Welcome to the fun, "irreverent & informative", award-winning London Underground Tube Blog.
Click here for other London Underground guidance. Contact me here

Going Underground's Blog
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annie Mole's, webmaster of Going Underground, daily web log (blog).
If you like this you'll LURVE One Stop Short of Barking, THE fun and informative BOOK about travelling
on the London Underground.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

History of the "Keep Calm Carry On" Poster & Barter Books

Came across this beautifully shot video of the story of the iconic Keep Calm and Carry On poster. It's not London Underground related, but there's a wonderful railway element, as you will see when you watch the video. I for one never knew that this poster was never actually displayed during the Second World War, although other similiar ones were.

Keep Calm Carry on poster in Barter Books

It was kept in reserve and only to be used in times of crisis or invasion. The poster only became famous some 50 years later when an awesome second hand bookshop in the North East of England, Barter Books, discovered it and put it on display in their shop. The rest is history.

Barter Books, founded in 1991 by Stuart & Mary Manley and is based in an old Victorian railway station. Huge rows of bookshelves stand where the tracks would have been.

Model Railway in Barter Books

However, the station's old tea rooms and waiting rooms are still used as lovely comfortable areas to read the books.

The three wartime posters on display in Barter Books

In 2000, Stuart discovered the poster in a box of dusty old books that had been bought at auction. His wife Mary, liked the poster so much she put it up near the till. It proved so popular with customers that a year later they began to sell copies of that and the two designs that were used as war time posters. The poster has since been reproduced & parodied countless times and remains an iconic image. It's hard to say exactly why it became so popular but as the narrator in the video concludes:

"Like a voice out of history it offers a very simple warm hearted message to inspire others in difficult times. And it's something that should never fade from fashion"

The Original Home of the Keep Calm & Carry in Poster -  Barter Books

I think I've found my ideal retirement job too. Running a bookshop in an old railway or Tube station. Mary & Stuart you rock!

You might also like
Wartime Tube Posters - London Transport Museum Talk
Aldwych Tube Station - Blitz Tour
Riding mini train added bonus of Steampunk Exhibition 
Old Tube stations could be Re-Opened 

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 06, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon