Below is an abstract I have submitted to “The One Show” – who knows if it will get picked up or not, they may already have something lined up, but worth an email (or few!)

“September 3rd 2009 marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

In 2000 a poster was discovered in the bottom of a box of books, bought at auction by a book-seller in Alnwick.  The poster, designed by the Ministry of Information in 1939, was intended to be posted in the event of an invasion.  It was (probably) distributed around the country in the same way that other posters were – to post offices, train stations, etc.  Two other posters in the series “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will bring Us Victory” and “Freedom is in Peril, Defend it with all your Might” were posted widely.  But as Britain was never invaded, “Keep Calm and Carry On” was never used.

Until now…!

The poster has had a resurgence, particularly since November 2008, when the credit crunch really hit, with many using it as a mantra to get through their daily lives.  Catching the mood of the nation it has been widely distributed, copied onto mugs, T shirts and student walls.


Dr Bex Lewis is an expert on 2nd World War propaganda posters.  Her blog gets many hits about “Keep Calm and Carry On” and it’s variations (which include “Now Panic and Freak Out!”)

Bex Lewis completed her PhD entitled “The planning, design and reception of British Home Front propaganda posters of the Second World War” in June 2004 (examined by Asa Briggs) at the University of Winchester.  She is currently a Lecturer in History, and Associate Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Winchester.”

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