Mrs Housewife on Display

There are some things I haven’t been telling you recently, and it’s time to fess up.

The biggest omission is the Bloomsbury Auctions sale which happened last week. Now this wasn’t the most exciting collection of posters I have ever seen in one place, but there was one significant exception. This was three lots, right at the end, all by Dorrit Dekk.  Each one was a total treasure trove, with a whole range of posters in, not just one.

Dorrit Dekk wireless licence GPO poster 1940s

Dorrit Dekk Home makers poster Post office savings bank

What’s more, they were estimated at £200-300 per lot which, with at least ten posters each time, was looking like a total bargain.  Hence my silence.

Dorrit Dekk staggered holidays World War Two home front propaganda poster

As the sale went on, we got more and more excited, because nothing seemed to be selling for over its estimate, and quite a few things were falling below that (the contrast with Christies is not something that you need me to explain).  So by the time we got to the three Dekk lots our hopes were high.

Dorrit Dekk Love Post Office Savings Banks poster 1960s

But they were rapidly dashed to the ground again.  They all went for well over their estimates, £420 in two cases and a whopping £550 for the one with all of the travel posters in.

Dorrit Dekk orient line travel poster

Dorrit Dekk France travel poster

Bah.  I hope whoever got them likes them.

The second thing I missed was for the rather more practical reason that I only got about 48 hours notice of the sale, but it’s still interesting enough to draw your attention to after the event.  Lot 247 at 1818 Auctioneers in Cumbria at the start of this week was a set of World War Two Home Front propaganda posters, How Mrs Housewife Saves Fuel For Battle.

Mrs Housewife Saves Fuel World War Two Propaganda poster home front

Mrs Housewife Saves Fuel World War Two Propaganda poster home front pair

Mrs Housewife Saves Fuel World War Two Propaganda poster home front

There were thirteen in total, which would have been worth a mention on its own as it’s pretty rare for a whole set to turn up like this.  But also included were these title banners.

Mrs Housewife Saves Fuel for battle title posters for set world war two propaganda

Now I’ve never actually seen something like that before, and I was immediately reminded of this.

Beverley Pick wartime poster display stand from display presentation book

These are Beverley Pick’s travelling poster displays for the Ministry of Information, which I’ve blogged about before.  And what I think came up for auction was a set of posters designed for exactly this kind of display.  Which is a rare thing indeed.  I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if those posters were by Pick himself, either; I’ve seen that kind of brickwork effect on other designs of his.

By way of atonement for these past sins, please have a couple of things which are coming up for auction in the future and so you’re able to buy.  Of which the most interesting is this rather lovely London Transport poster which is being sold by Wooley and Wallis in Salisbury next week.

Leith Poster 1928 London Transport Never Mind the Weather

It’s by a rather mysterious Leith, and seems to be the only poster that he or she ever designed for London Transport.  It has an estimate of just £100-200 if you fancy it, and why shouldn’t you, it’s very appropriate for the season.

Meanwhile in Chippenham a collection of rather ordinary advertising posters has turned up.

Goodyear tyres for farmers advertising posters

I was going to call them pedestrian, but given that half of them are for tyres, that would just be silly.

Goodyear deluxe tyres advertising poster

Still, worth mentioning simply to remind ourselves once again that by no means all past advertising was great.

Motor Homes poster

And quite a lot of it was really rather ordinary.

Finally, this isn’t a poster and it is in a Christies sale with the word Old Master in the title, so it’s definitely unaffordable.  It’s by Lill Tschudi and dates from 1933.

Lilli Tschudi Sticking Up Posters 1933

But it’s people sticking up posters, and the work behind the paper is always worth remembering.


Be prepared

Hurrah, an auction.  It’s about time we had a nice chunky set of British posters for sale, and it’s Bloomsbury Auctions who are obliging this time, on the 16th February.

Once again, there are incalculable quantities of airline posters.  Where do they all come from? I don’t remember them being in auctions a few years ago, and suddenly they are omnipresent.

Lewitt Him vintage airline poster AOA stratocruiser 1948
Lewitt Him, 1948, est £300-500

Lewitt Him AOA vintage airline poster 1950
Lewitt Him, 1950, est. £400-600

Well, there are at least six.  Some of them are indeed the usual Lewitt-Him AOA designs, but there are also other designers working for other airlines for a change.  This one is by Willy de Majo, who deserves a post all of his own one day.

