Friday, 23 July 2010

Working Girls - Tart Cards

Remember me posting some of the working girl cards that they used to put in the London red telephone boxes advertising their different services, well now I've found an authoritative book on the subject. I was out shopping recently and spotted "Tart Cards" as per the below cover. I think the title says it all.



The book is well written amusing and informative of London's darker side. It's packed with tart cards, some from around 25 years ago.

"Printed cards in telephone boxes appeared in London during the 1980's when a loophole in the law meant they were not, strictly speaking, illegal". "The practice of placing cards was known as carding. It is a particularly English phenomenon specific to London and seaside resort around Brighton and Hove. For the printers who were prepared to take the risk they represented a very regular and lucrative business."


Here's a few photos from the book. It also has an amusing glossary of technical terms and vernacular phrases that are often found on the London tart cards.











Map of the London Underground, the tube stop names have been changed to reflect the services of the London working girls.


Love or hate them, I would have to say the tart cards are definitely a part of London's history.

Ronnie
xx

15 comments:

Hermione said...

Ronnie, that's amazing! What a great find.

I feel another Chrossing coming!

Hugs,
Hermione

Florida Dom said...

Ronnie: Thanks for sharing the tart cards. Do you know what happened to them? Was a law passed against them? Did the Internet make them obsolete?

FD

PK said...

What a great find! I hope you'll share more. I had the same question as Florida Dom.

Hugs,
PK

Sara said...

They're wonderful!

mouse said...

Ronnie...now how cool is that!? Glad you found it.

Hugs,
mouse

dawsonfelicia張君dawsonfelicia均 said...

let us be happey everyday!!............................................................

Richard said...

About fifteen years ago I ran across a similar book. I knew the UK is far more liberal than the US in matters sexual but phone book ads were still surprising. Thanks for the explanation.

ronnie said...

Hermione - Your were right and congratulations on you getting Chrossed this week as well. Thank you.

FD, PK - Your both very welcome and yes I'll share more. No internet didn't make them obsolete. In September 2001 it became a criminal offence to put tart cards in the telephone boxes and fined £5,000 if caught. Tarts cards are now recognised as an art form and are collected world wide.

Sara - Thanks, it's an interesting book. I'll post more.

Mouse - So am I :) Thanks.

Thanks and hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Love,
Ronnie
xx

ronnie said...

Richard - Hello and welcome. I didn't realise there was a book about them, it's very interesting. The picture of the phone box with the cards is exactly what some of tele boxes looked like. To think I could have picked up hundreds of these cards as there collectors items now.

Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Love,
Ronnie
xx

Daisychain said...

WOW, Ronnie, you are brilliant!!!! xxxxx

ronnie said...

Lucky find Daisy. Thanks.

Hope you ave a good week.

Love,
Ronnie
xx

Anonymous said...

Every major city in the world should have a subway map like this. It would be a best seller. It would make 'mind the gap' T-shirts, obsolete.

redxxx said...

fun to read. Tooo bad they changed the laws to remove them, but internet postings are easier.
Red

Anonymous said...

You can still find them in the financial district and around the Soho area. A lot less these days than when I first went to London in the mid ninties though .. British Telecom went through a phase of simply closing any account which had its number on the cards they "collected".

ronnie said...

Anon - Welcome. LOL. Thanks.

Red - Yes a shame, will post more soon.

Anonymous - Welcome. Yes I do remember BT closing the accounts. Didn't know they were around the financial district, will have to take a look and collect a few on my next visit. Thanks.

Thank you all so much for stopping by and I am so sorry have only just realised I had comments there.. I deserve to be spanked.

Love,
Ronnie
xx