Need help finding an old British mag . . .

Does anyone know where I can get the Dec. 17, 1958, issue of “The Sketch,” a British theater magazine? I’m not even sure if it’s still published. I have tried several back-issue magazine sources listed on the site, including Gallaghers,, Periodyssey and the Vintage Magazine Company of English, with no luck.

Any other ideas? Anyone got a British friend who might want to do some local digging? Thanks!

At first, I thought you were looking for
Old British Fags.

Gotta be lots of 'em.

I though she wanted an old British nag – I was going to direct her to Buckingham Palace.

Are we helping, Eve?

How about UK eBay? I’ve found US publications as old as the one you’re looking for on the US eBay. The British might have the same.

Eve – Don’t know of the magazine (seems a little obscure…?) and I’m sure you don’t mean the newspaper ‘The Daily Sketch’ that was popular around that time. What follows are links to the same site but increasingly relevant (I hope) so that the third link should be of most assistance.

It’s the most comprehensive resource in the world (and you might find it of general help) but, by the same token, might well not be specialised enough for your needs.

BTW, only just caught this thread Feel free to e-mail me in the future if you don’t get answers to other questions regarding UK research.

If this is not of help, let me know and I’ll speak with a couple of specialised book shops.

You might try a search on COPAC, which is an online composite catalogue for a number of major UK libraries.

Just putting “the sketch” into a periodicals search yielded a large number of results, of which the three top matches were:
TI- The sketch
PU- London : [s.n.]
DT- Periodical
LA- English
HL- Leeds

TI- The sketch
PU- London : Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd.
PY- 1955
DT- Periodical
LA- English
NT- Fortnightly
HL- Trinity College Dublin

TI- The sketch : a journal of art and actuality
PU- London : Ingram Brothers
PY- 1893
DT- Periodical
LA- English
NT- Published every Wednesday
HL- Trinity College Dublin
So, maybe Trinity College is your best bet for finding back issues…?

Thanks all . . . Well, ALMOST all . . . I need an actual copy of The Sketch for the photos of Kay Kendall in her only West End production. I have a photocopy of the issue, but need the original so the photos can be reproduced.

London, darling, I would indeed be grateful if you’d ask those bookshops if they have or can get the Dec. 17, 1958 issue (Kay is on the cover as well as on the inside). I’ll be out of town the week of July 9th, in case you don’t hear from me for awhile.

Thanks again!

What a shame for you that, to the British, ‘Fag’ only really means cigarette or lackey, not homosexual.

Eve – Can you offer any more info ? Is the full title of the periodical definitely ‘The Sketch’, the name of the photographer, in her only West End production called… what ? (cos a stills library may also have it).

No promises but I’ll try…

Hope you’ve got some juicy bits on Rex – he didn’t just talk to the animals, ya know.

Thanks again, London. The cover has the title “The Sketch” and the date, and a photo of Kay, Rex and Gladys Cooper on the set of the play “The Bright One” (which, as it turned out, opened and closed like a camera shutter). Inside is a two-page spread of rehearsal photos.

I do have lots of dirt on Rex, but mostly about what a mean SOB he was. I had a helluva time getting anyone to say anything nice about him!

It was definitely The Sketch. One of Noel Coward’s biographies features a picture of a cover of the magazine. Noel C is shown sitting up and smoking in bed, and looking (as he said later) like “a drug-addled mandarin”.

Eve dear, if deeply desperate you might be able to find out which biography it is, check the picture credits or permissions and find a lead to bound volumes of the Sketch that way. (“Up there miss, right between the bound volumes of Punch and The Lady. That’s right, miss”)

Sadly, I am unable to help directly, as all my books are still in storage. Along with my limousine, with the headless body in the back seat.
Redbuffalo Bob

Excellent ! If you’re away next week it means I can wait 'til I’m up Charring Cross Road way as I suspect only the little odd men in those bookshops can help.

Interesting that Coward should be mentioned. I find it difficult to think of Rex as anything other than a Coward wannabe. Have a delicious time, Eve.

Thanks, ducks, both of you—I’ll check back in on the 16th!