Entertaining monologue with Gilbert the Filbert

NUTTY ... find out more about Gilbert the Filbert and his ilk.
NUTTY ... find out more about Gilbert the Filbert and his ilk.

ONE of the less harrowing - indeed delightful - aspects to come out of the anniversary of the First World War is the wonderful imagery of the era.

Take this lovely card, which recalls a character of the period, the roue and ‘Prince of Piccadilly,’ Gilbert the Filbert, who featured in an entertaining monologue by Basil Hallam (check it out on YouTube, in a recording from The Passing Show of 1915).

Next week, South Shields Museum hosts an illustrated talk which reveals that not just images of heroism, but a wider visual language was used in the popular art of the Great War.

The British Tommy keeps company with symbolic personifications, such as Britannia and Liberty; while other images reference that bread must be saved, socks knitted, spirits raised and war bonds purchased.

From good luck charms to guns, and featuring a mixture of humour, sentiment and patriotic duty, the war fostered a range of popular pictorial material that can still touch us today.

The talk, next Friday, January 23, from 11am to noon, will be by Gail-Nina Anderson, curator of the exhibition, The Postcard: A Voyage of Discovery, in which she displays her personal collection of postcards, including some of the Great War era.

Her talk links-in with the exhibition, which closes on January 31, and with Home of Heroes: South Tyneside in the First World War, when ends on January 24.