with love from Southborough, Kent (1981)

with love from Kent

Hello there its me here working far too hard in boring Kent. Just thought I’d send a post card. The journey back was o.k. The test on Monday was alright, nothing to worry about! Going home tomorrow thank God! I will be in touch in the near future.  Love Gerard. xx P.S. Does this count as a letter

Similar to the other card from Southborough this one is dated earlier the same year, carrying the postmark ‘TUNBRIDGE WELLS 6.45pm 15 JAN 1981 KENT’ together with the detailed Pantiles postmark.

This card again features David Salomon‘s house, which in the 1980’s was a regional conference and training centre.

Since I’ve got several cards featuring this building I’m assuming that Gerard was based there for some reason. The text suggests that he’d been to visit me and this must have been the final time that we met, although correspondence continued for several more years. To date I have not managed to reconnect with Gerard…

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with love from Vancouver (c1983)

With love from Vancouver Island

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…

 

with love from Southborough, Kent (1981)

Southborough Kent

As promised a post card from sunny Kent I don’t know if you’ll even get the card I sent from France as I posted it in Tonbridge with a French stamp on, not to worry though! We had a superb time in France it was really hot and the wine was very tastey too…someone said! The work hasn’t been to bad, infact its been pretty boring…I’ll be in touch, love Gerardxxxxxxxx

Following on from the previous card this one is postmarked Tunbridge Wells (UK) 17 June 1981

The reference to Tonbridge is a classic mistake often made by those not familiar with the area; the two towns are distinct and approximately 7 miles apart.

In 1851 David Salomon was the first Jew to speak in the British Parliament.  His country home dates back to the 1830’s

Royal Tunbridge Wells vs Tonbridge

Gerard was obviously keen to ensure that I received at least one post card from his trip south and across The Channel. This was just before I went to Norway for a year; sadly I cannot remember if we met up before I left; we did not meet up after my return. Despite several attempts at re-connecting with him, I have, as yet, been unable to do so…

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 Sandown, Isle of Wight (1982)

with love from Sandown

Dear Hiral – greetings from sunny Sandown & for once my luck is in, it actually is quite hot. Have been doing my first sunbathing of the season this afternoon.  Am going to a glassworks & bird place tomorrow.  Going to see my parents on Thursday for a few days – sorry to miss you.  We’ve nearly finished the decorating!  See you soon – love Anne xx

This is a different Anne from the one previously featured as indicated by the greeting – my nickname from school.  As ever, when holidaying in the UK the weather is of interest – a ‘summer’ holiday can often include several days of rain!  The glass works mentioned was established 10 years earlier and continues to produce beautiful hand blown glass.

The postmark date is Portsmouth & Isle of Wight, 11 Aug 1982 and the stamp is a second class 12½p for a small postcard.

The other postmark says ‘Be properly addressed POSTCODE IT’.  This card does not include the postcode, it was still delivered; it was now eight years after postcodes were supposedly obligatory.

Anne and I were in the same friendship group at senior school, along with Sara, and we all went on to the same 6th form further education college.  I selfishly abandoned my friends, in favour of the Canadian boyfriend, and was lucky that they tolerated and forgave my behaviour.  Anne is clever and articulate; she wrote long, chatty, detailed letters to me in Norway – the writing often spanning several days.  I am still in touch with Anne, via Christmas cards and emails, but we have not met up for some years now.

 

with love from The Marina, Ramsgate (1982)

With love from Ramsgate

Dear Hilary, Hope the journey home wasn’t too slow and that your keeping well.  With mum at the moment.  She is well and pleased to have me for the week.  Looking for a portable T.V. for her at the moment.  Having a lazy time and the weather is still very good.  See you soon love to family Love Gill xxx

A classic view of the Kent harbour town of Ramsgate, which still looks much the same today.

The postmark date is 4 Aug 1982. The other postmark is advising us to ‘Catch the sun in THANET Broadstairs Margate Ramsgate’ – popular seaside destinations, depending on your point of view.

I first met Gill in 1977 at a ‘street party’ organised by the families in my road to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth 11.  Gill was a young friend of our neighbours’ who regularly came to stay with them, and as we were the same age we struck up a friendship – both staying conscientiously in touch via letter.  This card was sent just after I had seen her in London, where I had visited her on my return from Norway.  Living in her father’s flat in London and having a full time job in London she seemed to me to be the height of sophistication – I was still trying to decide what to do with my life.  Gill has been a loyal correspondent and we are still in touch, via cards, email and the odd phone call,  although it is now many years since we actually met up.

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.