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31 Gorgeous Photos Of The London Underground In The ’50s And ’60s

Featuring rat catchers, “fluffers”, and of course strikes. Have a look at our series from the earliest days here.

1. Circa 1950: London Underground rat-catchers with their net and ferrets.

Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

2. 1952: A group of women cleaning one of London’s underground tunnels.

Hulton Archive / Getty

Known as ‘fluffers’, they would clean the tunnels at night, after the last train had gone and the current had been switched off.

3. 1952: Advertisements being pasted up.

Topical Press Agency / Getty

4. 1952: Tube cleaner.

Hulton Archive / Getty

Harry Weatheley, surfacing from a vent under Piccadilly Circus underground station.

5. 1952: Tube train at Picadilly Circus.

Hulton Archive / Getty

6. 1952: Liverpool Street.

Harry Todd / Hulton Archive / Getty

7. 1952: Kingsway Tram

Monty Fresco / Hulton Archive / Getty

8. 1954: Underground fluffers.

Chris Ware / Hulton Archive / Getty

9. 1955: Underground life.

Topical Press Agency / Hulton Archive / Getty

10. 1955: All-night dancing.

Via Hulton Archive / Getty

After leaving the ‘Club Americana’, a Saturday night jazz club open from midnight until 7 a.m., American troops and their girlfriends wait at Piccadilly Circus Station for the first train home, London, 25th November 1955.

11. 1956: Downtown Soho.

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12. 1956: Piccadilly Circus.

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13. 1956: Rush hour.

Werner Rings / Hulton Archive / Getty

14. 1956: Rush hour, London Bridge.

Hulton Archive / Getty

15. 1957: Tube music.

Hulton Archive / Getty

16. 1957: Silver trains.

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Sir John Elliott, Chairman of the LTE shaking hands with the driver of the new prototype ‘silver’ tube train at Northfields station on the Piccadilly line.

17. 1958: Bus strike.

Hulton Archive / Getty

18. 1958: Oxford Circus.

Hulton Archive / Getty

19. 1958: Oxford Circus.

Hulton Archive / Getty

20. 1958: London Bridge

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21. 1960: Publishing liberalised.

Via Hulton Archive / Getty

22. 1963: Frenchman in London.

Georges Bidault (1899 - 1983) wanders through London’s Piccadilly Circus during his period of exile from France.

23. 1963: Oxford Circus.

Hulton Archive / Getty

24. 1964: Mystery package.

Hulton Archive / Getty

West Ham manager Ron Greenwood holds the F.A Cup, won by his team against Preston North End the previous Saturday, as he waits for a train on the London Underground, 5th May 1964.

25. 1964: Sikh underground.

Hulton Archive / Getty

3rd September 1964: Amar Singh, a sikh who works for London Underground, has been allowed to pin his badge to a turban after a protest against having to wear the standard uniform hat.

26. 1966: Piccadilly Circus.

Hulton Archive / Getty

27. 1966: Matching fur.

Hulton Archive / Getty

26th August 1966: Actress Louise Thompson crossing the road outside Earls Court underground station, London, with a portable radio covered in ponyskin to match her fur coat.

28. 1968: Tea on the Tube.

Hulton Archive / Getty

A London Undergroung official drinking a cup of coffee during trials of new automatic trains on a section of the Central Line. The trains are intended for use on the newly opened Victoria underground line.

29. 1968: Station telephones.

Hulton Archive / Getty

30. 1969: Foot sore.

Hulton Archive / Getty

3rd July 1969: Footsore office girls rest their weary feet in Bow, East London, as they make their way to work during a one-day strike by Underground signalmen.

31. 1969: Bus queue.

Hulton Archive / Getty

A large queue of commuters wait for a bus during a one-day strike by London Underground.

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