By coach to Harrogate

In the immortal words of Smash Hits, it’s back – back, back, back.

Tom Eckersley British Railways Paignton poster 1960
Tom Eckersley, Paignton, 1960

What else can I be talking about but the gift that keeps on giving, the Morphets auction of Malcolm Guest railway posters.  Part One was in January, Part Two I mostly ignored because its main attraction was a set of Heath Robinson drawings.  But I’ve been anticipating Part Three – all the posters from 1960 and later – for some time now.  The catalogue still isn’t up yet, but Morphets have now put a few more teasers on their site.  And, to my relief, there are some real gems.

Jersey British Railways poster

The relief is because I’d heard that there were a lot of letterpress and otherwise dull posters up for sale – although with more than 2,000 posters in the auction, there may well still be.  I was also in fear of this kind of thing.

British Railways electrification poster

As well as this this too.

St andrews British Railway poster

But the good news is that, in this preview at least, they seem to be in the minority.  Not only are there some fairly entertaining railway posters,

Brighton and Hove British Railways vintage poster 1961
Brighton and Hove, Joseph McKeown, 1961

Relax By Rail, vintage British railways poster

in varying degrees of kitsch/Ladybird books style, but what brings me real joy is that Malcolm Guest clearly went a bit off-topic and started collecting coach posters as well, seemingly quite a few if this preview is anything to go by.

I reckon that these three at least are by Daphne Padden (of whom more later this week).

Coach trips to the Zoo vintage poster

Coach party travel vintage poster morphets

See Cornwall vintage coach poster

But I don’t know for definite, because there’s nothing but the images up at the moment.  Any names and identification are my own guesses or research, which could be proved very wrong when the catalogue comes out.

There are two definite Royston Cooper’s as well, with a probable third too.

Royston Cooper go shopping by bus vintage poster

Royston Cooper coach to London with overprinting vintage poster

Special Attractions coach poster Royston Cooper

The last one I’ve never seen before, either.

And then there are just some great posters about which I know nothing.  Like these.

Merry Christmas coach poster santa on a bus

Special Attractions top hat vintage coach poster

Any ideas?  In particular, if anyone knows who the artist of the last one is, please do let me know as it’s driving Mr Crownfolio insane right now.  He reckons it might be someone associated with Private Eye, if that helps at all.

And there is a rather nice Abram Games from 1967, which may well be a coach poster too.

vintage Abram Games poster Carfree Carefree

The sale itself is on 21st and 22nd of July, which by my reckoning gives me just six weeks to work out how I am going to afford any or, ideally, all of this.  Right now, I have no idea.

  • That poster with Santa reclining on a coach (rather than a couch – Freudian slip?) is a Royston Cooper for sure. The signature’s on there on the left hand side.

  • To put you out of your misery – the details of the top hat lot are as follows!

    Lot 891
    BROMFIELD/Art Director H. D. Muirhead
    Special Attractions, Eyes and Top Hat,
    an original poster, label verso, printed for The Tilling Group of Bus Companies by Planet Designs Ltd
    DC
    Condition A

    You were right about the caveman poster; it is by Royston Cooper.

    Illustrated catalogues will be available shortly.

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