with love from Calais (1981)

Calais 1981

Well, after a complete change of plan I made it to France. The wine and weather has been superb. The French are very strange, they don’t seem to understand somehow. Anyway, all the best for the rest of the exams see you in July love Gerard

Although this card was purchased in France and carries a French stamp, it is postmarked Tunbridge Wells (UK) 15 June 1981 from where it was presumably posted.  Amazingly it still arrived. These days it would not have been delivered; a red note from the post man comes instead, advising collection from the sorting office upon payment of the correct postage.

The other postmark is advertising The Pantiles ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Gerard and I met on holiday when I was camping with my family and he was on his first ‘lads’ camping trip.  We had a ‘holiday romance’; we lived 300 miles apart, so continued our romance by letter; enthusiastically at first and later, intermittently; we managed to meet up from time to time. This card was written five years after we first met – it is a testament to our younger selves that we maintained this commitment to communicate for so long. Sadly we have now lost touch.

with love from Sussex (1981)

love from Sussex

Hi Hilary, Michael here.  Bet you thought I wasn’t going to write!  I’m sorry about the card but I couldn’t get a wedding one so this was the best I could do.  By the way I’m at scout camp at the moment (Oh kinky) Love Michael.

The wedding referred to was, of course, the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, when it seemed as though the whole world stood still to watch.  Souvenir memorabilia soon sold out and those slow on the uptake were forced to make do with old stock from other royal events.  This picture commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee is from four years earlier.

Postmarked ‘Sussex Coast 2.30pm 13 Aug 1981’, this was a time when there was more than one collection a day from UK post boxes.  The other post mark, as ever, is reminding us to ‘Be Properly Addressed POSTCODE IT’

1981 was the 25th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and a set of first day cover stamps designed by Philip Sharland was released accordingly.

Michael is the son of my Godmother and he is my mum’s Godson.  We were born within six months of each other and as our parents were good friends we saw each other often; as young teenagers we enjoyed memorable family holidays together. The card was sent to Norway in the early weeks of my time there – I missed home and was grateful to everyone who wrote – it was my main way of staying in touch. Our lives went in different directions; Michael and I lost touch.  Although he remains in contact with my mum, so I hear his news and he, presumably, gets mine.

with love from Poreca, Yugoslavia (1982)

With love from Poreca Yugoslavia

Having a superb holiday here in Yugoslavia. Weather perfect & sea crystal clear & warm. Ideal for snorkling. Yesterday we had a mini cruise to Venice which was as fascinating as ever – if hot, expensive & crowded! Rovinj, the town we are staying in, is most attractive, cobbled streets, busy harbour, pine trees etc. Hope all with you & will see you on your return! Love Auntie Joyce & Bert

The picturesque coast of Western Yugoslavia was a popular holiday destination in the late seventies and early eighties.  The area maintains its appeal, as Croatia, after the break up of Yugoslavia. Poreca, featured in the picture on the front, is about half an hour away from Rovinj, where Auntie Joyce was staying and where the card is postmarked; date 12.6.1982

Venice (North East Italy), is just across the water.

The stamp is 5,60 Dinar, the currency at the time.  It is now the Croatian Kuna.

Auntie Joyce is my Godmother, Bert was her second husband. She is a ‘courtesy’ aunt; an old friend of my parents. Her first husband is my Godfather. Auntie Joyce enjoyed several holidays in Yugoslavia, with both husbands. The card was sent to Norway, towards the end of my time there, hence the reference to my imminent return. Although I have not seen Auntie Joyce for many years, we still exchange news in Christmas cards and via my parents.


with love from Sandown, Isle of Wight (1982)

with love from Sandown

Dear Hiral – greetings from sunny Sandown & for once my luck is in, it actually is quite hot. Have been doing my first sunbathing of the season this afternoon.  Am going to a glassworks & bird place tomorrow.  Going to see my parents on Thursday for a few days – sorry to miss you.  We’ve nearly finished the decorating!  See you soon – love Anne xx

This is a different Anne from the one previously featured as indicated by the greeting – my nickname from school.  As ever, when holidaying in the UK the weather is of interest – a ‘summer’ holiday can often include several days of rain!  The glass works mentioned was established 10 years earlier and continues to produce beautiful hand blown glass.

The postmark date is Portsmouth & Isle of Wight, 11 Aug 1982 and the stamp is a second class 12½p for a small postcard.

The other postmark says ‘Be properly addressed POSTCODE IT’.  This card does not include the postcode, it was still delivered; it was now eight years after postcodes were supposedly obligatory.

Anne and I were in the same friendship group at senior school, along with Sara, and we all went on to the same 6th form further education college.  I selfishly abandoned my friends, in favour of the Canadian boyfriend, and was lucky that they tolerated and forgave my behaviour.  Anne is clever and articulate; she wrote long, chatty, detailed letters to me in Norway – the writing often spanning several days.  I am still in touch with Anne, via Christmas cards and emails, but we have not met up for some years now.