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Seaside Postcards

967 of 1160 nominations


Seaside Postcards

Is this an icon?


Seaside Postcards

No trip to the seaside would be complete without at least a glance at the racks of naughty postcards. You might be surprised to learn that they date back to the Edwardian era, when their suggestiveness might go as far as captioning a lady in a long dress leading a polar bear on a leash with the title, “Flossie, with her bear behind”. The jokes are all a little nearer what is generally known as the knuckle in these uninhibited days, but hardly ever seem to cause serious offence. Half the fun in choosing a card is finding one with a character who looks a little like the Uncle Reg you’re sending it to – shown in some deeply compromising position, of course. A Yorkshire-based company, Bamforths (recently taken over), was the number one name in seaside sauciness, while artist Donald McGill made an almost sixty-year career as the Rembrandt of Rude. His scrawny husbands and enormous wives, anarchic kids and spectacularly endowed young women in bikinis, were a cast of characters we shall forever associate with the otherwise innocent pleasures of a week’s holiday by the sea.

Photo: Ted Davis


Your comments

This should be an icon because, titter, it sums up the English attitude to, snigger,' ooh er missus', um, er, 'can I say this word?' -sex.

david greene

See George Orwell's (brilliant) essay "The Art of Donald Magill".
w o miles

If this was not included I would have entered it myself. Who else but the English could have come up with this icon. We gave the world inuendo and I'm comfortable with the notion that Americans don't get it.
James Posford

View All Comments (5)



I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer