The golden age of British railway travel is evoked in this original artwork for a poster advertising the Flying Scotsman.

Artist Alfred Thomson created the image in the Art Deco style, emphasising the huge scale and sleekness of the Gresley A1 class locomotive that bore the name of the famous London to Edinburgh service.

The painting appeared on a London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) poster from 1932, accompanied by the slogan ‘Take Me by the Flying Scotsman’. The composition, which shows a young girl in a hat looking up in awe at the driver of the train, is a pastiche of an earlier Southern Railway poster.

Thomson created several posters for LNER between 1931 and 1932. Later in life, he went on to work as a war artist and a society portrait painter.

This work of art, which was thankfully salvaged by a former LNER employee, is an important example of the highly innovative railway advertising of the interwar period. It now enters the Science and Technology collections at National Museums Scotland, where it becomes one of a small number of objects to represent both the iconic locomotive and the rail service that still runs to this day.


Provenance provided by Onslows Auctioneers: work was among a number of items collected by Eric Walker (d.1985), who founded the Wolferton Station Museum in Norfolk (1970-1988). Eric Walker was a former LNER & BR employee. The artwork passed by descent to

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