The Lyons Teashops and Corner Houses were highly popular with the general
public throughout most of the last century. Those who visited still fondly remember
them as places where they could sit and enjoy a good meal at a reasonable price
efficiently served by the popular Nippy waitresses.
It is less well known that the six years of World War II and a lack of decorating
material resulted in a general post-war air of interior dilapidation. To overcome
this, the Directors hit upon the imaginative idea in the aftermath of the war to
commission 30 artists some already distinguished, others up and coming to
produce lithograph prints to decorate the walls.
The resultant 40 Lyons Lithographs remained on the teashop walls from 1947
until the closure of the teashops in the 1970s. This was not an advertising campaign,
but brought good art to the public in an informal environment.
Neville Lyons, a relative of the company's co-founder, will describe how the
lithograph project was conceived, managed and publicised. He will display high
quality image reproductions of most of the lithographs and will give an insight into
the background of each of the artists, many of whom became household names.
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