You see it all over the city – key rings, tea towels, bookmarks, piggy banks, pens, t-shirts, postcards. You name it, there’s a piece of merchandise out there with the Underground plastered all over it. For a number of years, Transport for London has been cracking down on how the famous roundel, font and colours are used on souvenirs and signage. But if you dig deep enough you will still find all sorts of bits and pieces that have not been licenced.
As part of the Museum’s curatorial team Christmas day out, I set my colleagues the task of collecting as much of this unofficial Underground material as they could. In an ‘Apprentice’ style challenge, two teams were given 3 hours and £50 each, and were sent out onto the tourist streets of London to collect what they could. The results were pretty amazing – dodgy pink i-Phone covers, dubious key rings, odd postcards and even a risqué calling card or two!
For the Museum’s LU150 celebrations, we are going to accession some of these finds into the collection as a record of how the roundel is used around the anniversary in 2013. And if any of you see anything you think we should collect, please let us know – maybe take a photo and post it up on here. The weirder the better!