(with & w/o dust wrapper)
Early 1950s - 1970
From about 1952, hardback board covers were
introduced. These were still red, but the map design
was in a much smaller box. More importantly, the
guides acquired a colourful red and yellow glossy
dust jacket. The jackets have a map of Great Britain
plus a small map of the area featured in yellow on
the cover. See attached photos of front & back. The
spine has a yellow top half with the area covered, a
red bottom half with "Red Guide" and at the base in
smaller writing "Ward Lock". The editions published
in the 1950s were undated, but those published from
the early 1960s onwards until 1970 were dated. Under
the dust jacket the books were red with the title at
the top, followed by a small square map of the area
covered (a repeat of the one on the front cover but
just black outline on the red cover) and "WARD LOCK"
underneath. The spine is again plain red with just
the title reading down and "WARD LOCK" in two lines
at the bottom. As can be seen from the rear shot,
there was still an extensive range of guides
published (111 English/Welsh and 8 Scottish).
In about 1954, a small number of editions
appeared in a card paperback style format with a
black and white photograph on the cover (see
adjoining illustration of Portsmouth and Southsea
1970 – 1982
The editions published during this period had the
spine colours reversed on the dust jacket spine,
separated by a white band, and a colour photo from
the area covered instead of the map. The front cover
now featured the yellow area map in the red area at
the top along with the title. The white band
continues round from the spine, contains the
author's name, and the bottom two-thirds features a
colour picture from the area covered. See photos
These guides would appear to have been issued in
both hardback and paperback versions, with the
paperbacks seemingly taking over as the decade
progressed. Underneath the dust jacket, the book
front was just plain red, the spine Red Guide, then
area covered, then Ward Lock on two lines. The Lake
District book was published in a slightly larger
size, both both in hard-back and paperback form. The
list of titles published was much reduced to just 19
books, plus 13 'Complete' series books.
Apart from a single 1966 book (Scotland, which might
have been a 'one off'), the "Complete" series titles
were also published during this period. Features are
a red band top and bottom of the front cover with a
colour picture from the area covered in the middle.
For the first time, no yellow is featured on the
cover, and no map. These were an amalgamation of
individual guides into larger geographical areas.
Presumably with the popularity of foreign holidays
during this period, it was no longer economic to
produce 100+ separate guides, so the series was
condensed into just the 19 'local' guides and 13
'Complete' ones. Interestingly, although the
'Complete' series were featured in the local guides,
there was no mention of the 'local' guides in the
'Complete' books. There is a list of the 'Complete'
series only inside the back cover (see photo).
An exception is the Baddeley's Lake District - this
is altogether a better standard book than others of
the period with more coloured maps and speckled red
to the page ends and incorporates a red cloth
bookmark. Although undated, this title dates from
around 1966 and is a different style to any other
Ward Lock edition.
Note: The details and pictures
on this page have been kindly supplied by Steve
Newman, an enthuisastic collector of the later Ward
The red guides continued to be published at times since this date, but we have so
far not tracked or documented any detail of these later publications.
If you have knowledge of this period, please contact us with any knowledge you
are willing to share with others.