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GALLERY: Guinness Time in the 1950s – design of the times

The set of Guinness papers we’ve been sorting through for their owner includes a fairly complete two-decade run of Guinness Time, the in-house magazine for the brewery at Park Royal.

While the contents is on the whole fairly dull (egg and spoon races, meet the toilet attendants, and so on) the covers are works of art, redolent of the periods in which they were produced.

Those presented below are all from the 1950s and so there are a couple of references to TV, the hot trend of the day.

Guinness Time Summer 1956 -- a topiary seal.
Summer 1956. Illustrator: Tom Eckersley.
A man uses a giant bottle of Guinness as a telescope.
Autumn 1956. Illustrator: John Gilroy.

A woman swings on a bell while a man wails for his Guinness.
Christmas 1956. Illustrator uncredited but it feels as if we ought to recognise the style.
Two toucans nurture a pint of Guinness in a nest.
Spring 1957. Illustrator: Raymond Tooby.
Typographic illustration featuring a face and pint of beer.
Autumn 1957. Illustrator: Abram Games.
A bandsman with a wobbly tuba.
Christmas 1957. Illustrator: John Gilroy.
A man retrieves a bottle of guinness from his camel's hump.
Autumn 1958. Illustrator: ‘Smilby’ (Francis Wilford-Smith).
Santa drinks Guinness while watching TV.
Christmas 1958. Illustrator: ‘E‘ — Eckersley again?
A toucan balances a pint glass on its beak.
Spring 1959. Illustrator: Smilby.
Guinness at a garden exhibition.
Summer 1959. Illustrator: B. Willison. (Anyone?)
A man powered by a Guinness scuba tank carries a whale out of the sea on a fingertip.
Autumn 1959. Illustrator: Harry Stevens, we think.

4 replies on “GALLERY: Guinness Time in the 1950s – design of the times”

I was curious about “Hang on the bell, Nellie” – the fact that they quote, or parody, an entire verse suggests it’d be something known to their readers – so I investigated and found this. It was a popular song of the time (first recorded 1949 – but the turnover in popular music was a lot slower then). Curiously enough, it was based on an older source – a dramatic poem called “The Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight”, which was published in 1870 (having been written three years earlier, by a 16-year-old girl) and was a hit for decades afterward. A Google image search for the title brings up some very dramatic illustrations of the crucial scene, including one which appears to be a (staged) photograph – that model earned her fee.

I can’t help with the illustrator, although the style is distinctive.

Do these documents give any clue as to whether or not Guinness is/was brewed with a portion of aged/soured stout?

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