Norman Thelwell was a popular cartoonist for Punch, who subsequently had a great deal of success with a range of graphic books. One of his main areas of interest was pony riding, & you can see how this would make an appealing topic for transfer sets aimed at girls.
There were two transfer products featuring Thelwell; "Thelwell Pony Tales" & "Thelwell Pony Plaques". Because they are kind of twins for the latter, "Holly Hobbie Art Miniatures" & "Sarah Kay Art Miniatures" get a look in as well.
For the Thelwell Stationery range, see the Letraset Stationery page.
"Pony Tales" came before "Pony Plaques", but it's more fun to deal with "Plaques" first.
The transfers for this very simple moulding kit were re-purposed from the Decor-Craft range, serial number 27.01.154. Here they are reprinted as L81/4, & on further reprinting, L90/2.
(L90/7 to L90/10 were the Sarah Kay Action Transfers Playhouse.)
There were two Decor-Craft sheets featuring Thelwell characters that we know of. Stay tuned. The characters reprinted here represent half of one of these two sheets.
UPDATE: here they are —
Curses — I've just noticed that the spectacular "Rub Down Stick" mentioned on the box isn't clearly visible in this photo. Never mind; it's just a standard wooden ice cream stick — & you can see one in the Sarah Kay Art Miniatures photo below.
The address given is "Letraset Consumer Products Ltd. Woodside Road, Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland." This is, of course, Thomas Salter's address…
We don't actually have either of these to show you, but we met someone who had.
It's pretty much the same idea as above, although perhaps slightly more sophisticated. (Sophisticated technically, I mean; you could hardly regard Holly Hobbie as aesthetically more sophisticated than Thelwell. And to compare the relative sophistication of Holly Hobbie & Sarah Kay…)
The Holly Hobbie transfer sheet serial number 27.01.139 is a Decor-Craft Design Reference Number, which indicates that this set re-used these, just as the Thelwell Pony Plaques did for their transfers. We do have this sheet, so you can see it when the Decor-Craft article is uploaded. And there are other Holly Hobbie sheets in the Decor-Craft collection.
The same applies to Sarah Kay, who reprinted Decor-Craft sheet 27.01.150 as L128, & who had other Decor-Craft sheets available.
Letraset produced other Sarah Kay products; the "Sarah Kay Action Transfers Playhouse" sets are mentioned above, & there are six Sarah Kay 'Panoramas' which we will upload eventually.
Thanks to eBay member dave64reading for sharing his Art Miniature photos.
L74 was a portmanteau serial number consisting of several jobs, with its transfer sheets being re-used in various ways:
At least one (Prize Giving: L74/8a) — & very likely all four — of the Thelwell Pony Tales appeared as Fun Doodles. Then the L74 Pony Tales run was reprinted later as L111, & "090" numbers are Sodecor codes usually reserved for Thomas Salter. (Late transfer sheets often have more than one serial number printed on them, since adding a new serial for a reprint is quite straightforward with Litho printing.)
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives (with thanks to Joe Robinson) — dave64reading — 'Pony Plaques' photo by Triplica.com
© Tom Vinelott 2021