Railway Posters began to appear in the earliest days of the
railways. These were of the letterpress variety giving mainly
timetable notices and later provided details of excursions.
By the start of the 20th Century Posters had moved on and generally
involved some graphic design. The Company in the lead in this aspect
was the LNWR who employed the artist Norman Wilkinson to produce
original paintings for their Posters with the other Companies,
particularly the MR and GWR, seeing the benefit of this type of advert.
The various Companies continued in their own individual way until
the formation of the Big 4 Companies in 1923.
This was the period of great growth in the
Railways with most
families taking their Summer Holidays by rail to the seaside and
Posters were an excellent way to offer the attractions that their
part of the Country had to offer. Posters were produced in two main sizes so as to fit the Poster
boards that were hung on station walls.
were standard sizes relating to printing press sizes from the
Royal - 25" x 40"
Quad Royal - 50" x 40"
In 1948 the Railways were nationalised becoming six regions. Posters
continued to be a popular advertising medium with many incorporating
the BR "Totem" image. To show that it was a National Network the
totem colours often didn't correspond to the images
There were some excellent Posters made from paintings by Terence
Cuneo and these proved very popular.
By the 1970's the railways as a means of going on holiday were in decline and so were the posters
as more and more people went by car with the Railways being left for
more mundane travel. Although a few
good modern posters were produced they are few and far between.
posters have been mounted on linen in order to protect them from
tears but this does tend to reduce their value as the major
collectors prefer them in original condition. Prices vary a great
deal but you should be able to get a very attractive DR Poster for
£200 - £400. Quad Royals are generally a little cheaper as they are
more difficult to display. If you are
going to buy always buy one in good condition and with an attractive
image - at the end of the day the image is everything if you are
going to display it.