West's 'Our Navy'

'Our Navy' Postcards, Programmes and Advertisements

West's 'Our Navy' Dating Postcards and Pictures

David Clover

To promote the film business, Alfred West's 'Our Navy' made up numerous handbills, postcards and advertisements, with still scenes taken at the same time as the moving pictures. These were sold at performances, and were extremely popular. The scenes represented in the postcards have survived, but the original films probably have not. Nonetheless, the cards give us a most valuable potential resource in identifying any film material that may be found. Even after all these years, new material is being discovered from time to time.

A number of postcard examples (probably from around 1905), collected by George Malcolmson are shown below. You can click on a card to see a larger version. You can also rescale the card window by dragging the corner. See also our page about dating photographs - and a project we are starting which will help us to work out when undated pictures were taken.

'Our Navy' Postcards - around 1905


Promotional Postcard 1913 - Sunderland

The image was used frequently - see below for another example on glass.

Glass theatre slide to be projected

A glass slide designed to be printed from, or projected in a theatre prior to the show coming to town as a 'Coming here soon' promotional advertisement

Poster (from Kinematograph Weekly)

Poster  appearing in 'Kinematograph Weekly' 17 December 1908 (part of an article reviewing advertising styles of different exhibitors)

Press Advertisement

Poster as appearing inline with text of 'Kinematograph Weekly' 17 December 1908

Visit of French Fleet

Visit of the French Fleet 1905. "Our Navy" shows were specially commissioned for the visiting crews.

Large banner poster - Polytechnic

Large banner poster for Polytechnic shows - early 1900s

A.J. West's own comments on advertising policy

West's own comments on advertising policy as reported in 'Kinematograph Weekly' 17 December 1908


Handbill (Bill Douglas Centre)

Content - (Bill Douglas Centre

Promotional Programme (Courtesy of Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter)

'Our Navy' Cigarette Cards - around 1905

First World War advertising (New owners - B.B. Film Hiring)

Our Army Image

There was huge demand for recycled sequences of Wests's early material about the Navy and Army at the outbreak of war. This advertisement is probably designed by the 'new' owners of West's films (B. B. Film Hiring Service, 81, Dunlop Street, in Glasgow). It promotes a sequence created from stock film from an earlier period, assembled to be shown in picture theatres during the 1914-1918 World War. It does not appear to share any of the design characteristics of West's own promotional material. This 'Life in the British Army' show appears in newspaper advertisements and trade journals from October 1913 (c.f. Kinematograph Weekly of 16/10/1913)