Thursday 16 September 2010

National Savings poster, 1970s

The artist here was Angus Rands (1922-85), a native of Ilkley whose mode of work was portraits of life in Yorkshire and the Dales. The point of this picture, showing the post office in the beautifully tranquil village of East Keswick near Wetherby, was that everyone, even those in remoter rural parts, could make use of the National Savings Bank via their local post office. The National Savings Bank, formerly known as The Post Office Savings Bank, came into being in 1969.

Ironically of course, as the photo above shows, the post office is no longer there and the building, now known as the Old Forge, has been turned into domestic accommodation.

Friday 10 September 2010

Rail poster for ramblers, 1936

This is the most colourful of the posters we have acquired through the project to date. It is the summer number in a series of four - one for each season - created by in-house poster designer Audrey Weber (1917-50) for the Southern Railway. Very deliberately, the countryside is visually depicted in the most attractive light in order to draw suburban commuters waiting on noisy and crowded platforms to the tranquil joys of rambling. The date is 1936, just a year after the formal creation of The Ramblers' Association which provided a national focus for what had become a highly popular pastime. The Southern Railway served counties to the south and west of London and had an obvious commercial incentive in promoting leisure journeys out into the countryside rather than just business travel into the city.

Thursday 2 September 2010

Bourton Model Village souvenirs, 1950s

The Model Village as a tourist attraction first appeared during the interwar years and in the 1950s and 1960s became a popular addition to many resort destinations from Hastings to Blackpool and from Corfe Castle to Skegness. It's not the appeal across the generations of seeing things in miniature but the fact that a traditional English rural village should so often be the subject that brings this within the sphere of the project.

At Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, a Mr Morris, landlord of the Old New Inn, began in 1936 to build a model village on some rough land behind the inn. Three years later, he and his six helpers, had managed to complete a miniature version of Bourton village in Cotswold stone at a ninth scale - right down to a model of the model village itself.

The model village first welcomed visitors on the Coronation Day of George VI in 1937 and it remains open behind the Inn to this day. Over the years it has generated a variety of souvenir ephemera, like the guidebook above which has Gulliver making a visit to Bourton and marvelling at the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the model's creators.
And there were pottery mementos as well for the day trippers in car or coach to take away with them.