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Charles Skilton’s London Life, 1950

June 24, 2021
by the gentle author

Now that the summer is here, I thought I would send you this fine set of postcards published by Charles Skilton, including my special favourites the escapologist and the pavement artist.

Looking at these monochrome images of the threadbare postwar years, you might easily imagine the photographs were earlier – but Margaret Rutherford in ‘Ring Round the Moon’ at The Globe in Shaftesbury Ave in number nine dates them to 1950. Celebrated in his day as publisher of the Billy Bunter stories, Charles Skilton won posthumous notoriety for his underground pornographic publishing empire, Luxor Press.

You may also like to take a look at

Postcards from Petticoat Lane

William Nicholson’s London Types

London Characters

Julius Mendes Price’s London Types

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Saba permalink
    June 24, 2021

    People had style. The rag and bone man looks positively dapper although the judges are a bit of a hoot.

  2. June 24, 2021

    An incredible find! And with it “delayed” postcard greetings from London by 71 years. — ​I am so thrilled that I immediately bought the complete set on EBAY. Thank you so much!

    Love & Peace

  3. June 24, 2021

    Thank you, dear G.A. The Escapist and the Rag-and-Bone Man are my favorites.

  4. Ann V permalink
    June 24, 2021

    I love these images. My favourite is number 3 – The Busy Docks in the Port of London. More please.

  5. Valerie permalink
    June 24, 2021

    How very like my 1950’s childhood these photos look & feel. SO evocative! SO reminds me of the ‘ordered’ world we have traded for relaxed clothing, everyhing really; messier everything and so much ambient urban noise now and amount of cars on the road compared to then.

  6. Cynthia McNair permalink
    June 24, 2021

    Brought back wonderful memories. Although I was born four years later, I can just remember the docks in london when travelling up on the river from Greenwich which was a treat. Also feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square.
    So much history lost really although I still love to visit.

  7. June 24, 2021

    Evocative, thought provoking and another trip down memory lane for me.
    The rag and bone man and the flower seller are my favourites, the 1950’s of my East End childhood seem a lifetime away now…….

  8. June 25, 2021

    A wonderful set of postcards! So much that is familiar to my own childhood growing up in London during the 1950s. I remember the rag and bone man would give us either a balloon, or a goldfish in a plastic bag when my mother had something for him. We had no fish tank at home, so had to accept just the balloon.

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