Saturday, 13 October 2012

Tart Cards of the Working Girls

Let's take another look into the world of the Tart Cards

Plain text cards were cheap for the girls to have printed though still effective.

Many of the girls had to hand write their own cards. These were small, crude and cheap but still attractive to some men.

And many straight to the point.

For my new readers - Tart cards were often printed cards (though some of the early ones were handwritten/drawn) and placed in London telephone boxes by the working advertising their different type of services 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 (though they did appear in other towns) For the printers who were prepared to take the risk they represented a very regular and lucrative business.

Sex sells but ironically sex was the one word that was not used on the cards. Hand written, euphemism, double entendres, catch phrases, plain text, rhymes and a specialised vocabulary. 

There was a lot of competition so their business cards had to stand out from all the others.  

Hope you enjoyed them.

Have a fun weekend.




PK said...

Are they illegal now? I think some were very nice, of course if they were here they would have to put them somewhere else - can't find a phone booth any more.

Have a great weekend!

SNP said...

Very interesting history information. Thanks for sharing and wishing you and P a great weekend.

Hermione said...

"Open Late" appears on several - LOL. I like "No School Dinners" - there are some hard limits:)


sunnygirl said...

The Puritans all moved to America so we would never know about them this side of the pond. LOL

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted one of those old style red phone boxes for the garden.My friend has one and uses it to keep gardening equipment in.Made me laugh to think there could be far better uses !! Sarah,LD,UK


I did enjoy those a lot and the thought of people drawing their own cards has given me a naughty idea :) Thanks.


Michael M said...

When I worked in London and there were no mobile phones, these were a constant source of pleasure as I made my calls back to the office. I came close to making an appointment once or twice, after an evening drink, but always shied away from it at the last moment. I generally settled for buying a spanking magazine and heading back to my hotel room. Well done for digging them out.

ronnie said...

PK - The made it an offence to place them in the telephone boxes around 2001. Thanks PK.

SNP - Glad you enjoyed them. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Thanks SNP.

Hermione - You would like the ones with amusing rhymes. You may remember some from earlier posts. Thanks Hermione.

SG - LOL. Thanks SG.

Sarah - I was reminded of these when one of our clients wanted one for his nightclub. I like your friends use for it. I wish I had kept some of the cards, collectors items now and I think would be worth a little. Thanks Sarah.

Prefectdt - Happy I gave you a naughty idea but come on now, tell us more Pref:) Cheers.

Michael - We have a box in one of our local towns but the only thing advertised in there was insurance:) The book is amusing and interesting. Thanks Michael.


Ana said...

Wow...I wonder if anyone uses these now as a "retro" thing.

I know tart means something different for you, but to me a "tart card" sounds like something yummy! I guess you could say it depends on your definition. ;)

Hermione said...

Congratulations on being Chrossed! I knew he would like these.

Minelle Labraun said...

People are people wherever you go!! I also echo Pk's we have absolutely no public telephones anywhere. Now I guess everything is on the 'net'

ricky said...

They're all so sweet and cute,
You know what? I'd love to be a
Peeping Tom and see the facial
expressions of people reacting
to them.

ronnie said...

Ana - I had some tart cards but they were recipes for fruit tarts:) Thanks Ana.

Hermione - Sadly not this week. Thanks.

Minelle - Some our our papers still carry personal ads for dating and such but not for services like the girls were offering:) Thanks Minelle.

Ricky - Glad you enjoyed them. Thanks Ricky.


crankyspanker said...

I remember seeing these in the pay phone boxes in London a few years back. I tended to linger in the boxes after completing my calls just a little light reading, really.



Anonymous said...

With the advent of cell phones, I think the only purpose of the telephone booth is for tart cards.

ronnie said...

Emanuele - We must have been using the same telephone boxes:) Thanks Emanuele.

Joey - I thinnk boring adverting is now used in the boxes. Thanks Joey. Look forward to reading about your weekend.


Anonymous said...

Nice, I'm in London tomorrow, I'll have a look if there are any around!