Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 28 September 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

Known as the ‘King of the Seaside Postcard’ Donald McGill created over 12,000 artworks for postcards from 1904 to 1962. His cards cover the Suffragette movement, Transport, two World Wars….in fact everything he observed throughout a career which spanned nearly six decades is reflected in his designs. In 2009, the copyright to Donald McGill’s art was bought by James Bissell-Thomas, as well as a significant collection of McGill memorabilia. This collection forms the Donald McGill Saucy Seaside Postcard Museum, now housed in Ryde District Heritage Centre.

Over 300 of Donald’s cards were disapproved by seaside councils during the 1950s. Censorship bodies from places such as Blackpool and the Isle of Man would request the forthcoming season’s cards from publishers, and a committee would then decide if the cards were suitable for sale to the public. In 1953, Police raided 5 shops in Ryde and seized over five thousand McGill postcards deemed unsuitable. McGill was prosecuted under the 1857 Obscene Publications Act.

Through the exhibition, it is hoped that Donald’s talent as an accomplished artist will be fully appreciated, and the unfairness with which he was treated following his prosecution laid to rest.

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