Willy de Major vintage BOAC airline poster 1948 South America
Willy de Majo, 1948, est. £600-800

My favourite of them all is probably this Schleger design for BEA, which I don’t remember ever having seen before now.

Hans Schleger BEA poster hand
Hans Schleger, est. £700-900

It’s also reminded me that when I wrote about these wide blue skies in the airline posters the other day, I left something out, something I only realised last week when I was thinking about the afterlife of surrealism in graphic design.

vintage BOAC poster 1948 airline flags
Anon, 1948, est. £350-450

Because as well as being a remaking of wartime skies and vapour trails, these clear skies with their spotting of clouds are also the heavens across which surrealist visions drift.

BEverley Pick vintage airline poster BOAC
Beverley Pick, est £500-700

Certainly Schleger’s airline skies aren’t much different to his pre-war dreams; it’s just different kinds of flying I suppose.  Maybe it did seem unreal to get to places so quickly, I don’t know.

Laurence Fish, life is gay at whitley bay, vintage travel poster
Laurence Fish, est. £200-400

Apart from the airlines, I can also offer you the undervalued dose of kitsch above, along with a neat Lander and a John Burningham that every household should own.

RM Lander Isle of Man vintage travel poster
R M Lander, est, £ 150-250

John Burningham vintage London Transport poster boat 1964
John Burningham, 1964, est £100-150

Beyond that the posters that most appeal to me are, strangely enough, mostly pre-war.  Mind you, who could resist this.

Blackpool vintage LMS travel railway poster
Anon, est. £200-400

While the idea of ‘J B Priestley’s England’ is one which hasn’t really lasted, making this poster an interesting curio.

Austin Cooper vintage railway poster J B Priestley Good Companions
Austin Cooper, est. £150-250

These two, meanwhile, are just quaintly likeable.

D M Earnshaw vintage London transport poster 1938 party
D M Earnshaw, 1938, est. £100-150

Freda Lingstrom school picnics vintage poster 1930
Freda Lingstrom, 1930, est. £200-300

None of which, though, really adds up to much other than some posters which I enjoy but probably won’t buy, along with a couple of interestingly low valuations on one or two lots.  I shall be particularly interested to see what happens to the Burningham and Whitley Bay posters when they come up.

There are also a very few posters on offer at Dominic Winter’s auction tomorrow, but they do include one or two interesting wartime and pre-war ones.  This Abram Games falls, like so many of his wartime posters, into the category of admirable but I wouldn’t want to have it on my wall.

Abram Games vintage army ordnance poster c1943
Abram Games, 1943, est. £300-500

Then there is this  McKnight Kauffer ARP poster.

McKNight Kauffer vintage propaganda poster ARP 1938
Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1938, est. £200-300

We have a smaller version of this and I was considering it the other day, because it is an odd one.

Although I quite like it as a piece of graphic design (enough to have the air pellet holes removed and get it framed, so a fair bit of like), I’m not sure it’s successful as a poster.  But then it does have an almost impossible task to fulfill.  The design dates from 1938, so just before the war; it needs to make people aware that there is a need for them to do something, but at the same time it can’t spell out the detail of what might happen and frighten people (“you will all be bombed in your beds and die without ARP, so there”).  So it ends up being a bit vague and ineffectual; perhaps they thought that people would have read the papers and would be able to fill in the details themselves, or maybe they just wanted to be woolly at this stage, I don’t know.

Dominic Winter are also selling an ARP poster by Pat Keely in the same sale, and I’m not sure his design is much more convincing.

Pat Keely vintage arp world war two propaganda poster 1938
Pat Keely, 1938, est. £200-300

What do you reckon?

Posters on Display

There was more to the Beverley Pick book than could fit into one single post. Ironically, what got left out last time was posters: to be precise their display, as demonstrated in this wonderful illustration by Mr Pick.

Beverley Pick wartime  poster display stand from display presentation book

It particularly jumped out at me because we have the poster at the bottom left, which I wasn’t actually certain was by Beverley Pick.

Beverley Pick photomontage world war two propaganda poster ministry of food small girl green vegetables

To be fair, the book doesn’t actually say it is either.  But given that every other photo in the book of Pick’s own work. it’s a reasonable assumption to make – and the photomontage and deep colour is very similar to his other poster work during the war.

BEverley Pick world war two propaganda poster ATS be useful

But the illustration of how these posters were displayed is worth a second look too.  Pick describes it as follows:

The light and portable poster screen shown here was designed to take seven posters of standard size and one headline streamer circulated at monthly intervals.

