Friday 25 September 2009

Escape from the town, 1920s

The two posters here, recently acquired, date from 1926. The message on both is central to the theme of this project and the relationship between town and country. They are by F.Gregory Brown (1887-1941), well known in the interwar years as a landscape painter, illustrator and textile designer. For the railway companies, the great popularity at the time of hiking and rambling offered positive marketing opportunities for their commuter routes in the off-peak weekend periods.

Writing of Manchester in this time, C.E.M.Joad wrote 'singly, in couples, in groups or organized in clubs young people have formed the habit of going on Saturdays and Sundays and, increasingly, for the whole weekend, into the country. You can see the living witnesses of this revolution at the Central Station at Manchester early on a Sunday morning, complete with rucksacks, shorts and hob-nailedboots, waiting for the early trains to Edale, Hope and the Derbyshire moors. Looking at them, one might be tempted to think that the whole of Manchester was in exodus' (from The Untutored Townsman's Invasion of the Country, 1946.

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