This decorative map, simply called “Kew”, was produced by Herry Perry of Vincent Brooks lithographers in 1929. It was part of a series of posters commissioned for what is now Transport for London and actually depicts the area to the south of modern-day Kew, running down to Surbiton.

Like the rest in the series (Hounslow, Edgware, South Harrow and Morden), it highlights the end of a tube line – in this case, Kew Gardens and Richmond on the District line, and shows bus routes, indicated by roads with red borders, from the line end to parks and pubs, golf courses and historic buildings, encouraging visitors to make use of the tube/bus combination to visit a new area.

Of particular note, the Kew map covers an area which has not really changed much in the intervening 90 years – Bush(e)y Park, Richmond Park and the Royal Gardens (now Kew Gardens) still dominate the area, and little of the green space shown has since developed into housing. It might be possible to use this map for a modern day visit to the area – but keep your smartphone handy just in case.

There is lots of lovely detail on this map, such as the trees drawn in the parks, the odd bus going along the marked routes, and various figures shown playing sports or taking photos. Short snippets of text add further information about some locations on the map, and the pubs are not only named but often have their signboard drawn on the map too.

The scale bar and direction arrow is also a thing of beauty. It is shown as a a special TfL “roundel”:

Note that the map completely omits drawing the railway line which connects Mortlake and Richmond to Twickenham, Teddington, Kingston upon Thames and Norbiton, because that was run by a rival corporation. Such selective mapping continues to this day with the modern Tube Map which only includes the Transport for London controlled railways and omits many useful connections.

Further details about the map are available at the London Transport Museum shop online.

The scan of this map is © 2019 London Transport Museum.


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