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Friday, 30 July 2010


With less than half of the school summer holidays now left, there are still a few intrepid souls heading off into the sunset on their annual planned vacation. The big decisions are deciding on what exactly to take with you and what to leave behind. This Bert Thomas (1883-1966) cartoon highlights the situation we all very nearly find ourselves in each year.

Transcript below:

LADY: (off for the holidays). "I think we've got everything now"
CABBY: "Seems a pity, some'ow to leave the winder-boxes behind, don't it?"

Sunday, 25 July 2010


Once again I’ve picked a cartoon originally drawn during the 1st World War period from 1914-1918. Discipline during this period was strict and being found drunk on duty was a serious crime. However this Frank Reynolds (1876-1953) cartoon illustrates a moment during the inquiry which probably highlights the ordinary soldier’s feelings for their equally strict and forceful battalion Sergeant-Major.

Transcript below:


OFFICER: "Now, Sergeant-Major, what makes you think this man was drunk?"
SERGEANT-MAJOR: "Sir, on the night of the 25th, when I met the accused, 'e raised 'is 'at, accompanying the motion with the words. 'Good evenin', Blue Beard!'"

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Statistically the summer months are the busiest for acquiring new pups apparently, followed closely by the infamous Christmas period. This new addition to the family is great and changes home life forever. Cats will ultimately rule the world, while Dogs, however much they will deny it, need humans to survive. When acquiring a new puppy one of the first requirements is to instruct the dog in the manners of life and to train them to follow basic commands. Depending on how crazy your dog is this can often be quite a trial, as illustrated in this George L Stampa (1875-1951) cartoon.

Transcript below:

THE WOMAN: "I do wish you two would walk properly."

Sunday, 18 July 2010


The 150th British Open Golf Championship at St. Andrews tested the professionals’ capacity to play in all weathers, especially on the Friday when they sampled a day more often found at Dale or Skaw in Shetland. Some mastered the course and the weather while others fell foul of the conditions and faltered. Frank Reynolds (1876-1953) cartoon depicts an a special technique developed to cope with such situations.

Very Advanced Golf

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


On the eve of the 150th British Open, todays cartoon highlights the now universal game of golf. The Open was first played in 1860 at Prestwick and attracted a field of 8 professional Scottish golfers, who played three rounds of the 12 hole course in a single day. The style of wear for the golfer of the early 20th century favoured the 'plus fours', or trousers that extended just four inches below the knee, hence the name. Thankfully the more casual style of today has now become the norm. This cartoon by Bertram Prance (1889-1958) depicts some of the pomposity that surrounded the game for a long number of years.

Transcript below:

COLONEL PEPPER: (to woman sauntering aimlessly across fairway). "Now then! Hurry up with that baby of yours."
WOMAN: "Baby yourself - playing with that little ball and in them knickers!"

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


The arrival of the superyacht 'LADY B' in Lerwick Harbour this week, all £10 million pounds worth of aluminium and walnut highlights the continuation of the wealthy to indulge in beautiful pieces of precision marine engineering. The downside of owning anything of such value and beauty, is the tendency to harbour an over zealous protective nature as illustrated by this Charles Grave (1886-1944) cartoon.

Transcript below:

FASTIDIOUS YACHTSMAN: "Can't you find some other part of the river on which to practise your horrible cult of nudism and pickled onions?"

Monday, 5 July 2010


War-time humour is a difficult subject, and when the 'Great War' as it was known broke out in 1914 the cartoonists of the day obviously had a period of doubt as to where their exact duty lay. War, with its unspeakable horrors and always misery-making consequences, is very far from being a fun-productive subject. However, very soon into the conflict it became apparent that the serving men and women had not allowed their native sense of humour to be quenched. Very much to the contrary, there was never a time when the cartoonist was more needed to help lighten the darkness into which ultimately most of Europe was plunged. Illustrated below is one from this era, and over the weeks I will post up some more showing how the humour progressed as the War dragged on to it's final conclusion in 1918. Frederick H. Townsend (1868-1920) cartoon shows how the soldiers coped with the French language.

Transcript below:

TOMMY: (to Jock, on leave). "What about the lingo? Suppose you want an egg over there, what do you say?"
JOCK: "Ye juist say, 'Oof.' "
TOMMY: "But suppose you want two?"
JOCK: "Ye say 'Twa oofs,' and the silly auld fule wife gies ye three, and ye juist gie her back one. Man, it's an awfu' easy language."

Friday, 2 July 2010


Six weeks or so of  "I'm bored" and various other small crisis as the youngsters are slipped for the Summer Holidays and they go on a variety of adventures. Some of them planned and some unplanned as they all seek a new activity to explore or attempt. In a hundred years little has changed, and while possibly today's children don't necessarily have the same freedom as those of the early 20th century, the end result is often the same. A. Wallis Mills (1878-1940) cartoon depicts a flustered mother's attempt to find her wayward son.

Transcript below:

FLUSTERED LADY: "Have you seen a small boy?"
RECUMBENT GENTLEMAN: "Sandy-haired fat little demon? He's playing by himself near the breakwater."
FLUSTERED LADY: "No; I'm looking for my son __ a golden-haired plump little boy."
RECUMBENT GENTLEMAN: "Oh, I beg your pardon. He's playing by himself near the breakwater."
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