aston Benjamin, a table hand stirring a huge vat of the mixture, while bakery manager Fred Lawrence pours sherry in!
A caterer at the Croydon food production centre prepares trays of mince pies (1970) by Sport & GeneralLondon Transport Museum
As well as puddings, the Food Production centre made other festive treats, including these mince pies that a staff member is preparing in this photo from 1970!
Christmas cracker from the Tenth Floor Carvery (1992) by London Transport CateringLondon Transport Museum
London Transport even made Christmas crackers! This one was issued as part of the Christmas catering services offered by the 10 Carvery restaurant, located on the tenth floor of 55 Broadway, the headquarters of London Transport.
This is an order form for the 1969 Christmas Hamper Scheme organised by the London Transport Catering Service. Staff could choose from three different hampers priced £4, £6 and £8 and pay over 48 weeks, starting in January and finishing the first week of December.
London Transport's Christmas posters are some of the most iconic and memorable from our collection. You can see our special Christmas poster story on our Arts & Culture page!
These two artworks show John Fleming's early designs for a Christmas poster and image from 1946.
Posters allowed London Transport to wish its passengers Merry Christmas, as well as promoting use of public transport for Christmas shopping.
Find out more about our Christmas collections on our website.