Railway posters

By William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young and Mawer.
Railway collectors have for a long time been active in the auction collectors’ market; known for their enthusiasm and deep pockets, bidding has reached dizzy heights for that special item.

Railway posters appeal to these collectors and those with an interest in art and nostalgia, with the seaside a traditional subject. The format of the poster was to present a pictorial landscape of a resort or tourist destination.

Normally these posters were displayed on railway platforms and had to be dynamic to catch the eye of busy commuters.

With bright colours one of the defining characteristics, many artists were used to compete for the best designs of a successful poster.

Whilst early posters from the golden steam age attract the railway enthusiast, those from after the Second World War appeal to the artistic minded and those reminded of childhood trips to the seaside.

A recent collection of posters from the post-war era came up for auction recently. The condition was good, although the fold marks of many years being in store would have to be dealt with by mounting and framing, if the poster is to be displayed and enjoyed to its best. Bidding was brisk and prices erratic, demonstrating the different priorities of the mixed group of collectors.

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