with love from Ilfracombe (1976)

with love from Ilfracombe

To Hilary, I’m having a great time. On Sun we went on some go-karts motor ones it was great fun. Today we went to Arlington Court and yesterday we went to Lynmouth and Lynton. Tonight we might go fishing. The farms nice and they have a lamb that comes to you and 3 horses and sheep, cows and chicks bye for now Helen.

As this is postmarked ‘Tunbridge Wells 1.15pm 9 Aug 1976 Kent’ it would appear to have been posted after Helen returned from her trip to Devon. The other postmark reads ‘National Savings Diamond Jubilee 1916-1976 Go on saving at The Post Office’ – the Post Office promoting its savings schemes.

The stamp is 8½p – the price for a 2 ounce (57g) first class letter at the time, equivalent to 64p in 2015; a small postcard stamp would have cost 6½p (49p in 2015)

Helen went to Devon regularly, often staying on farms it seems. Ilfracombe remains much the same with that beautiful blue sky on the odd summer’s day; the white Royal Britannia Hotel on the right hand side is still a popular place to  stay.

I am increasingly sad that I lost touch with Helen, as we obviously exchanged cards for some years after I moved away from the area where we were at primary school together. 

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with love from Lynmouth (1979)

with love from Lynmouth

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.

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 Fallingbostel (1980)

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Dear Hilary, Thank you very much for your letter and the photograph.  I’m very busy now before Christmas and so I send you only this card.  I hope you excuse it.  So I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy new year ! Yours Claudia

A lovely Northern European illustration sending good wishes for Christmas and New Year.

The postmark date is 22.12.80 so it probably arrived after Christmas.

Claudia and I became ‘pen pals’ when we were at senior school.  I would write to her in German and she wrote in English.  Claudia’s English was far superior to my German, so eventually we just communicated in English.  She was a conscientious correspondent often writing lengthy letters about her life.  We met for the first time when I was in Norway and she planned her inter-rail trip to include Oslo.  Then in the mid nineties (after 20 years of exchanging news) Claudia went quiet, no letters, cards, Christmas cards – nothing.  I tried to contact her parents by letter and more recently have searched social media sites without success.

with love from Teignmouth (1972)

Dear Hilary, Having a lovely time, I have just been to my uncles farm And seen all his horses And we went to the beach a few times and went in the sea Love Helen

This is one of the oldest postcards that I have – the postmark date is August 1972

The other postmark is asking us all to ‘Remember to use the post code’.

The stamp cost 3p (first class) which is approximately 37p in 2014

The view of the railway along the coast remains unchanged (although it was devastated by the storms in early 2014) however the trains have been updated slightly.

I have lost touch with Helen.