Sat 21-VIII-82. Dear Guess, Many thanks for postcard from ‘lake-district’ (sic.) sent via Alan in BRD, but I’m in wondrous England until doomsday or Down-under-departure (Xmas?). I still contend that the lake district is in foreign parts as anywhere west of Salisbury is infested with Texan, Irishmen or druids manifesting themselves up Stonehenge in their underwear. Yours developing a jealous envy of Canadians and their luck, DAM PS A phone call from yourself would prove rapturous (in phone book like yourself)
Postmarked ‘Southampton 1.30pm 23 Aug 1982’ and also carrying the cheery ‘Let’s get the most from our Post, Royal Mail Southampton Area’ mark! The stamp is a 15½p first class, which equates to 53p in 2015
Does anyone recognise the picture on the front? There is no clue on the back; I imagine it’s Romsey (like the earlier card) but it could be Salisbury or Winchester.
Once again the message on the card is full of fascinating ramblings… DAM called his parents by their names; Alan was his dad.
I don’t recall whether I phoned DAM as requested, but it was shortly after this that I went to Toronto to travel with the Canadian, to DAM’s obvious disappointment. I have not yet plucked up courage to reconnect with DAM…
Friday 24th August. Dear Hilary, Enjoying my holiday weather is very bad guest house and surrounding countryside are very nice though. We will be moving on to South Devon on Sunday, then we will go home on Wednesday We are off visiting friends tonight. Will write when I get home Love Helen
Postmarked ‘North Devon 7.00pm 28 August 1979’
A later card from Helen who, despite the ‘bad’ weather, appears to be enjoying another holiday in Devon with her family.
Lynmouth and Lynton are tucked away on the North Devon Coast (UK) and continue to be a popular destination ‘away from it all’ – not much has changed in 40 years.
Helen and I were friends in primary school; she emigrated, with her family, to New Zealand for a while, but they later came back. This card was written five years after I had moved away from my early childhood home. Sadly, I did not maintain contact with Helen and, as yet, I have been unable to trace her through the wonder of the internet.
Dear Hilary, Sorry I could not come to the lake on Sunday and I am afraid I cannot come on Easter Day because I am on a cycle trip in the midlands. We stayed here on Thursday night. The weather today was absolutely terribly. Firstly the wind, which was very strong against us and then it decided to snow. It was terrible and everybody got absolutely freezing. We got to the host about 7.30 Love James
An earlier card from James, but still the same year. Much is made of the weather, which sounds a bit miserable for what must have been the Easter Holidays. The post mark is Cheltenham 8th April 1977
Upper Slaughter, pictured on the front, is described on the back as ‘one of the Cotswolds most beautiful villages’ – the macabre name is derived from an old English word meaning muddy place, but don’t let that put you off visiting!
The card is carrying 6½p stamp, being the rate for a small postcard.
1977 was obviously the year of James and me! We lived equidistant, in opposite directions, to the lake where our families were members of the local sailing club. This meant that our teen romance was constantly thwarted by dependency on lifts from parents and the various other commitments of our families… needless to say, it did not last long!
Greating from Greece where the sun is hot. I am here for 3 weeks and it’s fun to see this country again. I hope what every things are all right for you. Do you have a nice sammer? Grosses bises xxxx Christine
Postmarked Monemvasia 5th August 1987, this card shows a partial view of Mystras, the thirteenth century castle built near Sparta, which is now a World Heritage Site.
The stamp is one of a series of four commemorating 150 years of higher education in Greece.
This is another card from Swiss Christine who continued to work in and travel to many countries – it was always exciting to receive her postcards.
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.
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.
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.
