1929 Richard T. Cooper

Richard T. Cooper: Boat Race Centenary, 1929

The Boat Race, the annual race between Oxford and Cambridge universities, was first raced in 1829. It is held every year in late March and features the ‘blues’ – dark blue Oxford team vs light blue Cambridge team. About quarter of a million people watch the race from the banks, with another 15 million or so following on TV.

The course starts at Putney Bridge and ends at Chiswick, which provides Chiswick with its most famous moment in the national consciousness each year. The race is 4.2 miles (6.8km) long, which is longer than national and Olympic courses and is particularly challenging because of the tides, the currents and the all-important bends. The race passes Chiswick Eyot, Fuller’s Brewery, Chiswick Pier and the Dukes Meadows Bandstand before finishing just downstream of Chiswick Bridge.

London Transport created Boat Race posters to advise spectators of the best route to get to the river banks most years during the 20th century. These posters are fabulous examples of London Transport’s strong graphic history, and we had an amazing selection from which to make our choice.

This image was created by Richard T. Cooper (1884–1957), who designed posters for the Underground Group 1924–35. Educated in Paris, Cooper’s original posters are now much sought-after.

Acknowledgement: ©TfL from the London Transport Museum collection.

Artwork and maps