Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Everything's Swinging at Rhyl

Sometimes an old picture postcard can offer up a wonderfully splendid image. I've come across two black and white cards published by the Bamforth Company of Yorkshire, once the world's largest publisher of illustrated comic postcards - and most famously the ones with those saucy gags that were stuffed into postcard racks of every seaside shop in the UK.

Well here in swinging sepia is the fabulous contrast between the stolid and conventional stock photograph of the seafront at Rhyl, North East Wales, and the twisting beats epitomising the groovy vitality of '60s teenage. The girls are fully rounded in typical Bamforth style, almost jerking out of a postcard which boldy proclaims how a mighty popular Victorian holiday spot has turned into a 'with-it' location for the nation's holidaying youth.

The serrated edges of the two postcards are a nice touch - locking these two pictures into a very particular time frame. Apparently Bamforth were so confident about this swinging 60s seaside design of theirs that they produced dozens of versions with the very same cartoon teens dancing at resorts up and down Britain's coastline.

Anybody up for starting a checklist?

...but it looks like we're the only ones on the dance floor

...but is anybody else?

Update October 2014. Here are several more from the same series:

'We're Right on the Beat at CLEETHORPES'

'Everything's Swinging at DOUGLAS(Isle of Man)

'Everything's Swinging at FILEY'
'We're Right on the Beat at BRIDLINGTON'

'Everything's Swinging at ABERGELE'

Tell me more about Bamforth's Swinging Couple...

Bamforth issued a super postcard with our swinging beat couple depicted in glorious COLOUR

The artist is credited - it's Bamforth's very own Arnold Taylor, who spent his working life bashing out joyous and naughty images like this for the Yorkshire-based company. 

The black and white seafront cards were created by cutting out and pasting Taylor's image onto stock photographic images. 

And what about our Beat Girls in Go-Go Bamforth Colour?:

Well, they had their very own colour postcard too...Version A
Version B

And guess what? The Go-Go Swingers even got to dance across the English Channel:

Still 'Right on the Beat' - but this time in French and Flemish too. This Belgian edition was published by Lux of Brussels.

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