These Hilarious Wartime Posters Told Off Londoners For Standing On The Left Of Escalators

These Hilarious Wartime Posters Told Off Londoners For Standing On The Left Of Escalators

If you thought your housemate was the master of passive aggressiveness, think again. We reckon that title goes to Cyril Kenneth Bird, AKA 'Fougasse'.

In 1944, the cartoonist — who bizarrely nicknamed himself after a type of landmine —  was commissioned to create this set of wry posters, chiding wet-behind-the-ears commuters. Yes there was a war on, but that was no excuse to start standing on the left of the escalator, thank you.

Though 1944 was a time when Londoners found themselves cowering in underground stations from dreaded V2 rockets, Fougasse's posters don't overtly reference wartime. But you can spot male and female representatives from the three military services in 'Please have your ticket ready' (heroes must obey the rules of the Underground too).

With their simple, childlike illustrations, and messages that bristle with jaded frustration (you can almost hear the sighs leaping off the page) these posters, now 75 years old, stand the test of time.

They obviously didn't do their job though: Londoners continue to commit all four of these cardinal commuter sins.

The posters are part of London Transport Museum's new online archives, taken from a collection of posters, representing some of the best graphic art and design from the 20th century.

Last Updated 17 June 2019