‘Goodbye Piccadilly’ – new First World War exhibition at London Transport Museum
Posted 23 April 2014 in News
By Kate Clements
A major exhibition, Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front . will open at London Transport Museum on 16 May 2014.
It will tell the story of the London home front during the First World War, and reveal the experiences of men and women as the conflict impacted on their lives.
Visitors will be able to find out how drivers took their buses to the Western Front to transport troops; how women were accepted into the transport workforce for the first time; and how Londoners came under deadly attack from the air, as total war came to the capital.
Goodbye Piccadilly will present London Transport Museum ’s unique perspective on the First World War, exploring how the conflict accelerated social change, how it impacted on the lives of Londoners and the essential role undertaken by bus service staff and buses in the war effort, both at home and abroad.
It will look at the impact of aerial bombardment on life on the British home front, how Londoners sheltered from air raids in Underground stations, and the introduction of ratioПing.
A key theme of the exhibition will be to examine the lives of women who were employed on a large scale to do the jobs previously held by men. They worked as bus conductors and mechanics on London buses and as porters and guards on the Underground.
The exhibition will bring together objects from several collections for the first time, at the heart of which will be ‘Ole Bill’, a 1911 bus on loan from IWM .
It was one of the hundreds of B-type buses to be requisitioned in 1914 for use on the Western Front. After the war it was refurbished as a permanent memorial to the role played by London buses in the First World War.
Other exhibition highlights include wartime recruitment posters, rarely seen propaganda posters, and a 1914 female bus conductor’s uniform.
Six animations by University of the Arts Central Saint Martins students plus new poetry from SLAMbassadors UK will offer new creative interpretations about the impact of the war.
The Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front exhibition will be accompanied by a public events programme of talks and Friday Lates. Discover the range of events at London Transport Museum linked to the First World War Centenary.