It’s a much more organised mean of display than I ever tend to imagine for Second World War posters.  More importantly, the experience of seeing seven posters together is very different to seeing one alone.  The single poster is much more like propaganda, just giving the viewer the idea that sowing winter vegetables is a good thing to do.  En masse, they are much more informative and give the viewer enough basic knowledge – which vegetables and when – to allow someone to go about it.

The display panel is a useful reminder that  posters appeared in more than one context, not only as solo propaganda pinned up on hoardings, in shops and on the walls of village halls but also in the more organised and didactic context of exhibitions too. It’s not something I’d really considered or read about before but having had that thought, the Imperial War Museum’s photo collection started to come in very useful.  Here’s their image of another poster much beloved of this blog.

F H K HEnrion posters on display off the ration exhibition London Zoo

This is, of course,  F.H.K. Henrion’s paen to the joys of rabbit meat, which  is on display as part of the Off the Ration Exhibition.

Entrance to Off the Ration Exhibition London Zoo

‘Off The Ration’ was originally held at London Zoo, which I always felt must have been a bit unnerving for the other animals, wondering how long it would be before they were designated as steak too.  No wonder that Lewitt Him’s kangaroo is feeding up the more likely candidates in the poster for the exhibition.

Lewitt Him off the ration exhibition poster 1943 Ministry of Information propaganda vintage poster

But returning to our subject of  the poster displays inside, I have seen both the posters at each end before now, but never the panel in the middle.  This may or may not have existed as a single poster – I have no way of knowing and even less means of finding out.  And were the Henrion posters commissioned for the exhibition first, or were existing posters incorporated into the exhibition’s design?  Again, I can’t tell you.

But these unanswerable questions are a useful reminder that posters during the war weren’t lone objects but were seen by people at the time as part of a whole range of other kinds of of graphic design – and the rest of it can easily be forgotten when we’re telling the story of the posters.

Take Potato Pete, as one of the more obvious examples.  He exists on posters, of course.

Potato Pete vintage world war two propaganda poster ministry of food

He too had his own exhibition, this time on Oxford Street (this looks like the site of the bombed-out John Lewis store which was used for a number of exhibitions during and just after the war).

Potato Pete exhibition

But many more people would have seen his image in the daily newspaper Food Bulletins put out by the Ministry of Food and so in many respects the posters and exhibtiions were just adjuncts of that.  So the poster was an image of an already well-known character, which meant that it would have been understood in a very different way.

The continuum of graphic design and display can work the opposite way round as well.  This woman in Oxford is finding out about salvage.

Ministry of Information Salvage exhibition Oxford

The displays that she is looking at aren’t, as far as I know, related to any particular poster campaign,although the main panel could quite easily pass as a poster design.  But nonetheless, people who’d seen this exhibition or one like it would read posters in a subtly different way, seeing them as just one part of what they were being told about salvage.  So perhaps posters had to say less, because they were acting as a reminder, or they were able to use visual symbols which would have been easily understood by the viewer because they’d already been explained in a different context.  It’s impossible to prove this, of course but equally it does seem absurd to thing that this overlap would not have happened.

None of this is in the slightest bit surprising to anyone who has any idea how advertising works in the modern world, where campaigns are planned across television, press and sometimes still posters, and now with social media added on too.  But these multiple contexts are very rarely considered in terms of wartime posters, even though the Ministry of Information was clearly a very shrewd and sophisticated user of all the means available to it.  And there were very many means indeed.  You might find a food exhibition in your local furniture retailer.

A view of a display by the Ministry of Food at the 'Domestic Front' exhibition held at James Brooke and Sons Ltd., 376 Bethnal Green Road. This display focuses on wartime cookery demonstrations and includes information on vitamins, dried eggs and vegetables.

More surprisingly, you might even catch an exhibition being driven down the street.

Travelling salvage exhibition outside Ministry of Information Bruce Angrave.

This highly covetable vehicle is a travelling salvage exhibition in 1943, and I shall let the Imperial War Museum describe it to you.

…the car has the words ‘Private Scrap is in town…come and meet him’ painted on the side. The van itself has a special bin for collecting books ‘for the forces, blitzed libraries, and salvage’, and the side of the van features a series of wooden display panels by artist Bruce Angrave. The salvage exhibition continues inside the vehicle.