OK, Hillary – made it to Paris ! Beauty, eh ? wish I had a chance to see you. Please call if you get to L.A. John O ******HUNTINGTON BEACH CA 92647 (714) *******
A classic shot of the Moulin Rouge – even for 1984 those cars look old! The view is still much the same, but the cars are more modern (and less colourful) and the building on the left has been painted. The Moulin Rouge was established in 1889
The post mark reads ‘Paris 01 R. du Louvre 18.00 8-9-1984’
The stamp is 3 francs – the currency of France prior to the introduction of the Euro in January 2002
Like the card from Denmark this card is contains a postal address so that we would be able to stay in touch.
The comment ‘wish I had a chance to see you’ reflects the often held American view that Europe is all one country; London and Paris are a stone’s throw from each other and virtually inter-changeable! Although London and Paris are very close physically, speak to a native of each and you will soon be clearly apprised of the distinct cultural and language differences between the cities! Not to mention the English Channel (or La Manche) which separates the two countries.
John O was the friend of Chris – they shared a place together just outside Los Angeles. I first met Chris in 1981 as I travelled to Norway on a ferry from the UK; during the journey Chris and I played cards, he was older than me, and took me under his wing; it was a 24 hour journey and my first time away from home; we exchanged addresses – this being well before the era of mobile phones and the internet. When, in 1982, I visited America with the Canadian boyfriend I contacted Chris and we stayed at his and John’s home in California for a week. John had plans to visit Europe some day – which he did in 1984. I have not seen Chris or John since that week in 1982 and have lost touch with both of them.
This really is a beautiful island with superb coastlines. Trying to do some sightseeing in the mornings before it gets too hot. The rest of the time we are in the sea. Going to see the caves later this week. Love Jo & John. * Sorry, but I haven’t got your address with me.
Puerto Pollensa still looks very much the same, although 30 years on there are more boats in the harbour and they seem slightly larger! I’m a bit worried about the coach that appears to be hanging over the edge?
My earlier post card from Mallorca was dated 1974, this one is post marked Puerto de Pollensa 9.7.85 and once again the caves feature as a day trip.
Simon and I had just bought our first place together, so I had officially left the family home to where this card was sent, hence the asterisk and apology.
John was my mum’s cousin, and Jo his wife. They sometimes looked after my brother and me when my parents went out. They taught us to play various card games and excitingly there was always a pot of pennies that were used to make the games more interesting. We remained close to Jo and John as we grew up. Sadly, Cousin John died some years ago, but I still see Jo at family events.
17.1.83 Dear Hilary! Here I am back in Denmark before I return to Norway again where I’ve got a job from 1 Feb. in an old people’s home. Hope you had a good Christmas and came well into the new year. I celebrated Christmas in the hospital and new year in Scotland together with my boyfriend. Now I’ve been busy trying to find somewhere to live in Norway and I finally succeeded. My new address is c/o ********** Oslo 1, so if you suddenly feel like it you are always welcome to write. Take care Rikke x
This card is 33 years old but the design seems very contemporary – good design is timeless, I guess. Obviously the bike and of course the Danish flag immediately indicate where the card is from, and the colours suggest fresh air, seaside and clean living – things that are associated with Denmark. It really is a great piece of artwork.
The command of English achieved by many non-native speakers always amazes me – look at the use of the apostrophe in ‘old people’s home’ – there are many born and bred with apostrophes who still would not manage that!
Without these small notes (status updates, if you like) we would have lost touch – the reason for sending me the card was to tell me the new address. People travelled and moved around, as they do today, but if you wanted news and to keep friendships alive, the effort required was considerably more than the click of a mouse and a smiley face!
Rikke is very bright – no surprise that she can use the apostrophe! We met when we were both working in Norway; sometimes it was quite a lonely life as an au pair and it was always good to meet new people. Rikke had a Canadian Maple Leaf badge on her bag and I stopped to speak to her, as I assumed she was Canadian (I was still in regular communication with the Canadian boyfriend at the time). We continue to exchange Christmas cards and Rikke and her family have visited us in the UK a couple of times – our children are now ‘Facebook friends’. I have yet to visit Denmark…
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.