with love from Woodseaves Cutting, Shropshire Union Canal (1980)

With love from Woodseaves Cutting

2/7/80 Dear Hilary, Well here I am cruising down the canals.  It is really good fun.  The weather for the first couple of days was awful but today it has been really sunny and I am writing this while sunbathing on deck.  I have been having a go at driving but I am not very good at it.  Penny finds it easy, it’s annoying, she’s doing very well.  I have taken loads of photos I hope they come out good.  Unfortunately we can’t go into Wales because part of the Llangollen Canal has been closed.  We are going into Shropshire instead.  The scenery is lovely.  We have been investigating lots of small villages and old shops.  The locks are very tiring especially when there are about 15 locks all in a row like yesterday.  The barge is really super and much bigger than I thought it would be.  Must go now, lock coming up Janet – x

A postcard from my teenage years – the postmark date is 3 July 1980.   In the years since leaving my original junior school Janet was a dedicated, detailed card and letter writer.

The other postmark says ‘Be properly addressed Post Code It’.  Some six years after post codes became a requirement on all addresses, the post office is still reminding us; eventually it will be the SatNav that forces the British Public to embrace post codes!

In 1980 a second class stamp for a ‘small’ postcard was 10p, which is equivalent to 44p in 2015

Photo’s of holidays were savoured after the event in those days – there was nothing better than developing a roll of film three or four weeks, or sometimes a couple of months, later and reliving the entire trip in a mere 24 or 36 shots.

Canal holidays became very popular during the 1980’s as many were restored to their former glory by British Waterways and volunteers.  What were once working waterways became part of the growing leisure industry offering the opportunity to experience a slower pace of life – negotiating locks is a time consuming process.  The Llangollen Canal, mentioned, was part of this re-branding and restoration.

Janet and I were at infant school together, and became friends at junior school.  We have stayed in touch via cards, letters, the odd visit and latterly emails.  We met up a few years ago when we were both approaching fifty – apparently we both still look the same.  Janet recently discovered an old photo of her, me, Ida and Ida’s sister all round for tea at her house, some time in the early 1970’s The photo has now been scanned and saved digitally for evermore.

with love from Toronto (1984)

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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.

with love from St Ives (1974)

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Dear Hilary, At this moment I am on a camp-site in our tent in bed.  I have been to Sennen-Cove today and after a gastly shower I am still sandy.  I had a nice time at the Wye-Valley we did lot’s of things.  I shared a room with Helen, Tracey, Anne and Clare.  Hope you are well and your family.  I didn’t manage to get to boarding school this year but I’ve got another chance next year.  Hope to see you sometime.  My mum gives her love to your mum, lots of love, Ida

Another postcard from my childhood – the postmark date is 9 August 1974.   We moved areas earlier in 1974 and it took me a long time to settle in my new school.  My friend Ida was committed to keeping me up to date with news from my old friends.

The other postmark is still asking us all to ‘Remember to use the post code’ which by 1974 was supposed to be included on all addresses.  As I recall, it was quite hard trying to find out  what the correct post codes were.

In 1974 a first class stamp had gone up to 4½p

St Ives is still a popular destination for tourists and artists.  The photo appears to have been enhanced by tropical vegetation – I think the main shot has been taken from the end of the harbour wall where there are no plants.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Ida and I were at infant school together, we have not seen each other for over 20 years, but continue to enjoy catching up via regular exchanging of Christmas cards.