With love from London (1981)

with love from London

22-X-81 [Sailboard enthusiasts ‘en-masse’] Dear Guess, message received from krautland today. Hope “operation Clean-Up” is going ok – years supply of rubber yellow gloves will be parachuted in on specified date.  Am “checking out” pictured hideaway for possible ‘Leftie’ infiltrators or anti-royal ‘Moles’. DAM

DAM obviously had a supply of these cards, as the same picture also features here and although it shows Romsey, this message is postmarked ‘LONDON 22 OCT 1981’ the same day that it was written.

The 18p stamp depicts fishermen hauling in a trawl net and not windsurfers as DAM suggests! The stamp is from a commemorative set issued in 1981

I had been in Norway a few months by this time, working as children’s nanny, hence the reference to rubber gloves 🙂

I believe that DAM is still in Australia, but I continue to avoid reconnecting…

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With love from Romsey (1982)

with-love-from-romsey

Dear Guess, A picture taken by the bloody Argies whilst on a strafing raid against Romsey. Our Home-guard shot him down with ground-to-air oaths & curses & then forced the pilot to capitulate by the internationally dreaded “Romsey-Torture” which involves prawn-cocktail crisps stuffed up his rear & then being force to quick-march whilst carrying a union jack. Cracked up under the strain, you know DAM

Postmarked ‘SOUTHAMPTON 24th May 1982’ this card features a completely fictional narrative based on the Falklands Conflict which was taking place at the time.

The stamp is 19½p equivalent to 48p in 2016

The card was sent to me in Norway where I did not get to hear much British news; this message probably did little to further my understanding of the events taking place in the South Atlantic.

Another of DAM‘s black and white cards featuring Romsey and the surrounding area, together with more of his imaginative reflections.  I received many of these random notes from him during this period and they still make me smile, although I have no idea why he often addressed me by my surname!

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 Romsey (1982)

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28-VII-82. But 2nd class for maximum economy.  So! Back at last having dumped Herring and the rest of the Norgies.  WELCOME BACK.  You just can’t beat Britain – and by god (or Thor if you like) Maggie has been flat to the boards trying).  We may be a country of Homosexual Policeman, Burgesses in cupboards and strange men in Queens’ Bedrooms (where was the King? – conspicuous by his absence!) but we’re a good lot!  Yours unexpectantly – DAM.  What of the Falklands..? UP THE FJORDS!

The message on the back of this postcard from July 1982 is perhaps more fascinating than the picture of The Railway Inn, Romsey, as so many references to the social history of the time are contained in such a small space.  I had been working as an au pair in Norway (hence the references to herring and fjords) for a year and had been fairly cut off from UK news.

In 1982 the UK was deep in recession and Margaret Thatcher’s policies of shutting down unprofitable national industries and limiting the power of the trades’ unions were very unpopular with many.  However, the invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina allowed Maggie to demonstrate strong leadership and the UK rallied behind her, putting unemployment and inflation to one side, in favour of supporting ‘our boys’ in the South Atlantic.

In 1982 being openly gay was still something of a controversy and newsworthy – LGBT rights have improved massively in the UK since then.

The reference to ‘Burgesses in cupboards’ remains a mystery…maybe someone else can shed some light?  We were, of course, still at the height of the Cold War.

Michael Fagan somehow managed to get in to the Queen’s bedroom and engage her in conversation.

The postmark is dated 28th July 1982 (same day as the card was written).  The other postmark is inviting us all to Southampton to see the finish of the Tall Ships race between 21st and 25th August 1982

The Railway Inn, Romsey is now a private house, as I believe it probably was in 1982.  I guess this photo dates from VE day?

DAM was at senior school with me.  At some point he left and went away to private boarding school.  He was a loyal letter and postcard writer, very clever and quite quirky.   His name was Dean but his initials were D.A.M. which is how he always signed himself.  We stayed in touch for several years and saw each other a couple of times.  I think he would have liked more from our relationship, but he just didn’t do it for me; although I do recall a drunken snog on one occasion.  We got briefly in touch again about 13 years ago, when the World Wide Web became available to the masses and we all reconnected through a site called ‘Friends Reunited’.  We caught up on 20 years worth of news; he was working in Australia, then… then there’s always a reason why you don’t stay in touch.