Poster of the Week – Paddington New Station

Paddington New Station, Charles Sharland, 1913

This poster celebrates the opening of the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway (BS&WR) station at Paddington in 1913. Commonly known as the Bakerloo line, the extension to Paddington happened six years after the first branch of the line (from Baker Street to Lambeth North) had opened. The new station had all mod-cons.

The escalators, which were the first on the line, were marketed as a tourist attraction, with Bakerloo line staff equipped with megaphones meeting all incoming trains at the main-line station and shouting  “THIS WAY TO EVERYWHERE. MOVING STAIRCASE IN  OPERATION. THE WORLD’S WONDER”.

The first escalators on the Underground had been installed at Earl’s Court in 1911, and prior to this they had been more commonly experienced as fairground attractions. In the poster, the modern escalators take passengers away from the steam trains of the bustling mainline station and down into the clean, brightly lit station and sleek electric trains.

Charles Sharland, who designed this poster, was an accomplished studio artist. He worked at the printers Waterlow and Sons from the 1900s to the 1920s and completed over 100 designs for the Underground. His designs were equally accomplished when illustrating London’s country or, like here, the sleek modern architecture of London’s Underground.

The station shown here accompanied two other stations that already existed at Paddington. The three Paddington stations all served different lines. In January 1863, the world’s first Underground journey on the Metropolitan Railway started there. Whilst we are celebrating 150 years since the opening of this first underground railway, 2013 also marks the 150th birthday of Princess, the world’s first narrow-gauge steam engine, which served the quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales. Princess has been painstakingly restored by craftsmen at the Ffestiniog Railway and from this Friday 1st March, Princess will be on display at Paddington for six weeks before visiting our Depot at Acton in West London where visitors will have a chance to ride on the footplate.

As part of the exhibition, the Siemens Poster Vote seeks to find out what your favourite poster is.

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