Royal Mail has issued a set of ten special stamps to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground.
In January 1863, London’s Metropolitan Railway opened the first underground service in the world. This went from Paddington to Farringdon with the aim of linking the mainline termini with the City of London. Now the world’s oldest underground transportation network covers 402 kilometres of track, serves 270 stations, runs across 11 lines, and carries 1.2 billion passengers per year.
Royal’s Mail’s six new stamps show a timeline of the development of the London Underground ranging from the first steam driven Metropolitan line service through to a striking image of Canary Wharf, one of the most modern Jubilee line stations. Many facets of both British urban and suburban life through the ages are depicted by the stamps, from elegant Edwardian passengers on their daily commute in 1911 to the magnificent Art Deco station designs of Charles Holden that still stand to this day.
The London Underground stamp collection will be accompanied by four stamps in a miniature sheet, which celebrates the rich design heritage of the London Underground, reproducing classic posters from history. The pictorial poster was a distinctive and highly effective medium for promoting all aspects of the Underground and later London Transport. The visual images brought modern art and design to a huge audience and many of the artists commissioned were influenced by the avant-garde European art movements of the early 20th century. This brought Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism to the general public of Britain and the four stamps have three classic London Underground posters on each.
The stamps are available in Post Offices now, or you can purchase them online at www.royalmail.com/underground or by phone on 08457 641 641.