Beautiful Britons 1955 – 1976 (252 issues plus 16 extras)
First issue − November 1955; last issue – November 1976. Collection Information
Beautiful Britons was the third of the group to appear on the market. The first edition hit the newsstands in November 1955 and featured with Lynn Shaw on the cover. It was a pocket-format pin-up magazine that called itself ‘the magazine of eye appeal’ and specialised in photographs of ordinary women rather than models or film stars.
It arose from the magazine Spick. From the very first issue of that title, there had been a monthly section devoted to amateurs “who considered themselves just as decorative as the girls shown here”. They were invited to send in their photographs and received two guineas for each picture published; something like an original Readers Wives. This section was called Beautiful Britons and was so popular that, within two years, it warranted a publication in its own right. From the start, Beautiful Britons was devoted almost entirely to pin-up sets, with none of the men’s type articles or short stories that appeared in the other magazines. The models featured were about the same combination of amateurs and regulars that appeared in the other two magazines, though Spick was a little more daring.
With the arrival of Beautiful Britons, the mainstay of the ToCo titles were all up and running, Over a period of 20 years, it evolved from containing 52 pages featuring 38 models in the first edition to 44 pages with only 7 or 8 models. It is interesting to note that of the 38 models featured in the first edition, 11 of them went on to make the Top 30 of the more than 4,400 girls to appear in the history of the series. Shirley Ann Field, for example, appeared in all three titles from 1954 to 1974.
In addition to the 252 monthly editions, it was the first of the three main titles to be published as quarterly extra editions. Beautiful Britons Extra, all 72 pages of it, ran for three years from spring 1957 to winter 1959. Both Spick and Span followed suit a year later.
Beautiful Britons was published on the 17th of the preceding month, with the 16 quarterly Extras appearing on the 28 February, 31 May, 31 August and 30 November.