Poster on sale... in New York

Auction lot: The poster featuring Thornton and Cleveleys which is due to go under the hammer in New York next month
Auction lot: The poster featuring Thornton and Cleveleys which is due to go under the hammer in New York next month
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A rare vintage railway poster advertising Thornton and Cleveleys as an ideal family holiday destination is set to fetch up to £700 at an auction thousands of miles away next month.

The 40 inch by 24 inch poster is emblazoned with the words ‘Thornton Cleveleys’ and was produced by artist Alfred Lambart for the London Midland and Scottish Railway sometime between 1923 and 1947.

Although the poster is not dated, the LMS was in existence for 24 years from January 1, 1923 until December 31, 1947, before it was nationalised and became part of the newly-formed British Railways on January 1, 1948.

Now the poster is expected to sell for between £450 and £700 at Swann Galleries in New York on August 6.

At least five different railway posters were produced to advertise Thornton Cleveleys, but the poster coming up for sale in America is a rarity.

The York-based National Railway Museum owns one of the finest collections of railway posters,including seven different posters by Alfred Lambart, but they do not have a copy of his Thornton Cleveleys poster.

The poster features a family and their pet dog relaxing on Cleveleys’ golden litter-free beach, with an enticing azure sea in the background.

In the early and middle parts of the 20th century, during the steam train era, when comparatively few holidaymakers owned cars and when overseas holidays were an expensive luxury beyond the financial reach of many people, railway companies such as the LMS commissioned artists such as Alfred Lambart to produce colourful posters featuring seaside resorts,beauty spots and places of historical interest,in a bid to boost rail travel throughout Britain.

In recent years, these posters,which once adorned and brightened railway station platforms and waiting rooms,have become increasingly sought-after.

Alfred Lambart,the artist responsible for the Thornton Cleveleys poster,started life as ‘Alfred Lambert’ but later changed the spelling of his surname to ‘Lambart’,possibly to make it more distinctive.

He was born in Darlington in 1902 and was the son of railwayman James Lambert.Alfred Lambart was 69 when he died in December 1971.

At Christie’s ,in London, on September 12,2002,Gazette reader Dave Burridge,of Seventh Avenue, South Shore, paid £2,036 for a 1920s London Midland and Scottish railway poster advertising Lytham St Annes,after he spotted a Gazette story saying that the poster was coming up for sale.

Before the auction,the poster had been expected to sell for between £1,000 and £1,500.