We are indebted to libellophile and tegestologist Maggie Zeen for reminding us ("lest we forget" indeed!) that 2018 marks the 71st Anniversary of the establishment of East Dorset Women on Bannisters Magazine (1947).
The brainchild of Batcombe Press's Popular Magazine Series Editor Leary Upskurtz, the Magazine was a ray of sunshine to many in the gloomy postwar 1950s. Its demographic was, according to media watcher and mass survey administrator Demi Graff, "adult males with small to medium assets who were good with their hands ... the kind of people who had potting sheds with secure storage areas suitable for stashing small items and wives who weren't too inquisitive".
Typical was Ray Hauler an employee of Batcome Heavy Transport who remembers with real fondness the anticipation which surrounded the imminent arrival of a new edition. "I couldn't afford a subscription but I did buy most editions - usually at my local Edna's - I remember with real fondness the anticipation which surrounded the imminent arrival of a new edition. I even built a special container for my collection which I kept under the floorboards in case my mam discovered them during her annual bedroom hoovering". Eschewing the odd beer to put together the 2'6d required to purchase the Annual Edition, Ray, like many of his collector acquaintances believes something has been lost in the digital era.
"Young kids of today who can download a picture of a woman on a bannister free and at any time of the night or day have no idea how exciting it was to have to wait for your monthly fix wondering which particular beauty would appear on the cover and at what angle of declination she would be posed. I used to physically tremble with excitement - so much so I had to keep my hands in my pockets just to contain my excitement. It was magical."
East Dorset Women on Bannisters Magazine ceased publication in 2002 when the Batcombe Press was acquired by publishing giant The Threadbone Press. In a statement at the time Threadbone Press proprietor Mrs Amanda J Threadbone made clear her intentions to rationalise titles and update the Popular Magazine's inventory. "I believe modern technology is likely to render the "slide-able bannister" a thing of the past and we in the publishing world must move with the times". She went on to confirm that West Dorset Déshabillé Women in Lifts Magazine would continue to appear "pending a full review of the longevity of the technology involved ." It disappeared in 2003. It was replaced by Going Up: The Gentleman's Elevator.
The 1949 East Dorset Women on Bannisters Annual featured Girl of the Year Dolores Sizemore and was a popular stocking filler.