with love from Southampton (1982)

With love from Winchester

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… 

with love from The Cotswolds (1975)

With love from the Cotswolds

To Hilary, Thankyou very much for the lovely birthday card you sent me, I have forgotten exactly when your birthday is, I know it is soon so please will you let me know. My mum sends your mum her love. I am going to Wadhurst College as a boarder on Sept 10th Have fun Ida.

The text on this card offers no clues about a trip to The Cotswolds; 790 square miles of outstanding natural beauty in South West England.

Indeed the card wasn’t even posted from The Cotswolds as it bears a very clear ‘Tunbridge Wells 1.30pm 20 Aug 1975 Kent’ postmark.

Interestingly the other postmark promoting ‘The Pantiles ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS’ was still being used in 1981

So, forty years ago, here is my good friend Ida dropping me a quick note to thank me for a birthday card. I still know when her birthday is, although, these days, I don’t always remember to send a card in time. I am one of those people that remembers dates, whereas Ida is one of those who doesn’t! Never-the-less, we have exchanged many other sorts of cards over the years 🙂 

 

with love from Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire (1977)

With love from Slaughter, Gloucestershire

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!  

with love from Tregony (1977)

With love from Tregony

Dear Hilary, The weather has not been very good with a couple of days of rain but we are still having a great holiday. We have been sailing nearly every day, the winds have been quite strong but we have not yet gone over. I shall not see you before so I hope you have a nice holiday Love, James

A newsy status update postmarked ‘Tregony Truro Cornwall 8th Aug 1977’ carrying a 9p stamp which was first class for a 2oz letter at the time.

Tregony is on the River Fal in Cornwall and still looks much the same now as it did when this photo was taken.

James’ family were members at the local sailing club, where my family sailed. James had a Merlin Rocket and I used to crew for him. There were plenty of social events and teenage discos and the inevitable snog… I have not stayed in touch with James.

with love from Buckfast Abbey (1983)

With love from Buckfast Abbey

26/4/83 Dear Hilary, It was really good to hear from you and to know that everything is going okay. Your card was very lucky to get to me as it seems I didn’t leave my address with my parents and only went home on the spur of the moment! I thought I’d send you a card although I don’t live in Buckfast – well just around the corner and I can see the Abbey when I go running! Life is just about okay but the college is a drag! Will write a letter soon Lots of love, Duncan x

This is post marked ‘South Devon 27th Apr 1983’ and obviously had enough postage on to reach me in Cyprus, where I was living at the time.  In 1983 the Post Office are still requesting us, via the other postmark, to ‘Be properly addressed POSTCODE IT’; this is 9 years after the final introduction of the postcode!

There has been an Abbey on the site at Buckfast, on the edge of the River Dart since 1018 The market town of Buckfastleigh is nearby.

In the late 70’s we finished school at 16 and either started work, went to Technical College for vocational qualifications or, as I did, went to 6th Form College to study A’ levels. Duncan was in my maths group; there were several lads from his school in the class and I remember them all as being taller and more mature than the boys from my school; they were also brighter with wicked senses of humour. I therefore relished maths lessons because they were such good fun, the teacher was excellent and we all learnt a lot. Duncan and I snogged on at least one occasion; we stayed in touch via letters and cards for some years, but sadly I have now lost touch with him…

with love from The Balearics (1974)

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Dear Hilary, We are having a lovly time, the weather is fine, we are staying in the Hotel Veracruz, on wednesday we went to a barbecue, Friday we went to the Caves of Drach and the safari and saw a big cat show, Sunday we are going on a boat trip. hope you have made lots of New frends by for now love Tracey x

In the seventies a package holiday to Spain (Mallorca) was still fairly exotic and the picture illustrates images of that country that many of us held.  As girls we coveted and collected flamenco dolls which were brought back as souvenirs by friends and relatives.  Their colourful tiered skirts and dark features were incredibly exciting.

This is another 1974 card from an old friend wishing me well in my new school.

I am sorry to say that I have no recollection of Tracey; this may be the only communication I had from her.

with love from Widecombe in the Moor (1975)

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Dear Hilary & John, We are having a very nice holiday the weather has been very kind to us.  We visited Widdicombe yesterday & today we are sitting looking at nice sea with quite large waves at Meadfoot Beach between Paignton & Torquay.  Love to Mummy & Daddy.  Grandad & G~~~ (Grandma to you)

A classic status update from my paternal grandparents to my brother and me.  The postmark date is Newton Abbot, 1 June 1975.   Five stamps adding up to 5½p which was the cost of sending a postcard second class in 1975 (this is approximately 50p in 2014).

The picture illustrates the old nursery rhyme which reads:

Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare, All along, down along, out along lee; For I want to go to Widecombe Fair Wi’ Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davey, Dan’l Whiddon, ‘Arry Hawk, Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all, Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all.

Grandad died in the early eighties.  Grandma was my last surviving grandparent and lived on to see me married, but missed being a Great Grandma.  In actual fact she was my Dad’s stepmother, but when I was born it was decided (for ease) that she would be known as Grandma.  She was a great needlewoman and textile artist and encouraged this in me.  More about my love of textiles here http://www.textiletarts.co.uk/about