Christmas on the Underground

Explore some of London Transport's best and most memorable Christmas artworks

By London Transport Museum

As the nights draw in and frost sparkles in the cold morning air, our thoughts turn to Christmas.

This season, we have a display of posters in the Museum (on level 1) from London Transport's history, enticing travellers to embrace the festive season, whether by going ice-skating, taking a winter walk or shopping for presents.

These posters have a practical purpose too, encouraging passengers to travel off-peak or reminding us that it’s quicker, easier and warmer to travel by bus or Underground.

We've pulled together some of our favourite festive posters below for you to enjoy!

Xmas gifts travel by Underground to the shops (1921) by F Gregory BrownLondon Transport Museum

Xmas Gifts (1921)

Posters of Santa encouraged travellers to use public transport to do their Christmas shopping...

A merry Christmas; a happy New Year (1934) by Anna Katrina ZinkeisenLondon Transport Museum

A Merry Christmas, a happy New Year (1934)

... as well as promote good Underground etiquette like moving down the carriages during the busy rush hour...

Do your shopping early (1936) by Fougasse (Cyril Kenneth Bird)London Transport Museum

Do your shopping early (1936)

... and remind them to buy their presents early!

London Transport wishes you a merry Christmas and Happy new year (1952) by Hans UngerLondon Transport Museum

London Transport wishes you a Merry Christmas (1952)

He also features on many posters wishing travellers a Merry Christmas.

A merry Christmas (1931) by Margaret CalkinLondon Transport Museum

A merry Christmas (1931)

As well as Santa, the iconic Christmas tree has also been used in festive messaging such as this brightly-coloured illustration...

London Transport wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (1951) by Maurice WilsonLondon Transport Museum

London Transport wishes you a Merry Christmas (1951)

... and this scene depicting families around a tree in Trafalgar Square.

Do your Christmas shopping (1923) by Austin CooperLondon Transport Museum

Do your Christmas shopping (1923)

This silhouette of a tree decorated with candles urged Londoners to travel between 10 and 4 to do their shopping - avoiding the busy rush!

The source of London's Merry Christmas (1922) by Frederick Charles HerrickLondon Transport Museum

The source of London's Merry Christmas (1922)

This brightly coloured poster imagined stations as baubles on a Christmas tree, adorned with festive scenes, figures and gifts.

If you want to see the Christmas lights, make sure you've got the right connections (circa 1984) by London UndergroundLondon Transport Museum

If you want to see the Christmas lights (1984)

A more modern 'car card' shows a tree in the style of the tube map and highlights the best places to see the lights and sights of London!

That's the Christmas shopping wrapped up (1995)London Transport Museum

That's the Christmas shopping wrapped up (1995)

This modern poster also uses the map - this time to look like Christmas wrapping ribbon!

Christmas; boy (1936) by Tom EckersleyLondon Transport Museum

Christmas; boy

Some posters featured people, like this poster of a young boy. It was one of a pair, the other depicting a young girl holding a rabbit stuffed toy.

Winter scene; skating (1928) by Charles PearsLondon Transport Museum

Winter scene; skating

Ice skating was a popular pastime in the winter months. This ice-skating woman is joined by some sledgers and skiers in the background!

Merry Christmas (1932) by Dudley DyerLondon Transport Museum

All around the town (1932)

This Christmassy woman is laden with gifts... and holly!

Cold winds do blow (1980) by Brian GrimwoodLondon Transport Museum

Cold winds do blow (1980)

Snow isn't always pleasant, but it seems so much better in roundel shapes! This wintery scene was used to promote the various offers available to Christmas shoppers in the Traveller's Perks booklet.

Twinkle twinkle little star (1980) by Mick BrownfieldLondon Transport Museum

Twinkle twinkle little star (1980)

Another wintery scene, this poster shows a young girl wishing upon a roundel-shaped star!

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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