How Richard Roberts acquired the poster

Richard was born in Penrith and has always lived or retained a property in the Lake District. The link with Grange was formed when he joined Gedye and Sons in 1982, and he is now a Director.

Richard’s love of art and Grange has provided an interesting angle; he was first alerted to this poster in a Christie’s auction in London in late 2013. A client in Norfolk flicking through the Christies catalogue spotted it and emailed Richard. Richard was instantly taken with it and made an appointment to preview at Christies South Kensington showroom. Once he had seen the wonderful condition he decided that he loved the picture enough to try and secure it. Not able to attend the auction he entered a telephone bid, and was successful. By sheer quirk of fate, the poster was coming home!

Richard has had the picture framed sympathetically to suit the era of the picture and has kindly loaned it to the company for display at our head quarters building in Grange.

Artist and Painting History

Raphael T Roussel (1883 to 1967)

Little is known about the artist although he was born in Chelsea, South West London in 1883. He was the son of Theodore Casini Roussel (1847 – 1926) a French born English painter.  It is widely believed that Raphael had no formal training but only guidance from his father.

This poster is not recorded in any literature or by The National Railway museum, so is believed to be the only surviving copy.

Information on the artist from a catalogue entry for another Roussel lot offered by Swann Auction Galleries in New York in late 2012 stated the following –

  • The artist primarily designed posters for P&O and RSMP steam ship lines promoting travel to exotic destinations as Australia and Sudan.
  • The artist also designed dioramas for the British Empire Exhibition in 1926

Grange History

The town developed in the Victorian era from a small fishing village and the arrival of the railway made it a popular seaside resort on the north side of Morecambe Bay. The ‘over-Sands’ suffix was added in the late 19th or early 20th centuries by the local vicar who was fed up with his post going to Grange in Borrowdale.

History of LMS

The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) was a British railway company. It was formed on 1 January 1923 under the Railways Act of 1921 which required the grouping of over 120 separate railway companies into just four. The companies merged into the LMS included the London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway, several Scottish railway companies (including the Caledonian Railway), and numerous other, smaller ventures.

The resulting company was an unwieldy construction, with numerous interests other than railway operations. Besides being the world’s largest transport organisation, it was also the largest commercial undertaking in the British Empire and the United Kingdom’s second largest employer, after the Post Office.

In 1938, the LMS operated 6,870 miles of railway, but its profitability was generally disappointing, with a rate of return of only 2.7%. Under the Transport Act 1947, along with the other members of the “Big Four” British railway companies (GWR, LNER and SR), the LMS was nationalized on 1 January 1948, becoming part of the state-owned British Railways.

The LMS was the largest of the Big Four railway companies and the only one to operate in all parts of the United Kingdom.

Grange Station

The station building was designed by the Lancaster architect E G Paley for the Furness Railway Company in about 1864. It was extensively restored to its former glory in the late 1990s.

The railway through Grange was originally opened on 1 September 1857 by the Ulverston & Lancaster Railway. The station was initially named Grange, the current name being adopted by the Furness Railway in June 1916.

From 1 January 1923, the station was operated by the London Midland & Scottish Railway. At one time the line carried a very heavy industrial traffic to support the iron and steel industry of the Furness area, including coke from County Durham.

The Gedye connection

There is an even more remarkable connection in that John Gedye, the eldest son of the firm’s founder Reginald Gedye, first started work at Grange Railway Station as an employee of London Midland Scottish around the time the poster was current. After many years with LMS he qualified as a solicitor and returned to the family firm where he practised until his death aged 86 in 1995.

It is fitting therefore that it has come back to Gedye and Sons and we are delighted to welcome any local residents, clients or interested parties to pop in to our reception and see it in all its glory.

20th February 2014.