with love from Hong Kong (1987)

with love from Hong Kong

10.10.87 Dear Hilary & Simon, Here I am at last, I can hardly believe it Hong Kong is very exciting & the shopping is out of this world!!  I am trying to pack in as much sightseeing as time will allow, there is a lot to see & I am snapping photos madly. I leave for Perth to see Linda tomorrow.  Janet xx

Postmarked ‘HONG KONG 1pm 12 OCT 1987’ this card carries a HK$1.70 stamp featuring Queen Elizabeth II, who continued to be head of state until the territory was returned to China in 1997

There is a good deal of excitement in the text as Janet tries to make the most of her time before catching her onward flight to Australia.

 

Here’s another one from Janet, my friend from infant school.  Linda is Janet’s sister, who is quite a bit older than us.  I remember her emigrating to Australia as a ‘Ten Pound (£) Pom‘, which must have been in the very early seventies, but at 8 or 9 years old I had no idea what it meant!  I later understood that she had gone to Australia very cheaply and that it would be a long time before she saw her family again.  This was possibly the second time that Janet went out to visit Linda.  On her first trip she was a young teenager (minor) and I recall her telling me all about how the cabin crew looked after her and chaperoned her through the airport process.  Janet and I now communicate regularly via email 🙂

with love from Bodrum (1987)

with love from Bodrum

Simon & Hiliary, Weather hotter than tenerife often over 100°F. Bacardi not so cheap but Raki (Like pernod) is. Lots of sailing and windsurfing done out here, Sailing holidays very reasonable. The sun is helping the cartlidge scar to fade quite nicely. Hope there are more IN’s than OUT’s. See you soon Andy & Kev

Lots of information in this status update – the weather features of course, since we Brits are always so fascinated by non-stop hot sunshine!  The price of various drinks is also something we tend to be interested in as well.

The picture is of the iconic Bodrum castle and the beautiful surrounding scenery ensures that the area continues to be a popular holiday destination.

Postmarked ‘BODRUM 30 VII 87’ the card carries a 150 Lira stamp; one of a set of three issued in April 1987 which highlighted road safety.

Andy (who has written the card) was at University with my husband; I got to know Andy soon after I met Simon, over 30 years ago; then, through Andy, we met Kevin. We all had several holidays together (one in Tenerife) and still see both of them and their respective families regularly.  Andy, Kevin and Simon all run their own businesses – hence the ‘more IN’s than OUT’s’ comment.

 

with love from Manchester (2016)

with love from Manchester

Dear Hilary, We’re in Manchester, staying with Julia and Matt. Had a visit to the Whitworth Gallery. Julia & Matt are now in their own little house in Didsbury. Hope the foot is on the mend. Sue

Post marked ‘Royal Mail South Midlands Mail Centre 19-01-2016’ the status update on this card is brief and informative.

Featured on the front is Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery, which has recently undergone extension and renovation works.

The other postmark is ‘Celebrating 500 Years of Royal Mail 1516-2016’ Amazingly, it seems we have had some sort of postal service in the UK since Henry VIII was king!

I have been friends with this fourth Sue for over 20 years; we met when our children started school and we used to chat every day in the playground. We still see each other, but not quite so often these days; the children have all remained friends too 🙂  I had a minor operation on my foot in January which Sue refers to in her message.  I’m still no wiser about Sue no 3, 2 or 1….

 

with love from Stockholm, Sweden (1981)

With love from Stockholm

Hi Hilary, Thought I would drop you a line, your mum said it might surprise you. How’s life in Norway as cold as in Sweden. Might see you at Xmas Regards Bob England

A very brief status update, offering no clues as to why Bob was in Sweden…

It is postmarked ‘Stockholm 30-11-1981’ and carries a 1.75 krone stamp featuring Queen Silvia.

The front of the card features part of a watercolour painting by Rolf Lidberg – renowned for his depictions of trolls.

Bob was a work colleague of my mum’s; as I had worked at the same place during school holidays I also knew Bob. This fairly random piece of correspondence would indeed have been a ‘surprise’ and was, no doubt, gratefully received by me in Norway; it was thoughtful of him to take the time to send it. Strange that my married name is ‘England’ – no relation – and it is, in fact, a reasonably common surname here in the UK.

with love from Paris (1981)

With love from Paris

Tuesday  Dear Hilary, Yesterday we went on a boat trip down the Seine which showed many of the famous sights. Later we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and then onto Les Invalides. Today we went to Versailles to see the palace, we’re having a great time and the weather couldn’t be better. See you soon Sue + Chris

Post marked ‘Paris 21H 7-7-1981 Gare St Lazare’ and carrying a 1 franc 20 centime stamp, this is another 1981 card featuring the Sacré-Coeur  together with its funiculars.

