Southern Railway Publicity



Bookmark - LSWR Bookmark - Bournemouth Belle Bookmark - Paris Bookmark - Paris Bookmark - Paris
Bookmark - Londres Bookmark - SNCF      


Bookmatch - Southampton Docks Bookmatch - Southern Electric Bookmatch - South for Sunshine Bookmatch - Restaurant  

Three dimensional publicity

When you think of publicity; guide books, leaflets, posters come to mind. The Southern Railway, however, took its publicity further with non-ephemeral items such as a model train set and model ships. Listed below are some of the three dimensional publicity items produced.

The King Arthur Paperweight.

King Arthur Paperweight

Produced early in 1926 and advertised as
The neatest and most useful adjunct to your desk equipment.
King Arthur Paperweight
King Arthur Paperweight
The box lid is shown above. Advertisements of the time claimed the model to be an exact scale model of No. 763, Sir Bors de Ganis. Originally priced at 5/- but reduced to 2/6 in a June 1929 advertisement when there was only 100 left to sell.

Model Ships

Model Ship Model Ship Model Ship
The waterline models of the Southern Railway Steamers Canterbury, Isle of Jersey and Isle of Guernsey were produced by Bassett-Lowke to a scale of 75ft to 1in. They were boxed and sold for 5/-. The images above show the model in its box with the lid shown below. No official mention can be found for these models though the box carried the words Southern Railway in its traditional sunshine lettering. A very brief description of the vessel was contained on the label. For the model of TSS Canterbury the text reads

The premier vessel of the Southern Railway Company's fleet. 2912 tons, speed 22 knots. A modern luxury vessel. Runs in connection with “Golden Arrow” service between Victoria and Paris daily.


Ashtray Ashtray Ashtray Ashtray
Ashtray The two ashtrays top left are made from Omnite Ware a material very like bakelite. Note that the wording on the first ashtray is concave while on the second it is convex.

The third silver ashtray was produced for the Southampton Docks Centenary in 1938.

The fourth, also produced in 1938, was given away to staff as part of the Southern Sales Scheme where staff were rewarded for increasing revenue at their station.

Model Train Set

The February 1937 edition of the Southern Railway Magazine includes an article on the Bassett-Lowke produced Trix Twin OO gauge Southern Electric Model Train Set.

“Mr C Grasemann, Advertising Officer of the Southern Railway, was quick to realise the potentialities of this novelty, and, in collaboration with him, Messrs. Bassett-Lowke, Ltd., have just placed on the market an actual scale model, representing one of the new electric trains, which will run on the London - Portsmouth service. The set is made up in an attractive box covered with green enamelled paper and a multicoloured label specially designed by the Southern Railway Company.”

Model Train Set

The 3 coach set standing in front of the box.
Model Train Set
Model Train Set

The set cost 55/- though the sticker on the box end shown above right has the price 70/- written on it.
Model Train Set

The set contained a complimentary copy of the 8 page Southern Railway publication The Evolution of the World’s Largest Suburban Electrified Railway. A set was put on show at Waterloo Station. The green enamelled paper used for the box was made from Celilynd that wears badly meaning that most of the boxes that survive are in a poor condition.
Model Train Set
    Page from Trix catalogue
Click on the three images above for larger versions.


All the menus are dated and different menus were produced every day. Some also include the name of the train they were to be used on, for example, The Atlantic Coast Express. See the lunch menu below. All the images are by Leonard Richmond and from 1936.

Menu Menu Menu Menu
Carisbrook Castle
Isle of Wight
Lee Point
Nr. Ilfracombe
St Anne's Gate

Sample menus. Click on the image for a full screen version.

Menu Menu
13 February 1936 28 February 1936
Atlantic Coast Express


The following four sets of postcards are all from oil paintings by Leonard Richmond. They were produced in 1939.

The Channel Ports

Postcard Postcard Postcard
Boulogne Calais Dieppe
Postcard Postcard Postcard
Dover Folkestone Newhaven
Postcard Postcard  
St Malo The Solent - Southampton  


Postcard Postcard Postcard
Packet Bournemouth from Durley Chine Brockenhurst
Postcard Postcard Postcard
Christchurch Priory New Forest, near Ringwood Lymington
Postcard Postcard Postcard
Lyndhurst Picket Post, near Ringwood Beaulieu Abbey Church

North Devon

Postcard Postcard Postcard
Packet Clovelly Ilfracombe from Hilsborough
Postcard Postcard Postcard
Lee Bay, near Ilfracombe Lee Valley, near Ilfracombe Bideford
Postcard Postcard Postcard
River Torridge, Torrington Valley of the Rocks, Lynton Woolacombe

North Cornwall

Postcard Postcard Postcard
Packet Boscastle Bude Sands
Postcard Postcard Postcard
King Arthur‘s Castle, Tintagel Padstow Harbour Port Graverne, near Port Isaac
Postcard Postcard Postcard
Port Isaac St Enodoc, Padstow Coastal Scenery at Tintagel

Postcard Backs

Three sample backs are shown below. Click on the image to display a full screen version which is readable. British Railways overprinted some of the Channel Ports set and used them as correspondence cards.

Postcard Postcard Postcard
Coastal Scenery at Tintagel Dover The Solent - Southampton

Advertising Cards

The two cards to the right were sent to hotels, in France and England, to advertise the train service. The cards included the request: I would be much obliged if you would display this card, the other side uppermost, in the hall of your hotel, well in view of the public. Postcard Postcard
  August 1928 June 1931

Southampton Docks


The Graving Dock was opened in 1933 and this set of postcards shows its construction, opening etc.
Postcard Postcard
  Inside the dock Inside the dock
Postcard Postcard Postcard
RMS Majestic, the first ship to use the dock from a painting by Leslie Carr Official Opening HM King George V The dock nearing completion
Early stage of construction    

Golden Way

Produced to a very high standard by the Pullman Car Company, the Golden Way booklet contained information about Pullman services throughout the UK.

Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way
July 1927 May 1929 July 1929 January 1930
Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way
April 1930 July 1930 April 1931 April 1932
Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way
JUly 1932 October 1932 March 1933 July 1933
Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way
September 1933 January 1934 April 1934 July 1934
Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way
January 1936 May 1936 January 1937 May 1937
Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way Golden Way
July 1939 April 1941 July 1941 October 1941

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, Woody Bay Station

The following posters are on display at Woody Bay station on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. At first sight they may appear as normal copies of Southern Railway posters. But look more carefully and you will see subtle changes. Click on an image to see a bigger version. Thanks to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway for agreeing to these images being included.

Poster Poster Poster
Poster Poster
The graphic for the Exmoor Associates poster is
based on the Waterloo bookmatch above.