Feb 25, 2021, 08:23 am


New, New TardisBuilders!

St. John Ambulance sign

Started by retfordlad, Aug 02, 2005, 01:19 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


Jun 30, 2005, 06:43 pm #60 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:35 pm by scarfwearer
It's odd that you mention it, but I'm awaiting a responce to an email regarding St.John Ambulance badge's, as soon as I hear back I'll let you know what I've learnt!


Jul 01, 2005, 02:25 am #61 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:35 pm by scarfwearer
Just looked at the relevant bits of the Cushing movies on DVD and the only time you see a decent shot of the St. John sign is in the first one. 

It definitely says "The St. John Ambulance Association", though I can't tell what form the bottom graphic is taking, whether it is a dot, a Maltese cross (like on the gif on most St. John Ambulance websites), or the intricate mix in ironageman's first graphic.

There might have been slightly more space between the "T" in "The" and the "N" in "Association", however.  Seems like those visual centers of those two letters lined up perfectly with the tips of the lower cross arm, but resolution was too poor to be accurate. 

I'll try to digitize and post later.


Jul 01, 2005, 02:30 am #62 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:35 pm by scarfwearer
Just took a closer look at the "Brigade" version ironageman posted.  The almost perfect lineup of the cross points and the lowest two letters (first and last letters of the phrase) is exactly the visual impression I got in the Cushing sign - except of course it said "Association" instead of "Brigade".


Jul 01, 2005, 09:06 pm #63 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:36 pm by scarfwearer
As for the sign on the original TV prop, it was something like this:


ie NO WORDING WHATSOEVER and a smaller Maltese cross.

It can be seen most clearly in the Pilot episode. The several takes of the second half of the episode - when Barbara barges through the police box doors into the TARDIS interior - all start with nice closeups of the phone panel and St John Ambulance sign, showing it in all its no-wording-ness.

I'd have included an photo if I could have found my digital camera!


Jul 02, 2005, 07:58 am #64 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:36 pm by scarfwearer
Here are pics of the St. John plaque on the Cushing TARDIS (first film only as second did not have any good shots of the St. John plaque at all):


In the film this was clearly black and white gloss enamel on a thin plaque (probably metal) with two screws in the same position as genuine plaque posted by ironageman and appears to be a standard 6" size. 

I think it is quite possible that they simply got an original plaque from the St. John Ambulance Assoc. at the time (1965) rather than go to the trouble to exactly match an original, as this is.

Below are the closest shots from the movie for additional details and font identification:


Top - Note the inner line is clearly visible.


Bottom - Note that you can make out that the sentence separator at the bottom is a dot as on ironageman's "Brigade" plaque rather than either of the two cross symbols found in other versions (ironageman's "Assoc." graphic and the current St. John Ambulance logo as per the image on the site mentioned by ScarfWearer at http://www.shillpages.com/dw/tardis.htm ).


Jul 04, 2005, 02:44 pm #65 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:37 pm by scarfwearer
Yes it seems most likely that the Cushing box plaque was the Real Thing. You can see the two screws on it, anyhow. Oh, and the animals are little tiny ones as on the 'brigade' picture that I posted.

My 'association' picture is based on the frontispiece of a pre-war copy of 'First Aid to the Injured' so the curious cross at the bottom is authentic to the era but perhaps not to 6" enamel plaques. (Ditto the word spacing and the big creatures.)

That wordless plaque is bizarre though. Perhaps they only had the Dinky toy for reference...
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong


Jul 13, 2005, 12:32 pm #66 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:37 pm by scarfwearer
are scans from the 1938 edition of First Aid to the Injured, first published in 1901. I particularly like the way that the beasts aren't mirror-images of each other but all look as if the light comes from the top left.
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong


Jul 14, 2005, 12:03 pm #67 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:37 pm by scarfwearer
Never doubted you ironageman. 

Great pics. 

I really do like the older, more ornate "cross" separator at the 6 o'clock position.

Interesting to see the word spacing of that vintage as well.  This isn't long after the Association was founded, if they're the same graphics as were used on the 1901 first edition.

From all the versions I've seen, the parts that seem to have the most variations in fine detail from sample to sample (and even size) are the unicorns and lions. 

Then there are the enamel badges and bas-relief medals...


