Saucy seaside cards mark centennial
Published 28/09/2010 | 08:28
A series of world-famous saucy seaside postcards images is being relaunched to mark their 100th anniversary.
Businessman Ian Wallace said he is hoping the classic cheeky cartoons, which could soon be appearing on everything from mouse mats to boxer shorts, will give everyone a light-hearted boost in times of economic gloom.
Mr Wallace, 63, bought the firm Bamforth & Co nine years ago and now owns the rights to more than 50,000 of the postcard images with their pneumatic women, henpecked husbands and voluptuous nurses.
But he has waited until the centenary to a sign a licensing agreement, which he is doing with the Jane Evans Licensing Consultancy at the Brand Licensing Europe Exhibition, held at London's Olympia.
Mr Wallace said: "They always look good and they always make people smile. Maybe they're not to everyone's taste but if you can't laugh at Bamforth postcards what can you laugh at?"
In 1870 James Bamforth began his business in Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire - a village now most famous for being the setting of the long running BBC comedy Last Of The Summer Wine. Bamforth was a portrait photographer who later specialised in lantern slides. But it was the saucy postcards, launched in 1910, which sealed his firm's reputation.
Mr Wallace, who is originally from Huddersfield, said: "This company was making films before Hollywood and then they went onto produce these postcards, which are an institution.
"They sold millions and millions and millions of them. They were sold all around the world. I think this move will give them a new lease of life."
Bamforth & Co was bought by the Scarborough printing firm Dennis in the 1980s and Mr Wallace bought the rights in 2001, after this company collapsed.
Mr Wallace said: "All we're hearing about at the moment is cuts, cuts, cuts. It's good to have something we can all laugh about."