Bruce Angrave’s panels aren’t posters and almost certainly don’t exist any more (and if someone wants to tell me I’m wrong on that, I’d very much like it). But they are part of the visual landscape that salvage posters inhabited, and so ought, even if just a tiny bit, to be taken into account when we talk about them.

When I studied Design History, I used to hate entirely abstract phrases like ‘visual culture’ and ‘discourse’; I’m hardly fond of them even now.  But they can have their uses sometimes.  Now that posters have become objects which are both valuable and collectable, the art-historical impulse tends to take over.  They are treated as ‘art’: framed and conserved, and displayed on their own.  None of this is wrong, but it can tend to leach into our thinking about them as well and that isn’t a good thing.  Posters are the bits of graphic design which were lucky enough to survive, but they were part of a much wider world of print and explanation, and it’s worth remembering that more often.


On Display

Having already written in praise of the ephemeral last week, it’s time to explore some more things that can never be recreated.

I ordered this book ages ago, but it arrived just before Christmas after a slow sea crossing of the Atlantic.

Beverley Pick, cover image of display presentation book

The wait was worthwhile, because it is full of wonderful things, even if, sadly, the cover is the only bit of colour there is.

The book covers the full range of display and design, ranging from grand stands at trade shows, like this one for English Electric at the Radio Show at Olympia,

Beverley Pick exhibition Stand for English Electric at Radio Show at Olympia

to small portable displays and shop windows.

Beverley Pick BOAC small counter display object

Beverley Pick BOAC five continents window display

In addition, there’s plenty of practical advice too, with examples of Pick’s own models for his designs – this one intended for shop windows.  He’ll even tell you what glue he used to keep a particularly difficult model together.

Beverley Pick design for Alexon shop display board

But it’s the exhibition stands I love the best.  This is another one from the Radio Show, for a manufacturer of wireless components.

Beverley Pick Ediswann stand Radio Show

This love isn’t just about a wallowing in ephemeral nostalgia on my part, I also think that the exhibition stands are architecturally important, and too often forgotten.

Pick’s book was published in 1957, at a time when British architecture was only just getting on its feet again after the war.  Although a great deal of buildings were being built, houses and flats in particular, the pressures of wartime reconstruction meant that they were mass-produced and kept simple as a result.  Almost everything being built was commissioned by governments and local authorities, with private building licences almost impossible to procure, so the scope for architectural innovation was very limited indeed.

Schools were almost the only buildings which allowed for any kind of experimentation, and even this was constrained by the limited materials available, along with the pressure for  quick and low-cost rebuilding of war damage.  This is Great Barr School in Birmingham, finished in 1958.

Great Barr School, Birmingham, designed by architect A.G. Sheppard Fidler, 1958

All of which meant that the architecture of the first half of the decade (what tends to be called ‘The Festival Style’) never really got built. By the time that less urgent, more extravagant buildings were being commissioned, the architectural fashion had changed, and Brutalism was coming to the fore.  It’s been said that Coventry Cathedral (commissioned n 1951 but only finished in 1962) is one of the few buildings outside the South Bank to be a full expression of the style.  Certainly it was seen as old-fashioned even before it was completed.

BAsil Spence vintage British Railways poster

Although, I personally do have to nominate the Toast Rack building in Manchester as another classic in the style, even if Pevsner calls it the first Pop building ever.

Manchester Hollings Building toast rack

This used to house the Domestic Science College, and thus also had the fried egg building next door.

toast rack and fried egg building

Arguments about the precise number aside, the fact that there are so few of these huildings is why the exhibition stands are worth looking at.  Because for the first five years of the 1950s, perhaps even longer, exhibition design was the main expression of cutting-edge architectural taste in Britain.

Beverley Pick BOAC stand British Industries Fair

These stands are not buildings, they never will be, and often they were designed by different people, exhibition designers rather than architects.  But they are still among the best expressions of the style of the early and mid 1950s that were ever built, and perhaps all the more exuberant because that architectural imagination simply couldn’t be channelled anywhere else.

More beverley pick exhibition stand models

Beverley Pick, in his book, is mostly concerned with the design process and mechanics of display rather than the theory, but even he acknowledges that architecture and exhibition design were very intermingled at this point.

In the years after the war, many architects, forced by building restrictions to devote much of their time to exhibition work, by necessity, acquired valuable training in display and presentation.  Conversely, display designers, entrusted by their clients with the responsibility of producing their exhibition stands, became well versed in architectural and structural matters.

