On the buses (or not)

I keep planning posts, but then they get taken over by events.  Like this, another interesting poster that’s popped up on eBay.

vintage bus strike LT poster

This isn’t, I will freely admit, a classic piece of design, but it is an interesting piece of social history.  I can’t explain much better than the seller has.

This is one of a series of 3 posters issued by London Transport in 1958 to encourage passengers back onto the buses after a disastrous strike by crews. All 3 posters were drawn by Lobban and featured humorous scenes of people in inclement weather being encouraged onto a bus by a figure with its head made up of the London Transport bullseye.

A brief bit of investigation means that I now know that the 1958 bus strike went on for seven weeks and, everyone seems to agree, had a huge impact on London commuting.  In an age of increased car ownership, many people went to work in their car, and never went back to the buses (hence the slight desperation of this poster).

Because of this, many less popular bus routes were axed and garages closed, driving even more people onto their cars or the Tube.  And so we arrive at the overcrowded and gridlocked London of today.

So there you go.  I have been educated by eBay and now know something I didn’t before.  Even if I don’t necessarily want to buy the poster.

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