Bethnal Green was amongst the first stations to open in the post-WW2 period; the Central line’s eastern extensions having been delayed by the war by nearly a decade. Finishes at both street and platform level used the decorative pattern of faience tiles and ceramic tiles largely determined by Underground architects in the late 1930s, with extensive use of a pale cream field pattern, enlivened by simple colour contrasts, a superb tube lined name frieze, and the use of the marvelous ‘symbols of London Transport’ tiles designed by Harold Stabler RDI.
The work was extremely complicated encompassing such requirements as matching the original variation in glaze colour and tonality, without being able to replicate original glaze recipes and firing processes. Craven Dunnill Jackfield and Johnson Tiles worked extremely closely on this complex project, combining many different processes including hand decoration, tube-lining and enameling to complete the frieze element. The finished product is rightly regarded as being an exemplar for the large scale restoration of ceramic tiling, and helped influence national conservation policy changes.
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