There is plenty being updated here – Paris and the weather combining to offer the proverbial ‘great time’.

 

Sue is a very popular name amongst my peers and I was at school with several – unfortunately I cannot be sure which Sue has written, and the accompanying Chris is a confusion… I have lost touch with this Sue!

 

with love from France (1981)

With love from Paris

16/9/81  Dear Hilary, just a quick card to explain the lack of correspondance in reply to your last letter. As you can see Vanessa and I are in France and we are now working on a vineyard near Orange in the Rhône Valley. The last few weeks in England and the first week here have been hectic with no time to write letters. However, I hope Norway is proving a Hunky Dory place to live, and the kids are settling down, with a bit of luck we can meet at xmas. I shall write a letter soon, love Andrew

Post marked ’84 Bollene Vaucluse 17H30 16-9-1981′ which is in southern France some distance from the Sacré-Coeur featured on the front – it is unclear whether the card was bought in Paris or locally in Bollène.

A mini update, where more news is promised, from a friend who was working and travelling his way round Europe.

 

Andrew was also in my maths class at sixth form; an articulate contributor to any group discussion, maths related or otherwise, he was smart and held firm political opinions. Andrew wrote many letters and cards to me with details of his travels which I relished and appreciated during my time in Norway. We subsequently lost touch, but did reconnect, via the wonder of social media, a few years ago; didn’t quite get to the point of a face to face meeting though!

 

with love from Dolgellau, Wales (1981)

With love from Dolgellau

14th June 1981 Dear Hilary, Just to let you know that I’m having a good time here in Wales. The weather has been awful but never fear all is not yet lost. We have tried to go out as much as possible because there is such a lot to see. The cabin we are staying in is lovely. It is so well planned and equipped. I promise to write soon. Love Janet xx

Here’s another one from Janet making the best of a wet week in Wales!

The post mark is illegible, but Janet has helpfully dated the card. The other postmark says ‘Be properly addressed Post Code It’ – this is now seven years after post codes became a requirement on all addresses in the UK

The stamp is 14p first class, which is equivalent to 54p in 2015

Dolgellau, in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, still looks much the same – although today the cars driving through are more modern and probably more numerous!

 

I have recently been in touch with Janet to tell her about this blog and she had ‘a good laugh’ reading the words of her younger self which brought back memories of many happy holidays. 

with love from Lyme Regis, Dorset (2015)

With love from Lyme Regis

28.5.15 Dear Hilary, Simon & Co. A few days away to re-charge the batteries! Place is lovely, with plenty of eating, walking and swimming. Not far from ‘The Cobb’. Forgotten how hilly Lyme is. Lots of love Gill, Ash, C & P X

Picturesque Lyme Regis is famous for its Cobb, which has featured in several films, most notably The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), starring a young Meryl Streep.

This card was sent recently and carries the new style UK stamp which merely states 1st or 2nd class. These ‘valid in perpetuity’ stamps were introduced on 30th April 2012, negating the need to purchase smaller value stamps to add on when the postage rate goes up. This is convenient for users as well as for Royal Mail, who can hike prices without anyone noticing. Indeed when these stamps were introduced, first class postage jumped 30% from 46p to 60p. Three years on, very few people in the UK know the current price of a first class stamp!

 

Since finding out, through this blog, that I have kept postcards over the years, my friends and family are joining the campaign and sending cards with enthusiasm.  Gill sent this to me shortly after we met up again… 

 

with love from Leningrad (c1984)

With love from Leningrad

Dear Hiral, Back in the USSR…! Having a wonderful time, though the schedule is exhausting. We’re being real tourists, sightseeing relentlessly. We have started exploring on our own though, braving the soviet tram & metro systems. We even went to a Russian film last night – screamingly boring, but an interesting experience! We also found the woolly mammoths in Zoo Museum – amazing!  Lots of love Anne x

Another card from Anne featuring my nickname from school which endured for several years. ‘Back in the USSR’ refers to an organised college trip we took there in 1980 – it is also a world famous song by The Beatles.

The postmark is Leningrad but the date is not clear. Leningrad reverted back to St Petersburg in 1991

The stamp is large, glorious and of the time, commemorating something that occurred in 1980

The buildings featured are beautiful, I think the top one is the Hermitage – can anyone else identify them? Or translate the descriptions? My Russian is quite limited.

I’m pleased to report that as a result of this blog Anne, Sara and I all met up recently in London. We spent time enjoying Tate Modern, had a meal, some drinks and a great wander down memory lane. Many great (and small) things are forgotten and lost without a trace – they can only be resurrected by reminiscing with those who shared the same experience. 

 

with love from Wells-Next-The-Sea (1982)

With love from Wells-Next-The-Sea

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.