Jul 14, 2005, 05:36 pm #68 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:37 pm by scarfwearer
Presumably these graphics remained unchanged but I can't be sure; some of the illustrations have certainly been sneakily updated since 1901, as one can tell from the fashions worn.

All this doesn't prove that there was ever a 6" enamel plaque of this type, of course. The Cushing style seems the safest bet I suppose, but I do like the look of this old badge; it seems to exhibit a greater attention to detail.
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong


Jul 18, 2005, 10:55 am #69 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:38 pm by scarfwearer
Apparently things did change quite a bit both on the cover and the interior of the "First Aid to the Injured" books.  Kind of to be expected, I suppose, considering the evolving nature of First Aid techniques. 

Apparently the concept of the lay public doing First Aid dates to around the founding of The St. John Ambulance Association in 1877 and they have been in the forefront ever since.

Thumbnails are clickable for larger images:

1914 - 25th Edition
Note that the lower part of the seal is even more elaborate than ironageman's 1938 version.  Also, I have a picture of an 1894 First Aid Certificate that has this same seal with the same elaborate word separator.

1915 - 29th Edition
Apparently the same seal was in use until around the end of the war.

And now for something completely different. . .

1931 - 38th Edition

All the above were published in London.

Obviously the 1931 and Ironageman's 1938 version are the ones most likely to have been found in an early Police Box's First Aid Cupboard, assuming they included a manual.


Jul 18, 2005, 11:40 am #70 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:38 pm by scarfwearer
For anybody wondering - St. John Ambulance is a foundation of the now autonomous English arm of the knightly Order of St. John of "Knights of Malta" and "Maltese Falcon" fame - also called the "Hospitallers" because they not only fought as knights through most of their history but tended to the sick and injured as part of their duties (in fact being their original raison d'etre). 

They had their roots before the First Crusade and in their prime had many branches around the world, but the English branch was all but eradicated under Henry VIII in the mid-1500s along with all the other monastic orders, with only a brief respite under Queen Mary.

In the mid-1800s there was a resurgence of interest in this sort of Knightly Order in England and as a result their branch was revived, but due to a dispute over details and who controls what with the main branch in Rome, et al, they were sort of on the outs the main Order (though reportedly maintaining "close and friendly relations with it") so Queen Victoria issued a Royal Charter for them in 1888 as "The Most Venerable Order Of The Hospital Of St. John Of Jerusalem" to give them official status.  As a result we have the British Royal lions and unicorns in their current crest (the Maltese/Vatican main branch just has the eight-pointed "Maltese" cross - yes, they still call themselves the Knights of Malta even though they were kicked out of Malta by Napoleon in 1809).

One of the main interests these British re-founders had was in furthering the new Ambulance Movement that had its start in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.  So, in 1877 they started "The St. John Ambulance Association" whose purpose was to conduct training of lay and professional First Aiders and distribute First Aid equipment.

As a further aid to their humanitarian ends, in 1887 they then started "The St. John Ambulance Brigade" which was/is a hands-on, uniformed branch that actually provided First Aid personnel and equipment for events and emergencies, including transportation of the sick and injured.

Finally, in 1968 these two branches were joined to become simply "St. John Ambulance", which is why all the different wording on the many logos/seals above.

The reason for the differences in the animals and the like is that, as with heraldry in general, a detailed description was made of the coat of arms, but the specific rendition was up to whoever was doing the graphics at the time. 

In the digital age, the images seem to have become more uniform.


Jul 18, 2005, 11:44 am #71 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:38 pm by scarfwearer
Here is a pic of a current sticker that shows what is essentially their current logo/crest/seal with far more detail than you usually get on their websites (click the thumbnail below to see the full resolution image):



Jul 18, 2005, 06:51 pm #72 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:38 pm by scarfwearer
what a wealth of information!

I'm still waiting for St. John's to reply to my question.


Jul 19, 2005, 03:20 am #73 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:38 pm by scarfwearer
Dos that mean that the original tardis, only having a white circle and unadorned Maltese cross was asosiated with the original "Vatican" knights of Malta? ;D


Jul 19, 2005, 06:11 am #74 Last Edit: Jun 16, 2010, 04:39 pm by scarfwearer
No, I think it means they did something on the cheap to "suggest" a St. John Ambulance plaque - guess they couldn't afford a gopher to run out and get one during their lunch break (I'm sure St. John Ambulance would have loved the free publicity). 

Really, you've got to see it to believe how cheaply it was done. :o