Giggles galore as Bamforth is back in town

Cheeky Postcards return to Scarborough Seafront ,With Owner of Bamforth Ian Wallace,and Scarborough Town Crier promoting the well loved artwork.Picture Richard Ponter 124001a
Cheeky Postcards return to Scarborough Seafront ,With Owner of Bamforth Ian Wallace,and Scarborough Town Crier promoting the well loved artwork.Picture Richard Ponter 124001a

The world famous saucy seaside postcards are back - with a Scarborough shop being the first in the country to sell the cheeky chuckle makers.

More than 50 iconic images, which adorned postcard racks across the country more than a century ago, are back on sale following a relaunch of the Bamforth brand.

Shop owner Teddy Sulman picks his favourite postcard..Picture Richard Ponter 124001b

Shop owner Teddy Sulman picks his favourite postcard..Picture Richard Ponter 124001b

And Sulman’s Toys and Gifts, in Foreshore Road, has become the first shop in the country to stock them.

The range was launched this week on the South Bay with shop owner Teddy Sulman and Bamforth director Ian Wallace celebrating the return of the saucy souvenirs.

Mr Sulman says he is delighted to be stocking the postcards, which were popular when his father Gourgi Sulman ran the business 55 years ago.

Mr Sulman said: “The success of Bamforth over all these years is that at any given time their cards were always on the side of good taste. They never stepped over that line.

Bamforth postcard

Bamforth postcard

“We are delighted to be involved with Bamforth again as my father first started collecting and stocking the range 55 years ago, and possibly even earlier when he had another shop further along the foreshore.”

Scarborough town crier Alan Booth was also on hand for the launch, proudly declaring the return of Bamforth to all that passed by, and reading out some of the humorous cards.

The relaunch of the cards was originally scheduled for next year, however Mr Wallace, who is based in Leeds and owns the Bamforth range, advanced the date to this week when retailers and postcard experts reacted so favourably to the choices and range of images.

The initial print run will be for 300,000 cards for UK distribution. But orders are also flooding in from all around the world from the Outer Hebrides to Australia.

Mr Wallace said: “We need a good reason to smile in these difficult days.

“There are some good old firm favourites in the collection and some hilarious images that have not been seen for many years but are just as topical today as the year they were created.

“Choosing the 54 images from our master library of 50,000 was almost impossible but our panel of experts have done a first class job.

“There is something for everyone.”

Mr Wallace bought the Bamforth brand in 2001 after its previous owner ETW Dennis, based in Scarborough went out of business the year before.

He has since been rebuilding the collection, which involved painstakingly cataloguing all 50,000 of the original images.

Mr Wallace said: “I read that ETW Dennis had gone into receivership and they were putting Bamforth up for sale.

“I had nothing to do with printing, but I had always loved the Bamforth brand and I thought I just couldn’t let the opportunity go.

“I wanted to save all the images, as slowly there were disappearing off the shelves as production had stopped.

“It took a long time but eventually I managed to catalogue them all with the help of many people.

“We put them out there at some big trade shows and the response was so overwhelming we decided to bring the launch forward.”

They famous images commented on politics, fashion and changes in social activity, although saucy relations was the main subject.

The postcards are now being printed in Sussex by a company called Judges.

The new issue of cards includes work by classic Bamforth artists such as Arnold Taylor, who joined Bamforth as an apprentice, rose as an illustrator, and died in his 80s after ending up as a director and share-holder.

However its not just postcards where the saucy images are set to appear.

Mr Wallace has secured licences with more 20 UK companies over the last two years, meaning the famous artwork can now be reproduced on cufflinks, hip flasks, eggs cups, toast racks, T-shirts and mobile phone apps.

He said: “Everyone loves the Bamforth images, and we just thought there is such a market for them beyond postcards.

“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? They are classic images which have really stood the test of time.

“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.

“They are vintage, and retro, and there is a real taste for things like that at the moment.

“We thought lets just get these images out there and give people a good laugh.”

Companies to sign up to Bamforth include gift card company Moonpig. Charles Glassware, Little Black Dog, and Undercover Essentials.

Mr Wallace says he believes the UK is unique because they can laugh at themselves in difficult times, such as the present.

“Laughter is the best tonic that a person can have” he added.