60 years after he was created, Tufty Fluffytail (the retired road safety squirrel) will feature in an exhibition exploring international state-related propaganda.
Tufty was created by the late Elsie Mills MBE in 1953 to help communicate simple safety messages to children. Now, the ever-popular squirrel will feature in the British Library’s exhibition Propaganda: Power and Persuasion (17 May – 17 September).
The exhibition will feature Tufty memorabilia from the British Library’s archives, including a bag and greetings card, plus a RoSPA poster from the 1960s featuring statistics about children and road collisions.
Tufty had a long career in road safety. In 1961, the Tufty Club was set up as a nationwide network of local groups through which millions of children learned about road safety. At its peak, there were 24,500 registered Tufty Clubs.
Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of RoSPA, said: “The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to mark Tufty’s 60th birthday and to acknowledge his contribution to society. Tufty was an iconic aid to road safety education, teaching generations of children right through the 60s and 70s and into the 80s and 90s.
“Although it might seem strange to consider him as propaganda, the British Library’s exhibition is a fitting reminder of Tufty, his powers of persuasion and his enduring legacy as artwork.”