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.

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