The Empire Marketing Board was set-up in 1926 to promote trade with the Colonies and the Dominions and encourage British people to buy Empire goods.
The posters were colourful and painted a world of abundance and vitality.
The Board had an educational as well as an advertsiing function: it went to schools, had its own library and produced around 100 films with titles such as "Wheatfields of the Empire" and solid sunshine, which promoted Newzealand butter.
Buy Empire Every Day
Follow the Flag in all your purchases
The promotion of trade within the Empire was given a further boost in 1932 at an Imperial Economic Conference held in Ottawa to combat the effects of the Depression.
The result was "Imperial Preference" - through which Britain and the Dominions granted each other favourable trade terms. The following year the Empire Marketing Board was axed as a result of govenerment custs.
Buying British should be a sign of quality - an act whereby people can be assured of certain standards, especially animal welfare standards in the case of meat and dairy produce; an act in support of British jobs and investment; an act wherein one can be reasonably sure whence the product comes.
Back in 1968, a few weeks after devaluation, Harold Wilson produced the "I'm backing Britain" campaign. That campaign was made that much easier because the pound bought less overseas.
People were encouraged to sport tee-shirts and badges emblazoned with "I'm backing Britain" over a union jack. A group of Surbiton secretaries worked an extra half an hour a day for free and many thousands followed in the teeth of great opposition from trade unions. The Duke of Edinburgh even lent his support.
The composers Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent penned a song for Bruce Forsyth with these lyrics:
I'm Backing Britain yes I'm Backing Britain We're all Backing Britain The Feeling is growing So let's keep it going The good times are blowing our way.
Please make sure that the sign says British!!
Teaching children to Buy British - perhaps a thing of the past. I photographed this 'bus and tram at the "Motoring thru Childhood" exhibition at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu - Augsut 2001.
New At Beaulieu for 2001; from April to October, 'Motoring Thru Childhood', a unique exhibition or over 2000 items chronicling the history of motor vehicles through toys. Also retained by popular demand until December 2001, the James Bond Cars exhibition. For the summer, Living History in the Motor Museum, Palace House and Abbey and vehicle demonstrations in the grounds.