28/9 Dearest Hilary & Simon, Saw this statue in Stanly Park where I’m now sitting with Dad looking out at the Pacific. I thought of you – what a lot we’ll have to talk about now. Weather is lovely, warm & hazy – lots of yachts going by. NO STRIKE YET SO WILL WRITE AGAIN. Still can’t believe we’re here. Van excellent Take care, love always Mum & Dad
Mum is very excited to be in Canada and to share news with us. Presumably there was a threat of a postal strike which would have been frustrating (this was before electronic communication was widely available).
The card is postmarked 29 IX 1987 and carries a 72 cent stamp from the 1987 fourth release of the Heritage Artefacts Definitive Series.
On the front is a view from Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park.
In 1987 both my parents were able to negotiate a rare three weeks off work for their trip to tour Vancouver and British Columbia in a camper van. Exactly 30 years later their granddaughter made a similar journey – they have enjoyed comparing routes, notes and photos 🙂
Hey Mum, Dad & Gus, Hope you’re all well & Dad you are getting better 🙂 Canada is amazing! We went white water rafting at Wells Gray NP the other day which was super fun. Yesterday I took Joe on a 18km walk around Lake Kinney at Mount Robson Park (front of postcard) which was beautiful. Today we are in Jasper off to find some wildlife! They had 3 black bears in our campsite yesterday so I shat my pants when going to the loo at night! See you all soon lots of love Jas xx
A joyous status update from Jas – her excitement sings through her writing! There is no dated postmark, but Jas has helpfully included the date, which is just a few weeks ago.
Another card from Jas – we also received electronic messages, photos and videos (of bears!) while she was away for two weeks. The electronic stuff has disappeared way down the scroll, but the postcard remains stuck up in the kitchen as a constant happy reminder. I’m pleased to have taught my millennial kids the joy of postcard writing!
June 12/2002 Hello everyone! I know it has been a really long time since I have been in contact, and I hope you are still at this address. All of the children must be getting so mature, as I believe it has been almost 3 years since I left England. Lots is happening, I am ½ way done my university degree in Victoria, B.C, but I am living and working up in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory this summer. The land of the Midnight Sun, I will go to Dawson this weekend, Right now they are having 22 hrs of sunlight. Hope all is well. Love Allison Carr xo
What an interesting status update! But we are left wondering what Allison is doing in Whitehorse and why she is visiting Dawson, which is a good six hour car journey away!
The stamp is a 1.25 value featuring Sculpture from the Traditional Trades definitive set issued in 1999
As a young woman, Allison lived and worked in our town in the late nineties, which was when our children were very small. In a bid to escape, what could be a very hectic domestic environment, Simon and I decided that a regular, weekly date night was a good idea! Allison was recommended to us as a babysitter, and she came once a week for about a year to look after the children while we were out. The children were fascinated by her accent and her world travels. Eventually, she went back to her home country, Canada, to continue her studies. Sadly, she didn’t give us a forwarding address, so we were never able to respond to this card. If anyone out there knows this Allison Carr, then please ask her to get in touch, as I would love to catch up and exchange news with her.
3-2-82 Dear Hilary, Having a great time at Niagara. We’re staying here over night and returning to Toronto tomorrow. Haven’t seen any mounties yet, but there’s plenty of time, and I’m just finishing my training programme so I can catch one! Lumberjacks are in short supply too, would you settle for an Italian! You ought to consider driving a truck out here, they’re immense, + so are the roads – anyway write soon. Love Amanda
Although signed Amanda, I’m fairly convinced that this is another of Mand‘s jokey status updates – she has reverted to her full name and has helpfully dated the message.
The stamps are from a 1977 definitive set of five stamps featuring trees of Canada.
A wide angle lens has captured most of the falls, but it is hard to get a sense of scale from this image. Better scale on this one, but it loses the vastness…
When we were at school we loved the whole Monty Python lumberjack thing 🙂 I’m not sure what the Italian reference is. Back in the day, my main career ambition was to become a truck (HGV) driver – slightly influenced by adverts for Yorkie bars (‘good, rich and thick’!), and undoubtedly encouraged by the irritation it provoked in parents and teachers alike, ha!
