Poster, London & North Eastern Railway, 'Take me by the Flying Scotsman' by A R Thomson, 1932. Text reads 'Take me by the Flying Scotsman, from Kings Cross at 10am weekdays. With apologies to the Southern Railway". Coloured lithograph depicting the wheels of the Flying Scotsman with a young girl looking up in awe from the platform towards the driver, who is talking to her through a speaking tube. Pastiche of the Southern Railway poster "I'm Taking an Early Holiday cos I know Summer Comes Soonest in the South". Printed by S C Allen & Co. Format: double royal, 40 x 25 inch, 1016 x 635mm.
London & North Eastern Railway poster, 'Take me by the Flying Scotsman', advertising the Flying Scotsman train service, 1932. The Flying Scotsman express passenger train service between London and Edinburgh began in the 1860s, although it wasn’t formally given the name until 1924. It continues to this day.
This poster, by A R Thomson, is a pastiche of a Southern Railway poster, which also showed a child looking up to talk to an engine driver and had the slogan “I'm Taking an Early Holiday cos I know Summer Comes Soonest in the South”. The perspective is greatly exaggerated to make the LNER locomotive look much bigger than it actually was.
In the early 1930s the Flying Scotsman service was operated by A1 and A3 Class steam locomotives, like the one featured in the poster. The most famous of these was number 4472 Flying Scotsman, which was named after the express train service.
The artist, Alfred Reginald Thomson, was born in India in 1894. As he was deaf, he studied at the Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate. He studied at the London Art School in Kensington where he trained under the poster artist, John Hassall, but his father forbade him to practise art after he failed his entrance exam for the Royal Academy. Despite this, Thomson worked as a commercial artist and portrait painter. During the Second World War he was an official war artist with the Royal Air Force. In 1948 Thomson was the last artist to be awarded an Olympic gold medal for painting. He died in 1979.
The poster was printed for the LNER By S C Allen & Co Ltd at their works in St James’s, London.