with love from Thailand (c1995)

With love from Thailand

Dear Simon & Hilary, We are in our third village – we have spent the last 3 days trekking through the Hilltribes of Northern Thailand – it has been quite an experience – spectacular setting but fairly rough – no facilities – have had my bath in the river the last three nights! Back to Chaing Rai + Chang Mai to-morrow then a few days of luxury on a small Island – Ko Somel in South Thai  See you on the slopes Kev

The stamp and postmark have been the victim of bluetac, I think.  So no clue as to the date this was posted. Also Kev’s travelling companion(s) are not named, so no timeline clues there, either.  I am therefore estimating this to be from 1995.

The trip sounds great – Kev’s obviously looking forward to better plumbing later on 🙂

‘Ko Somel’ could be either Koh Samui or Koh Samet both of which offer luxury beach front accommodation.

We got to know Kev 30 years ago, through Simon’s friend Andy. The four of us subsequently enjoyed several ski trips together – hence the reference to the ‘slopes’. We still ski with Kev (and his family) each year and always appreciate Kev’s wit and wicked banter 🙂 

with love from Hong Kong (1987)

with love from Hong Kong

10.10.87 Dear Hilary & Simon, Here I am at last, I can hardly believe it Hong Kong is very exciting & the shopping is out of this world!!  I am trying to pack in as much sightseeing as time will allow, there is a lot to see & I am snapping photos madly. I leave for Perth to see Linda tomorrow.  Janet xx

Postmarked ‘HONG KONG 1pm 12 OCT 1987’ this card carries a HK$1.70 stamp featuring Queen Elizabeth II, who continued to be head of state until the territory was returned to China in 1997

There is a good deal of excitement in the text as Janet tries to make the most of her time before catching her onward flight to Australia.


Here’s another one from Janet, my friend from infant school.  Linda is Janet’s sister, who is quite a bit older than us.  I remember her emigrating to Australia as a ‘Ten Pound (£) Pom‘, which must have been in the very early seventies, but at 8 or 9 years old I had no idea what it meant!  I later understood that she had gone to Australia very cheaply and that it would be a long time before she saw her family again.  This was possibly the second time that Janet went out to visit Linda.  On her first trip she was a young teenager (minor) and I recall her telling me all about how the cabin crew looked after her and chaperoned her through the airport process.  Janet and I now communicate regularly via email 🙂

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.