Tues 25-5-82 Dear Hilary, I must thank you for your very nice letter. I hope you are well. As you can see from the card I am at present on holiday but unfortunately Uncle Ken isn’t with John, Alex & myself as the cat brought her kittens in & he is at home looking after all the cats and kittens. I am glad ***** had her little baby safely. We went to Wells on Sea today Hilary, & the weather was lovely. I’ll write another time Hilary Love & God bless Aunt Jean x
Poor Uncle Ken – missing the holiday because the cat had kittens! This card is without stamp or postmark, although it is correctly addressed and I suspect I received it via a parcel from my Mum.
The baby referred to was born to the family that I was working for during my time in Norway.
Wells-Next-The-Sea is in Norfolk; the granary with gantry, seen in the top right picture, has now been converted into flats.
Auntie Jean was a ‘courtesy’ aunt; she was an old work colleague of my mother’s. Jean and her family did not have a lot of money, but she always remembered my birthday and enclosed a postal order without fail every year. She was very concerned for others and had a strong faith. Jean died several years ago, possibly earlier than she would have, if her life had been less of a struggle.
Dear Hilary, The weather has not been very good with a couple of days of rain but we are still having a great holiday. We have been sailing nearly every day, the winds have been quite strong but we have not yet gone over. I shall not see you before so I hope you have a nice holiday Love, James
A newsy status update postmarked ‘Tregony Truro Cornwall 8th Aug 1977’ carrying a 9p stamp which was first class for a 2oz letter at the time.
Tregony is on the River Fal in Cornwall and still looks much the same now as it did when this photo was taken.
James’ family were members at the local sailing club, where my family sailed. James had a Merlin Rocket and I used to crew for him. There were plenty of social events and teenage discos and the inevitable snog… I have not stayed in touch with James.
26/4/83 Dear Hilary, It was really good to hear from you and to know that everything is going okay. Your card was very lucky to get to me as it seems I didn’t leave my address with my parents and only went home on the spur of the moment! I thought I’d send you a card although I don’t live in Buckfast – well just around the corner and I can see the Abbey when I go running! Life is just about okay but the college is a drag! Will write a letter soon Lots of love, Duncan x
This is post marked ‘South Devon 27th Apr 1983’ and obviously had enough postage on to reach me in Cyprus, where I was living at the time. In 1983 the Post Office are still requesting us, via the other postmark, to ‘Be properly addressed POSTCODE IT’; this is 9 years after the final introduction of the postcode!
There has been an Abbey on the site at Buckfast, on the edge of the River Dart since 1018 The market town of Buckfastleigh is nearby.
In the late 70’s we finished school at 16 and either started work, went to Technical College for vocational qualifications or, as I did, went to 6th Form College to study A’ levels. Duncan was in my maths group; there were several lads from his school in the class and I remember them all as being taller and more mature than the boys from my school; they were also brighter with wicked senses of humour. I therefore relished maths lessons because they were such good fun, the teacher was excellent and we all learnt a lot. Duncan and I snogged on at least one occasion; we stayed in touch via letters and cards for some years, but sadly I have now lost touch with him…
As promised a post card from sunny Kent I don’t know if you’ll even get the card I sent from France as I posted it in Tonbridge with a French stamp on, not to worry though! We had a superb time in France it was really hot and the wine was very tastey too…someone said! The work hasn’t been to bad, infact its been pretty boring…I’ll be in touch, love Gerardxxxxxxxx
Following on from the previous card this one is postmarked Tunbridge Wells (UK) 17 June 1981
The reference to Tonbridge is a classic mistake often made by those not familiar with the area; the two towns are distinct and approximately 7 miles apart.
In 1851 David Salomon was the first Jew to speak in the British Parliament. His country home dates back to the 1830’s
Royal Tunbridge Wells vs Tonbridge
Gerard was obviously keen to ensure that I received at least one post card from his trip south and across The Channel. This was just before I went to Norway for a year; sadly I cannot remember if we met up before I left; we did not meet up after my return. Despite several attempts at re-connecting with him, I have, as yet, been unable to do so…