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Poster Attraction

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Information is key to enable someone to take a bus or coach to somewhere at some point in time.

Today we have expectations of travel and can readily pull information from the internet. 

In the early days of motorised passenger transport, the businesses needed to push information to attract potential customers to the growing possibilities. 

Even today, awareness needs to be raised proactively about things that are new or changing.

Eye-catching posters with striking imagery have drawn people to the words across the decades. Their style has been influenced by fashion and production technology, and their content matched to changing lifestyles and passenger expectations.

The artistry and impact are clear less from an individual poster than from a progressive display as we have here.  It is serendipity that the posters survive.  Produced on paper and often pasted on boards for short term display, it is only the surplus copies and those on the reverse of repurposed boards (for example as dart boards!) that remain to tell the tale.

The Trust, with the support of The Arts Scholars Trust through the Association of Independent Museums, has had the opportunity in 2023-4 to explore its extensive collection, catalogue and rehouse the items to ensure their preservation, and present a selection for the education and enjoyment of website visitors.

Subsets within the collection tell their own tales of the history of passenger road transport.  Our Trustees had produced articles explaining the relevance for long distance coach travel, day tours and excursions and daily bus services.  These link the poster art to the contemporary vehicles and social norms as well as to the design of related ephemera in the form of booklets, timetables and vehicle signage.

Expressing it on a poster 

A century of coach tours in and around the Penwith Peninsular

Fifty years of coach tours in and around the South Hams

Pandora's box has been opened and the Trust's work in this area continues.  If you can add to historical context of the art do get in touch to get involved.

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