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Spring is a time to explore the great outdoors. The countryside has much to offer, as many of the rural scenes in our image library playfully illustrate.
Our plentiful COPY 1 collection contains many humorous drawings, including naughty schoolboys stealing apples and other outdoor activities gone awry. Artists such as John Hassall, featured below, and Tom Browne sketched a whole host of sports capers early in the 20th century - see our sports and keep fit Britain showcases for more.
We also hold photographs, paintings and sketches of scenic places across the UK, ranging from the romantic riverside in Oxford and the sweeping coast of Whitby, to the wilds of the Scottish Highlands. In our images below, a fisherman labours for a living, while others retire to their country retreat.
Our record series INF 3 contains many posters from the Second World War, encouraging women to help on the Home Front and get involved in agricultural work for food production. The illustration below shows a woman fully equipped and mucking in, operating a horse-drawn plough. Visit Wikimedia Commons for many more posters, including calls for recruitment to the Women’s Land Army.
Ever of thee I'm fondly dreaming, by artist John Hassall, 1904/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-211-(145f)-ever-of-thee-im-fondly-dreamin-john-hassall-1904.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/211 (145f)
Golfers in the rain, by artist APF Ritchie, 1903/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-210A-(271)-golfers-in-the-rain-apf-ritchie-1903.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/210A (271)
Stealing apples, by artist A Ludovici, 1904/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-211-(149i)-a-ludovici-stealing-apples-1904.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/211 (149i)
Whitby Abbey and cliffs, by artist W Matthison, 1904/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-218-(123)-whitby-abbey-and-cliffs-w-matthison-1904.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/218 (123)
Children on stepping stones across a stream, 1903/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-465-children-on-stepping-stones-across-a-stream-1903.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/465
Arrival at a country house, painting by Charles Sykes, 1909/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-282-(157)-painting-arrival-at-a-country-house-1909-charles-sykes-1909.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/282 (157)
Monarchs of the Glen cattle, 1906/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-243(ii)-(198)-monarchs-of-the-glen-cattle-1906.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/243(ii) (198)
Are we undone, by artist Edmund Fuller, 1903/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-209-(371b)-are-we-undone-edmund-fuller-1903.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/209 (371b)
The River Cherwell from the parks, Oxford, 1904/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-216-(421)-the-river-cherwell-oxford-1904.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/216 (421)
Fisherman with net and baskets, Cornwall, 1903/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-462-fisherman-with-net-and-baskets-cornwall-1903.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/462
Second World War poster, land girl and horse-drawn plough, by artist Laura Knight/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/inf3-108-world-war-ii-poster-horse-drawn-plough.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 3/108
Put a stout heart to a steep hill, by artist Hamish Duncan, 1903/images/imagelibrary/showcase/rural-scenes/copy1-207-(129k)-put-a-stout-heart-to-a-steep-hill-hamish-duncan-1903.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/207 (129k)
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