All Quiet on the Home Front

It’s all very quiet on eBay at the moment.  I’d thought that this was due to the summer, but it is now wet and October and there is still very little on the market.  So little in fact that I am going to point you at precisely two things.  One is this very expensive Robin Day poster for the RAF.

Robin Day poster photomontage RAF

But then it is a rare Robin Day poster and so probably deserves something in the region of £175.

The other is this Bromfield poster for Windsor, which I mentioned in passing earlier this year.

Windsor poster British Railways Bromfield

It’s noteworthy because at the time, I could only find an image of the artwork, which suggests that the National Railway Museum don’t have a copy.  Perhaps they’d like to buy this one.  It’s also unique in being the first poster on eBay -or indeed anywhere else – that I have ever seen being held down by bananas.  Proof that there will always be something out there to surprise me.

Fortunately, the eBay-shaped gap in my life has been filled by a couple of auctions.  The more sensible of the two is the Great Central Railwayana auction next weekend.  Where you can buy lots of sensible railway posters like this one of Whitstable.

Whitstable Briitish Railways poster Anonymous 1950s

Or this one of the Scilly Isles.

John Smith Scilly ISles British Railways poster 1950s

Apologies for the lack of information, but most of these posters are anonymous – apart from the one above which is by John S Smith.  And of course this is a railwayana auction, so they haven’t seen fit to provide us with anything useful like estimates.

Anyway, back to the posters.  Slightly more idiosyncractic is this Frank Mason poster for the Yorkshire Coast, which is mining an unlikely seam of pre-war psychedelia.

Frank Mason Yorkshrie Coast vintage LNER 1930s railway poster

The auction is also offering a fine selection of 1950s kitsch for your delectation.

British Railways Rhyl poster 1950s

Morecambe poster British Railways 1950s beach

Fleetwood whale British Railways poster Carswell 1950s

The pun above is by Carswell, the other two are anonymous.

But poster of the week award has to go to Harry Riley, for his magnificent reimagining of Aberdeen.

Harry Riley Aberdeen poster BRitish railways 1950s

It doesn’t really look like that, does it?

Our next auction, though, is much odder in itself.  The sale is advertised as Two Day Sale of the Contents and Exhibits of a Heritage Museum, which means you can buy a 1950s rug-making kit, a big heap of ancient toys and a reception counter, amongst many, many other things.

But they are also selling some World War Two Home Front posters.

Mothers let them go World War Two propaganda home front poster

They’re all a bit plain for my taste in home fromt propaganda, but with estimates (set by someone who has never seen a poster of this kind before I can only hazard) averaging £20-30, there must be some bargains to be had.

He talked this happened world war two propaganda poster britain home front

Especially as one or two are quite rare.

Keep it under your hat ww2 home front poster

Finally, a quiz.  I once saw a railway poster of a beach scene where a father was taking a tray of tea over to his family who were on the sands.  I remember it vividly, not least because the cafe was allowing him to take real china cups onto the beach.  But now I can’t find it again – can anyone track it down for me?  I will be very grateful if you can.


  • I’m glad you enjoyed the bananas!

    They happened to be around at the time I was taking the photos and did a very good job of holding the corners of rolled posters without moving along the table all the time, good weight and friction – I’m surprised no-one else has thought of using them.

    As for Aberdeen, that’s got to be most of the population on the beach all at once, who needs the Costas?

  • All the population are on the beach because it’s the only sunny day of the year.

    I may have to go and find a photo of Aberdeen beach. It can’t possibly look like that.

  • I’ve always felt it was a good job they didn’t have the Advertising Standards Authority back then….

  • Except that I’ve just done a search for images and to my surprise find that not only does Aberdeen really have a beach, but it’s rather a lovely one too. I had no idea. And there are even photos of it on a sunny day. I’ll have to stop being quite so snarky without checking my facts first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.