with love from Orta San Giulio, Italy (2009)

With love from Italy

Dear Hilary & Simon, We’re having a happy time in excellent company. The weather is good & the scenery beautiful. The hotel is grand but a bit haphazard & needs a new stair carpet. Hope all’s well with you all. See you soon. Much love to you all Mum & Dad xxxxxx

This card is from the lakes of northern Italy and features the 16th century decorative town hall of Orta San Guilio on Lake Orta. It is not clear from the text whether Mum & Dad are actually staying in Orta San Guilio; although it would appear that the stair carpet may also date from the 16th century ūüôā

The clear postmark reads ‘NOVARA CMP poste 03.10.09 – 16 Italiane’ and the stamp is a 0,65 euro from the definitive series ‘Women in Art‘ issued 2002-2004

An earlier card from my parents, this time with the Mum & Dad moniker.  Taking full advantage of their retirement Mum & Dad travelled extensively, and to some extent continue to do so.  Although these days the cost of insurance is often more than the trip cost, so this is a limiting factor for them. 

Advertisements

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 ūüôā ¬†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 Ibiza (1984)

with love from Ibiza

Dear Hilary, Despite missing our flight and all the sun tan peeling I’m having a great time out here with the lads. The temperature never gets below the 90’s so I’m having to drink a lot to avoid complete dehydration. The pubs sell draught Guinness and there’s millions of Irish out here so it’s like home from home and the d****s remind me of the locals in Bradford. Love Gerard x

Ever the party island this card emphasises ‘The Sun of Ibiza’ with an eye catching topless sun worshipper supported by a rather incongruous donkey. ¬†On closer inspection this is obviously a photo montage (pre Photoshop) as the various bits of sand, sea and sky do not match up!

Although there is no date or visible postmark, the 16 peseta stamp is, in 1984, commemorating 25 years of CEPT Europa (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration).  The bridge design, common to stamps for all CEPT countries, was created by the French engraver Jacky Larrivière.

Another from the summer romancer – Gerard is still enjoying trips ‘with the lads’ and still sending me postcards some eight years after we met as teenagers on holiday! My own discomfort has forced me to asterisk a less than complimentary description of the locals on the island and the people of Bradford. These once commonplace terms are now unacceptable. Despite various social media searches I am still unable to reconnect with Gerard.

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 Widecombe in the Moor (1975)

4 blog 19 11 14 copy

Dear Hilary & John, We are having a very nice holiday the weather has been very kind to us.  We visited Widdicombe yesterday & today we are sitting looking at nice sea with quite large waves at Meadfoot Beach between Paignton & Torquay.  Love to Mummy & Daddy.  Grandad & G~~~ (Grandma to you)

A classic status update from my paternal grandparents to my brother and me. ¬†The postmark date is Newton Abbot, 1 June 1975. ¬† Five stamps adding up to 5¬Ĺp which was the cost of sending a postcard second class in 1975 (this is approximately 50p in 2014).

The picture illustrates the old nursery rhyme which reads:

Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare,¬†All along, down along, out along lee;¬†For I want to go to Widecombe Fair Wi’ Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, ‘Arry Hawk, Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all, Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all.

Grandad died in the early eighties. ¬†Grandma was my last surviving grandparent and lived on to see me married, but missed being a Great Grandma. ¬†In actual fact she was my Dad’s stepmother, but when I was born it was decided (for ease) that she would be known as Grandma. ¬†She was a great needlewoman and textile artist and encouraged this in me. ¬†More about my love of textiles here¬†http://www.textiletarts.co.uk/about