“I HAVEN’T got a very long furlough,” says the bashful young Scottish soldier in a ridiculously short kilt looking at his eager, busty girlfriend.

“Aww, it doesn’t matter, love,” she replies, tenderly taking his hand and looking at his groin. “You can wear an overcoat.”

This is a joke on a saucy postcard produced by the Bamforth’s company which was famed for its smut during the golden era of the cheeky card from the 1930s to the 1960s. However, the gag about a furlough not being long enough was too much for the Blackpool Postcard Censorship Board which in 1951 banned Bamforth’s from using it.

Throughout the lockdown, we’ve been debating the word “furlough”, which is a 17th Century Dutch military word that essentially means a period of leave inbetween battles. In previous Memories, we’ve shown Second World War LNER railway tickets that were given to soldiers so they could travel on trains while on “furlough”.

Now a reader who is too shy to give his, or her, name but who has obviously studied the art of saucy seaside postcards has sent in details of how the word “furlough” was too much for the censors in 1951.

And, yes, there really was a Postcard Censorship Board, which was introduced by Winston Churchill’s new Conservative government in 1951 to clean up our coastal shops.

However, it doesn’t look like the ban was taken seriously as several other postcard producers printed copycat cards with furlough jokes on them – perhaps the Board didn’t have a stiff enough sentence to make the ban stand up.