This is also a reminder that Pick was just one of many designers working in the field.  His book only illustrates his own work, but there are plenty more to be found (and goodness only knows I have spent enough time poring over them) in the Designers in Britain series.  I particularly love this Farmers’ Weekly stand by Misha Black and Alexander Gibson from about 1950.

Farmers Weekly exhibition stand c1950 Mischa Black

This Robin Day design for ECKO dates from about the same year too.

Robin Day ecko stand Radio exhibition

Day also did this ICI pavilion for the Royal Agricultural Show in 1955 or 1956; here the spindly festival style is developing into something sleeker and a bit closer to International Modernism.

Robin Day exhibition stand for ICI Royal Agricultural Show

I would like to live in this as my house please, with a giant Quad Royal logo towering over the roof.

More seriously, I am really surprised that more attention hasn’t been paid to these exhibition designs, however ephemeral they were.  The start of the 1950s – and indeed what is seen as the birth of serious design at this time – is always constructed in terms of exhibitions: Britain Can Make It in 1946 (below), and then of course the Festival of Britain itself in 1951.

Shop Window Street at Britain Can Make It 1946

Both of these exhibitions are very thoroughly documented, which does help.  But all sorts of exhibitions on every scale continued throughout the decade and, mostly, their design has been completely  ignored.

This amnesia goes back in time, because a lot of pent-up architectural design was being channelled into exhibition design during the war as well.  Here are a couple of rather striking Army exhibitions.

Ministry of Information Army Exhibition in Cardiff 1944

The one above is in Cardiff in 1944, that below on the site of the bombed-out John Lewis department store on Oxford Street a year earlier.

Ministry of Information Army Exhibition Oxford Street 1943

Ministry of Information Army Exhibition Oxford Street 1943

It’s clear that the Festival of Britain style was already in the making during the war, rather than springing out of nowhere on the South Bank.

As well as the big budget extravaganzas, there were smaller ones too, many of which were held at Charing Cross Station (did they tour in the provinces after, or was the newspaper coverage enough I wonder?)

Ministry of Information Coupons Exhibition at Charing Cross Station

Ministry of Information Bread is a munition of war exhibition Charing Cross Station

Again, the wartime exhibitions are also a subject which has not been much covered as far as I can tell (and if I’ve missed something please do let me know).  All I’ve found so far is this article, and the fact that it was produced as part of a Henry Moore Institute Study Day about Sculpture in the Home shows just how much the subject has slipped between the cracks of different disciplines.  It’s a shame for what seems to me to be a really important piece of the design history of Britain.  There’s a lost architectural story to be told out there for the telling, if only we can be bothered to look in different places to find it.

In touch with the everyday life of the nation

As promised last week, another look at Sotherans and their new-found love of posters which I had hitherto never thought of as valuable, never mind the preserve of a Mayfair dealer,  But I am always willing to learn.

What’s most interesting about the latest crop of posters that they’ve put up on their website is that there are a whole slew of GPO posters in there.  This, by Donald Smith has to be my absolute favourite.

Donald Smith Vintage GPO poster Post Office Savings Bank

So much so that I almost thought about paying the £125 that they want for it.  But didn’t, you’ll be relieved to hear.

I’ve mentioned my utter lack of knowledge about Donald Smith before (when a few of his posters, including the one above, turned up in the 1962 Poster Annual. Unfortunately nothing has turned up to change that since then, so I still can’t tell you the first thing about him except that he made very good posters indeed.

In the same sort of vein are a Stan Krol and Harry Stevens.

Stan Krol vintage gpo poster post office savings bank

Harry Stevens Vintage GPO POster Post office savings bank knight

There’s a weird lack of consistency in the dimensions of these posters which is a bit puzzling, as they must have been made for a whole range of different displays.

Just to add further variety, there are also a couple of what I think are GPO schools posters, although I’ve never seen them before, both proudly promoting the Post Office’s role as a promotor of national unity, ‘in touch with the everyday life of the nation’.  Which is probably something which should have been thought about a bit more before so many of them were closed down.

Walter Hoyle Harlow New Town GPO schools poster

Norman Jacques vintage GPO poster schools

The sheer joyous optimism about new town life in Harlow in the Walter Hoyle poster at the top is rather wonderful, while the Norman Jacques below more falls under alright if you like that sort of thing.  Neither of them, though, are ever going to be worth £145 in my book.  Nor is this other Hoyle going to persuade me to part with £225 either.

