This is a short article which I put together for Ciren Scene magazine to put into a bit of historical context the poster designs that I create and why you won't find many original railway posters of this part of the world...
The railway poster has a history of promoting the great places of the UK throughout the early twentieth century, with the first pictorial poster created in 1905. The 1920s and 30s are considered the Golden Age of railway posters and went hand in hand with a rise in prosperity for working people and increased tourism. The GWR produced some particularly famous poster art, capitalising on its railway being the route to many popular seaside holiday destinations in the South West.
At that time the Cotswolds wasn’t considered much of a place to visit or holiday, despite its towns being part of the GWR network, as it was still very much a working agricultural region. By 1934 the great writer JB Priestly called the Cotswolds the “least spoiled of all our countrysides” but it wasn’t until 1966 that the Cotswolds became recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
As a result there are virtually no original railway posters from the early twentieth century depicting the Cotswolds other than a rather generic 1949 countryside design by Paul Chater. Since then places like Cirencester, Tetbury, and Malmesbury had train stations closed as the car took over and the railway became less prominent.
Cotswold Poster Co aims to introduce a bit of that railway poster glamour to this beautiful area with modern takes on these travel posters, showcasing as many of our great towns and villages as possible. Now over 80 poster designs are available on the website, as well as greeting cards, Christmas cards, fridge magnets and 2022 calendars. They make good gifts for lovers of this part of the world too!
It’s important to the Cotswold Poster Co mission that the packaging is as eco-friendly as possible and that nothing gets sent to landfill. All packaging is able to be recycled at home and wherever possible it is made from post-consumer waste too.
Here’s a rundown of the current products you'll find in the packaging and some of their sustainable features:
Backing board – 100% recycled and unbleached
All A4 and A3 prints are wrapped with a nice thick greyboard that stops them bending.
Backing paper – PEFC certified sustainable
Each poster print comes with an info sheet on the back printed on paper from sustainable sources.
Clear wraps – biodegradable corn starch
All posters are given protection with these plastic-free wraps.
Envelopes – 100% recycled and unbleached
All greeting cards come with slightly textured brown Kraft envelopes and fridge magnets are posted in these as well.
Greeting card boxes – part recycled and unbleached
Orders for lots of cards come in these letterbox-friendly boxes.
A4 postal jackets – 100% recycled and plastic-free
These are Amazon-style card’ mailjackets’ that give added protection to the A4 prints and they are home-stamped with a Do Not Bend message.
A3 postal envelopes – 100% recycled and unbleached
These are the brown board-backed envelopes pre-printed with ‘Do Not Bend’ on them.
A5 folders – 100% recycled and unbleached
If you order multiple 5x7 prints, they’ll be packaged together in these brown card folders within a recycled envelope.
Stickers – 100% biodegradable
Any stickers that crop up on the packaging will be 100% compostable and vegan (although where possible we prefer to use a re-usable ink stamp).
Tape – recyclable & plastic-free
All tape used on the packaging is the brown plastic-free variety that can go in with your paper recycling.
Business cards and promotional postcards – 100% recycled paper
Of course these are printed on recycled card too.
Evesham – new design!
Minchinhampton Town – new design!
Sherston – design refresh
Avening – now available at 5x7 size
Cheltenham Pittville Pump Room – now available at 5x7 size
Cheltenham Racecourse – now available at 5x7 size
Moreton-in-the-Marsh – now available at 5x7 size
South Cerney – now available at 5x7 size
The Cotswold Hills – now available at 5x7 size
Looking for a few gift ideas? Here’s just a few ways in which Cotswold Poster Co products can work well…
If you know someone moving to the Cotswolds then you can use our greeting cards to send someone a welcome note that feature the place they’ll now be living. If you’ve moved home yourself then you can buy a few packs to send out to inform people of your new address.
A poster of the Cotswold location a friend or family member has moved to or from makes an excellent piece of wall decoration for a new home. You could go a step further and buy three 5x7 inch prints of different meaningful locations to put in a triple photo frame and make something truly special.
We have an increasing number of Cotswold churches and wedding venues covered in our collection – a poster print of which would make for a nice personalised marriage gift. Of course it doesn’t have to be the exact venue, a poster showing that special town can work nicely too.
Poster art can make a great present that is a bit different to the norm. It’s especially good for those people who are hard to buy for – everyone has lived in or visited places that they are fond of and remember well. If those places are in/around the Cotswolds then this is the right website!
If you’re short on time then you can buy the posters ready-framed in our Fy store – this is also a great option for delivering to friends and family abroad as they offer free worldwide delivery.
And of course you can get a selection of Cotswold Christmas cards here too – buy them individually or in packs of six for a discount.
If you’re looking for a little extra gift or something to put in a stocking then the fridge magnets might do the trick. You could even make up a set of three or four special locations.
There's no getting away from it but the schools are back, the nights are drawing in and it'll soon be time to think about Christmas. Some people like to get on top of things earlier than others so for that reason there's been a restock and you can find all of the Christmas cards here.
I know they're popular for people sending them to friends and family around the world so you can get in ahead of the Post Office queues! As ever you can buy them individually or in packs for a discount.