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Earlier this year London Underground celebrated its 150th anniversary. To mark the occasion, TFL (Transport for London) have collaborated with a number of designers to come up with some iconic underground themed collections.

Fired Earth has recently released their beautiful new limited edition ‘Underground 150 Collection’. On request of TFL, Fired Earth were asked to delve into the London Transport Museum archive’s and recreate a selection of some of the finest tiles used in London Underground stations. Using the original moulds taken from the archives, Fired Earth has done a spectacular job and has revived some truly delightful designs.

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The ‘Edwardian’ range, originally designed by Leslie Green in 1903, features the recognisable pomegranate and acanthus leaf designs with base tiles and dados in matching shades.

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Perhaps the most iconic range, ‘Signage’, includes a selection of famous underground phrases in their original typeface.

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The ‘Landmarks’ range features the designs of Harold Stabler, who was commissioned in 1939 to create large scale architectural ceramics for a number of Underground stations. Fired Earth has reproduced their favourite, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Crystal Palace and the Palace of Westminster.

In their ‘Underground Collection’, Kirkby Design has also collaborated with TFL to recreate these London Underground seat fabrics, which I have never seen looking so good! Taken from the London Transport Museum archives, these old moquette fabrics have been transformed into a fantastic contemporary collection of viscose velvets, which are cool, retro and rather iconic.

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Bench: Marylebone Kingfisher. Cushions from left: Marylebone Neon Orange, Piccadilly Havana, Bakerloo Neon Orange, Bakerloo Magnet.

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Cushions from left: District Blackberry, Bakerloo Kingfisher, Marylebone lime, Marylebone Eden, Bakerloo Neon Orange, Piccadilly Havana.

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Sofa: District Gold. Cushions: Bakerloo Magnet, Bakerloo Jet Black.

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Seats from left: Piccadilly Neon Orange, Piccadilly Kingfisher.

These collections have given me a fresh look at the London Underground, and the distinct designs that have transpired from underground transport. Do take a further look as there is plenty more to see, including Fired Earth’s fantastic vintage underground poster range.

This blog first appeared on the Cambridge Evening News website.

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