One of the most popular staples of printed newspapers is the topical cartoon.

The cartoonist’s genius lies not just in drawing skills, but in their ability to visually relate their subject to contemporary events. Such cartoons make us smile, sometimes laugh out loud or just reflect, no matter how grim the news of the day is.

During the 1930s F. T. Naughten or Fred Naughten worked as a cartoonist for the Southend Standard Group. He started as a junior in 1907 and worked his way up to be a correspondent.

He was also well respected in yachting circles because of his weekly commentaries on sailing.

Starting in 1936 and once a fortnight, quirky cartoons were published in the Southend Pictorial Telegraph in a series called ‘Southend and District Once Upon a Time’. All the drawings carried his trade mark pen name NIB. Fred Naughten was perhaps exceptional in that he could draw on his widespread historical knowledge and through ‘Southend and District Once Upon a Time’ bring contemporary and historical events together in a single image.

Here are a selection of his cartoons published between 1936 and 1937 with some added text putting the images into context.