Dear Hilary, Well here we are in beautiful B.C. We’ve been here a week and it’s great. We took a bus out here and it was awful. So far it’s been hot in the day and a bit chilly at night. We’re on Vancouver Island right now. We’ve been to a few lakes which are cool but nice. Lots of mountains and trees. My pack is too heavy again. It’s easy getting rides here. We’re off to Jasper and Banff soon. Talk to you soon, love Craig
There is no date on this card and the postmark is not legible. However, the wood stove heritage stamp was issued in April 1983.
The picture on the front is of North Vancouver Island. There is no clue as to who his companion is, but from the descriptive status update Craig sounds happy to be travelling again.
Back in the day Craig and I hitch hiked from Toronto to Los Angles (with very heavy packs, hence the references above). The story of that trip is probably a whole other blog! Since his death, I am the sole custodian of those memories…
Dear Hilary, You can see it, I am in Canada. I’ll stay here only for 3 weeks. It is a very beautiful country and automns colors are very beautiful People are very nice. I hope to have news from you very soon. Bonnes salutations et grosses bises Christine. ***Coppet (VD) Suisse.
There is no date on this card and no legible postmark, but the 68 cent Spinning Wheel Heritage Stamp was issued in 1985.
The pictures on the front are of The Montmorency Waterfall, The Château Frontenac, The Saint-Jean Gate and The City Hall of Quebec.
Quebec City is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec.
I met Christine when I first arrived in Norway and she was coming to the end of her time there. We exchanged addresses and stayed in touch, she has included a contact update at the end of this card. Christine comes from the French speaking region of Switzerland. We continue to exchange cards and emails in faltering French (me) / English (her), and have managed to meet up several times over the years, in both the UK and Switzerland.
Dear Hilary, Canada is just terrific and I only wish that you could be here to share it. On Tuesday, 9th, we went to Niagara Falls and went in a boat right up to the base, which was really incredible! I can’t tell you how sorry I am to have stopped writing to you and would be overjoyed to start again. Lots of love Julian x
This post card from the amazing Niagara Falls is post marked ‘Campbellville 16 Aug 1976’
There are two post marks spoiling the picture on the front; one detailing the arrival of the card in the UK ‘Portsmouth & Southsea 21 Aug 1976’ (some five days after leaving Canada) and the other promoting the Portsmouth Navy Days on the Bank Holiday weekend of 28th, 29th & 30th August 1976
The stamp on this card is quite unusual – it is commemorating the Canadian Para Olympics which were held earlier in August 1976 and were the 5th Para Olympics, where amputees and visually impaired athletes competed for the first time. The only stamp produced by Canada to mark this event was 20 cents and features a mixed-media painting of an archer by Tom Bjarnason.
Julian lived round the corner from the first house I can remember. Our mums were friends and would often take us to the park. When we moved back to the area the friendship was rekindled. Julian went away to boarding school and we would write to each other regularly. Being fickle teenagers, sometimes we were romantic, other times each of us pursued love interests elsewhere. The wording on this card suggests it was sent to re-ignite romance! I have lost touch with Julian, but our mums are still in touch. I was lucky enough to see Niagara Falls when I was visiting the Canadian boyfriend some years later.
Dear Hilary, Well you’re right, I don’t care too much for these silly christmas traditions but I do have a sense of humor. So I found the tackiest christmas card I could find and here it is. I’m really busy at work these days but it’s not too late yet. I’ve spent all my hard earned dollars on a huge set of speakers (4 feet x 3 feet x 2 feet) which are moving in this week. I just hope they wont get us evicted! Merry Christmas to you, Simon, Mom & Pop and the rest of the gang, love Craig
Although this card is sent from Toronto the 3D image is of Florida’s flamingos. It is apparently part of a 3D collector series.
The postmark date is 18 Dec 1984
Craig was my first love; he came over to the UK to study for a year. He went back to Canada, I went to Norway. We wrote long letters to each other. I went to Canada, we had some adventures. He was younger than me; I wanted happy ever after; he wasn’t ready; I moved on. We stayed in touch intermittently for several years. Then one day his mum phoned to tell me that he had died (tears are pricking as I write this), he did not reach 30. No old, bald paunch for him – forever young and forever in my heart.