Walter Hoyle GPO savings poster 4 nations

But the griping about the prices is really a bit incidental.  What’s odd (and if I’m honest a bit unnerving) is that this kind of poster has suddenly found its way into the mainstream.  I am bemused, I really am.

Further bemusement is also caused by finding this anonymous CoI poster in there too.

CoI vintage civil defence poster post war

I’m guessing it’s early 1950s, but is there really a market for Cold War memorabilia?  This Beverley Pick is at least a bit less of a surprise.

Beverley Pick ATS vintage world war two propaganda poster

But what still confounds me most about all of this is how the usual fare of Cuneos and railway landscapes have almost completely vanished from the Sotherans roster.  To be sure, there are one or two in there, but not in the swarms there once were.  Instead, they’ve been replaced by, well, this kind of thing.  Posters I like and am interested in to be precise.  And I’m not sure I like that, I don’t think I’m ready for my tastes to become mainstream.  Quite apart from anything else, I’ll never be able to afford another poster again.

The Price of Everything

Today, a miscellany of stuff, mostly for sale.  And it’s a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly.  Shall we start with the latter?

This, um, rarely seen poster is being sold by an American auction house in an internet auction on Sunday.  Although I tell you this more as a warning than an invitation to buy.

British Railways British Transport Hotels 1978 Winterbreak poster

Truly, proof that the golden age of the railway poster was dead and buried by 1978.  Amazingly there is a bid on it too.

To cleanse your eyes after that, some lovely Daphne Padden.  Travel On Paper are selling this classic for what looks to me like a very reasonable dealer price of £275.

Daphne Padden Royal Blue coach poster 1957 fishermen and cat

Now I’m not sure what Daphne Padden is actually worth these days (and I know that I’m saying this from the persepective of someone who’s got quite a few of her posters, and am therefore not exactly an unbiased observer, but hey).  On one hand, other dealers are selling less good posters by Daphne Padden for £450+; on the other, we got our copy of the poster above at Morphets, last year, for just £65 and something else came with it, even if I can’t remember what.  So, what’s the actual value? I haven’t got a clue. Anyway, Travel on Paper are at MidCentury Modern in Dulwich on Sunday 20th if you want to look at some of their posters or just say hello.

Over on eBay it’s the same story, posters of varying quality at seemingly random prices.  Shall we start with cheap, but rightfully so.

Ebay 1950s National Savings Bank poster Casual Earner Regular Saver

It’s a National Savings Bank Poster, but I can’t tell you any more than is on the listing I’m afraid.

While this railway poster, with a similar womens’ magazine styling to its illustration, has a starting bid of $210.

British Railways Southern Region Folkstone poster 1959


But it is being sold by a dealer, PosterConnection, so perhaps the price isn’t so surprising.

Meeting them somewhere in the middle is this H M Bateman Save Fuel poster which seems very reasonable at £48 Buy It Now, especially considering it’s 20″ x 30″.

H M Bateman don't be fuelish WW2 propaganda poster

The more I think about that, the more I think it is a bargain; the better known examples of these can go for £200 or more at auction.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The seller also has this ATS poster, from a series which has been mentioned on here before, and I believe is by Beverley Pick.

Beverley Pick World War TWo ATS propaganda poster

This is currently on a £68 Buy It Now, which is rather more like what it would fetch at auction, but still not unreasonable.

Finally in this heap of odds and ends, a couple of follow-ups to previous posts.  When I wrote about John Burningham the other day, I couldn’t find an image of his cats in a boat coach poster that I’d liked so much at the exhibition.  But Liz Dobson very kindly sent me a photo.

John Burningham boatload of cats coach travel poster lovely

I’ll add it to the post as well, but I thought I’d show you here too as it’s so great.  And if you do happen to have a spare one…

And following on from my musings about airline posters, Martin Steenson of Books & Things pointed me at this Lewitt-Him AOA poster, which he currently has for sale.

Lewitt Him AOA poster vintage travel

While it doesn’t have the expansive blue skies or vapour trails of their other posters, I still think this has a strong connection to the visual language of the war in the air.  Because it looks to me like nothing so much as a wartime aircraft recognition poster.

World War Two aircraft recognition poster

Were there other areas where the visual memory of the war spilled out of the national subconscious and into peace time like this?  Surely there must have been: the war was too all-encompassing to be easily forgotten, however hard people wanted to try.