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.
5th/10/81 Dear Hilary, Enjoying the rest here away from it all. The weather has been very kind to us. We arrived in glorious sunshine (usually raining in wales all the time!!) We hope to visit Caenarfon tomorrow. Its supposed to be quite large. I hope you are enjoying yourself Lots of luv Janet xx
Here’s another one from Janet, having her second week in Wales that year!
The card was written on 5th October and she obviously did visit Caenarfon the next day, as the post mark reads ‘Caenarfon 6 OCT 1981 Gwynedd’. She’s put plenty of stamps on it to ensure safe arrival to me in Norway.
The other post mark somewhat bizarrely reads ‘Today’s POST OFFICE in business to serve you’ – an admirable sentiment at the time, but one which seems ironic today as much of the POST OFFICE is privatised!
The cartoon on the front illustrates the famous mountain train which runs from Llanberis to the top of Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon).
Janet and I have known each other for over 40 years…
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.