SEmG

Southern Railway Publicity Publications

The General Manager of the Southern Railway, Sir Herbert Walker, had first set up a publicity department for the London and South Western Railway in 1913 and it was this department that formed the back bone of the SR Publicity department located at Waterloo after Grouping. To counter some of the bad press that the Southern Railway was receiving at the time, Sir Herbert Walker appointed John Elliot to the position of Public Relations Officer reporting directly to him in 1925. This is generally accepted as being the first time the term PR had ever been used in the UK. John Elliot's background had been in journalism with the London Evening Standard.

Under the stewardship of John Elliot the PR and Advertising department went from strength to strength promoting the "Southern Electric" brand, and of course the famous poster of a little boy looking up at a King Arthur Class locomotive to which they added the phrase "For holidays I always go Southern 'cos it's the Sunshine line!".

Following a period as Deputy General Manager between 1937 and 1947, John Elliot was to supersede Sir Herbert Walker as General Manager of the Southern, then Chief Regional Officer of the Southern Region, and later would become knighted himself and also chairman of the Railways Executive, and then London Transport

The following pages attempt to illustrate a number of the publications issued by the Southern Railway up to nationalisation in 1948.

Walking Guides
A series of publications written by S.P.B. Mais, who turned out to be a prolific writer for the Southern, providing detailed descriptions, line maps and illustrations of walks that could be made to and from various Southern Railway stations.

walks walks

"Walks in North Devon" published in 1928 detailed 10 walks accessible from stations served by the Atlantic Coast Express in, yes, you have guessed it, North Devon.
"Southern Rambles for Londoners" first published in 1931 and due to being popular, was reprinted a number of times up to 1949, the examples illustrated here are a 1935 edition and below it the 1949 version. It contains 20 walks in and within a short radius of the London suburbs, all of course served by the Southern Railway.
"Let's Get Out of Here" published in 1937 and contains 26 walks all from stations served by the route of the Atlantic Coast express.
"Walking at Weekends" published in 1938 contains 14 walks in an area within an approximate one to hour travelling time by train from London, for example Canterbury and the New Forest.
"Hills of the South" by S.P.B. Mais was published in 1939 and includes a number of walks in Kent, Sussex and Surrey.  This larger format hardback book includes colours plates of landscape paintings and maps.

Route Guides
These illustrated guides with maps provided information on what passengers would be able to see from the carriage windows during the journey.

route guide
route guide
route guide

"The Atlantic Coast Express" written by S.P.B. Mais and published in 1937 and contains a description of the route with line drawing illustrations throughout and a wonderful fold out map with black and white pictures at the back of the book.

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text and images are copyright Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt.

This page was created 12 November 2004

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