A possible "Red Herring" at Blackpool???

& Brown & Rawcliffe, Ltd, Liverpool

Just a line from Blackpool [also Skegness]

A series of striking comic cards were published by E R Green & Co in the summer of 1909. They were signed by "Syllikuss" and the artist is unknown - but the possibility of there being a link between these cards and the "Karaktus" cards from St Albans (and hence Fred Spurgin) was a possibility that needed to be considered.

The above "Just a Line" card carries the signature "Syllikuss" but is totally out of line with the other known "Syllikuss" cards in terms of style and subject matter.


Some Typical Syllikuss Cards

This card "Only a line. Just arrived - quite fresh"  clearly shows the same line of fish (with some minor editing changes involving the fins) and the fish are printed in silver. It is unsigned but carries the coats of arms of Yarmouth and Norfolk.

It was in the "B & R Series" published by Brown & Rawcliffe Ltd, of Liverpool who published many heraldic cards.

It was posted on 29 July 1908 so clearly predates the "Syllikuss" card published in Blackpool.


Only a line - Just arrived - quite fresh


Interestingly the fish also turn up on similar  "B & R Series" cards for other coastal resorts starting in the summer of 1906:

Great Yarmouth

(posted 15 July & 19 August 1906),


(posted 30 July 1906)



Scarborough (posted February 1910)


Rothsay (posted July 1908)

B & R "Camera Series" No 796



Brighton (posted August 1911)




Isle of Man (posted  5 August 1907)


back of Isle of Man card


The company also published view cards in the B & R Series, with or without coats of arms, from all over the country.

Bournemouth Pier

Lovers Seat, Hastings



B & R Series comic cards

 Am Just off

The Post is fast going


All the "B & R Series" cards I have seen have the same divided "Write here for Inland Postage only" back, and it may be the company only published cards around the 1903-6 period. If the artist who did the early "Only a line" cards still had the original he could well have touched up some of the details before submitting it to E. R. Green & Co in 1909 using the name "Syllikuss."  

So could the artist who drew the "Only a line" fish be the same one that drew the two comic cards "Am just off" and "The post is fast going"? They all represent the same kind of comedy and the handwriting is similar. It seems quite likely - and there is no similarity with the cards Fred Sprugin was producing in around 1906 - making it less likely the "Syllikuss" was Fred Spurgin.