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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Saucy Postcards: The Bamforth Collection

Everyone knows that I appreciate a "saucy seaside" postcard. Frowned down upon by the snooty art elite.  Despised by hardcore feminists -though a couple did once tell me these cards "celebrated feminism" -I have NO idea -??

So when I saw this item I thought "oooh!"

Taken from Saucy Postcards: The Bamforth Collection, a new book which celebrates the golden age of comic postcards. The Yorkshire-based publisher Bamforth & Co started producing ‘saucy’ postcards in 1910, and at the peak of their popularity 20 million were in circulation per year. The cheeky designs became synonymous with the English seaside resorts where they were sold, but were also exported all over the world.

After World War Two, Bamforth artists began to satirise the classic comic archetypes that still resonate today – henpecked husbands, naughty nurses and over-sexed milkmen.

In this comprehensive showcase, a selection of more than 250 cards originally published from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s are reproduced in full colour for a nostalgic walk through Britain’s social history. As battles with the postcard censorship committees resulted in almost 150 prosecutions over the years, the postcards also raise interesting questions of censorship laws in addition to being a unique look at changing British humour. As George Orwell said of them in 1941: “Obscene... [but] the corner of the human heart they speak for might easily manifest itself in worse forms, and I for one should be sorry to see them vanish.”

To order a copy of Saucy Postcards: The Bamforth Collection by Marcus Hearn (Constable & Robinson) for £11.99 (+£1.35 p&p), call Telegraph Books on 0844 871 1514 or visit

Having seen more recent examples with absolutely awful artwork and very unfunny gags I can tell you that Bamforths will always be much loved! 


  1. The Telegraph are a bit late with their review there - I got this just before Christmas, two years ago, and even then it was in a discount/clearance book shop!

    It's still a great book though, nice to have so many of them in one place.

  2. Uhhhh. I just got an email from someone I know at The Telegraph who read this. ""Bulk discountede old books, mate!" I need to find this somewhere then. Where....WHERE to look for books...? Hmmm. Two years ago though. Cheap newspaper *****!

  3. The place I got it from is called "The Works" if that helps.

    Tried Amazon? I've just looked, they've got "Used" copies for a penny plus postage...

  4. One of my local libraries has a copy so I'll check it out.

  5. Ja D -if you can do. Some are quite cringe-worthy when it comes to gags but the art style is something you never see much these days!
    Two Headed Boy -yeah, I'll try Amazon. I never saw it in The Works in Bristol. But if there's a copy out there I'm getting it! ;-)