Old English tea shops hung paintings instead of redecorating

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Lyons Teashops were a ubiquitous part of British life in the old days. There were more than 200 of them across the country. But after the war they couldn't afford to redecorate; times were tough and materials weren't available.

So they came up with a very sensible solution: smarten up their decor by commissioning paintings of idyllic British life: parks, forests, fishing and picking apples. Another era but familiar sentiments.

Now the lithographs made from the paintings, The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art in a Time of Austerity, are on display at Towner, the contemporary art museum for South East England.

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