Rare poster to be auctioned in New York

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A RARE 60-year-old railway poster advertising Morecambe and Heysham as holiday destinations is set to fetch between £950 and £1,300 at an 
auction in America.

The 40x50 inch poster is emblazoned with the words ‘Morecambe and Heysham on the sunny Lancashire coast’ and was produced for British Railways by artist Claude Buckle in 1949, making it one of the earliest British Railways posters, as the newly-nationalised British Railways was founded on January 1, 1948.

The poster invites potential visitors to apply for a Morecambe and Heysham guide by sending a six penny stamp (about 3p in modern money) to the mysterious-sounding Department P at Morecambe Town Hall.

In the early and mid-20th century, when few people owned cars or went on foreign holidays, railway companies commissioned artists to produce eye-catching posters of seaside resorts, beauty spots and places of historical interest in a bid to boost rail travel to the furthest flung parts of Britain.

Now they are sought-after and increasingly valuable mementoes.

Buckle, born in London, in 1905, was a prolific poster artist.

He produced posters not only for British Railways but also, before 1948, for the Great Western Railway, the London Midland and Scottish Railway and the Southern Railway.

Much of his original poster artwork is held by the National Railway Museum in York.

Mr Buckle lived near Andover in Hampshire, and was in his late 60s when he died in 1973.

His Morecambe and Heysham poster will be auctioned at Swann Galleries in Manhattan, New York, on August 1.

It is expected to sell for between 1,500 and 2,000 dollars (£950 to £1,300).