SOME of Yorkshire’s most popular tourist destinations take center stage in a new exhibition of 40 vintage railway posters celebrating some of the most iconic stops on the London & North Eastern Railway line.
York, Scarborough, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Richmond all feature in From Edinburgh to London & Beyond – Railway Posters from the Golden Age of Travel, now displayed at Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens in Durham.
All posters are from private collections. These vibrant art-deco and modernist posters date from the 1920s to the 1950s. They hung on gas-lit railway platforms in British factories, mining and manufacturing towns, transforming railway stations into inspiring and inciting art displays. people to take a vacation or a day trip by train.
Andrew Heard, Exhibition Curator and Head of Visitor Programs at Ushaw, said: “We are delighted to present a series of fine Yorkshire railway posters from the ‘Golden Age of Travel’.
“These works of art take you on an imaginative journey along the Yorkshire coast, through the cobbled streets of Shambles before stopping to admire the magnificence of York Minster, the focal point of a trio of works promoting tours and day trips to York.”
Lovers of the Yorkshire coast will also appreciate two rare posters of Scarborough and Robin Hood’s Bay, part of a unique set of six; which when connected form a perfect panorama of the East Yorkshire coast.
Passenger rail travel opened up the possibility of long-distance travel, adventure and excitement for the British public and rail posters were the first examples of ambitious travel marketing.
Britain’s rail companies have hired some of Britain’s best artists to produce beautiful images of holiday and leisure destinations to capitalize on a newfound wanderlust among the working and middle classes.
Among the artists hired was Claude Buckle – one of the most famous railway poster artists of the time. His son, Terry, is a volunteer gardener in Ushaw and a chance mention of his father’s works inspired the entire exhibit.
The exhibition transports visitors back in time and follows the journey from Edinburgh to London along the LNER line and its adjacent branches.
It features posters from Yorkshire, Teesside, Durham, Newcastle, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, as well as branch stops in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
“In the true spirit of this exhibition, Durham is only a short train journey north on the LNER line from Yorkshire and it’s a perfect opportunity to combine that with a day spent exploring the historic home , chapels, parks and gardens of Ushaw,” added Andrew.
Ushaw also hosts rail-inspired activities throughout the spring and summer, including an outdoor model steam locomotive and a large-scale installation of a model railway.
From Edinburgh to London & Beyond is open and running until June 26 at the William Allen Gallery, Ushaw, daily from 11am-4pm. Access to the exhibition is included in the admission price. Ushaw is an arts and heritage venue, located four miles from Durham city centre, with a year-round calendar of cultural events. To learn more, visit: www.ushaw.org