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Monday, 30 August 2010

Saucy British Seaside Postcards

Donald McGill 1875-1962
There is a vein of humour within British comedy which, in the tradition of old-time Music Hall, trades upon the use of 'cheeky' or risque laughs. In the same way that people like the late Benny Hill would raise a laugh without quite being outrageous. One of the most enduring features of this is the seaside post card and it's most famous exponent was Donald McGill. He worked in the industry from 1904 until his death in 1962. He had already prepared the next seasons postcards for 1963. In 1953 thousands of his cards were seized in police raids on shops on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere and he was prosecuted and fined £50.
A typical post-war saucy British seaside postcard
Another prolific artist was Sunny Pedro
Meanwhile the French idea of a saucy postcard was quite different to the British version!


Joanne Fox said...

Oh, that Carry On humour! I remember being mortally embarrassed if we went anyway near those postcard stands as a child.

bazza said...

Joanne: I remember wanting to look at them as a young boy and being pulled away by my dad!
Somehow, even the more extreme ones seem to have an aura of innocence these days.
Certainly the skill of the artists was never appreciated until recently.

Rob said...

Yet another example of the French having better taste than the English!

bazza said...

I hope I haven't sabotaged my own intention here Rob! Yes the French have more taste but we have more fun!

THE SNEE said...

Hi Bazza, Just what the doctor ordered, I'm buried in boxes and paper. Moving is extraordinarily lacking in sauciness! I love these cards! They perked me up, unlike that lady on the fence with a hangover. Fabulous fun-I agree that the British know how to laugh!

Bob said...

Hi Bazza,

I have decided to delete my blog in order to find time for other writing projects. However I intend to visit you and others from time to time.

You have been a great commentator and I thank you warmly for your contributions.

Take care,

Rob (Tolkien's Tree)

Bob said...

Sir Tom Eagerley,

I have decided to delete my blog in order to find time for other writing projects.

It's been great meeting you and I wish you all the very best for your future.

Take care,

Rob (Tolkien's Tree)

David said...

Dear bazza,
I remember such postcards fondly from my own childhood holidays in places like Blackpool and Rhyl.
I also remember that such things became decidedly out of fashion with the arrival of "alternative" comedy. Yet now, with people like Julian Clary and Alan Carr, this "ooh er, missus" brand of humour seems to be back.
So, long live the double entendre is what I say. Oh! Matron.
Thanks, bazza, for another enlightening post.
Yours with Very Best Wishes,

bazza said...

The Snee: Good luck with the very stressful activity of moving house. I hope this post had the desired effect of cheering you up!

bazza said...

Rob: I will miss you as a blogger but I admire your intentions and will be very happy to hear from you as often as you like. I am sure Sir Tom will find his way here sooner or later and discover your message for him.

bazza said...

David: I think Blackpool is synonymous with this kind of humour which is, as you say, coming back into fashion.
Thanks for the visit; your comment brought a smile to my face.

Sir Tom Eagerly said...

Bazza this is great fun and just my cup of tea (or my glass of Scotch). I remember Donald McGill being spoken of in deprecating tones when wee Sir Tom was merely Master Thomas Algernon Clarence Beauchamp Eagerly of Biggleswade.
How deliciously naughty!

Sir Tom Eagerly said...

Rob, that's devastating news! Now I have one less member of the Sir Tom Fan Club and one less to poke gentle fun at! I sense that you are a seeker sir and I hope you find what you are looking for. (Sir Tom doffs his hat.)

bazza said...

Sir Tom: You are a legend in your own lunchtime sir. I think your ancestry is a figment of your fertile imagination!

klahanie said...

Well, hello bazza,
Oh I say, weren't those British seaside postcards such cheeky fun.
British tackiness at it most 'tongue-in-cheek, finest. Me thinks.
Cheers and a stick of Blackpool rock, your way, Gary :-)

joanne said...

these are all wonderfully saucy... so so much fun to visit and see what you have up your sleeve next...

bazza said...

Gary: I think I'll let tackiness be my trademark; Tacky-R-Us. Thanks for the rock!

Joanne: Now I feel reponsible for your entertainment! Actually I quite like that. Thanks for visiting and your nice comment.

Anonymous said...

I remember peeking at postcards like this as a child on holiday.
They still make me smile. Good old British humour.

bazza said...

Hello 'Anonymous' and welcome. Thanks for your comment. For me, they are certainly the stuff of nostalgia.

Ruthie said...

Dad, Jacob had a look at the postcard of the man in bed and the nurse and laughed and said, wow look at his tummy! Lovely innocence of a 7 year old. Wonder how long that will last? x

bazza said...

Hi Ruthie: Have you been lurking around Daddy's Blog?
I wonder if one Jacob will remember that remark and become embarassed? Luv Dad xxx