with love from Old Harry Rocks, Dorset (1983)

13 Old Harry

Dear Hilary, Arrived safely after 3 hrs on the train due to Rail diversion.  The cottage is really gordeous situated in the most prettiest countryside I’ve ever seen – went to Swanage on Monday – Corfe Castle and Durdle Door yesterday – Blue Pool and Lulworth Cove tomorrow – off to Dorchester today – thanks for a superb party – I really did enjoy myself – I’m having a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday.  Everything is fine.  See you soon lots of love Anne

Many of the highlights of Dorset are mentioned here, in what sounds like a busy week.  The weather was obviously good, for November, as it isn’t mentioned!  It is interesting to read Anne’s description of the countryside since she came from Cornwall, which is generally reckoned to be one of the most beautiful counties in the UK.

The Old Harry headland pictured and Studland Beach from which it projects are both protected by the National Trust, so will remain unspoilt for generations to come. They are also part of the South West Coast Path which starts at Studland and finishes at Minehead, Somerset.

The postmark date is Bournemouth & Poole, 30 Nov 1983 and the stamp is a second class 12½p for a small postcard.   Despite not including the now obligatory post code, the card was still delivered.

The other postmark says ‘Let’s get the most from our Post  Royal Mail: Bournemouth Area’

The party that she refers to was for my birthday.

I met Anne when I was in Norway, we were both working as children’s nannies/mothers’ help.  We were both away from home for the first time and formed the instant bond that comes when you’re sharing an intense experience.  Our friendship continued once we were back in the UK; Anne was my maid of honour when I married and we visited each other when we could.  Young families are demanding and we both felt the strain; Anne turned to me in a moment of need; I was less sympathetic than I could have been; I disagreed with her choices and was not diplomatic.  As a result we (or more honestly ‘I’) could not maintain the friendship or recover the closeness that we’d had in Norway.  I have lost touch with Anne.


with love from Dartmoor (1976)

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From the greatest!? guess who! FANS! To the 2nd greatest in the universe.

Dear Hilary, Thanks for your letter I’m sorry I haven’t written we’ve just had our exams. God! they were hard, I’ll tell you about in a letter.  We’re on holiday in dartmoor, having a brilliant time.  We dammed a river, and then mum had the bright? idea of finding the source.  We walked miles & miles.  When we found the spring there was a dead sheep.  We didn’t feel like a drink! love Jackie xx

A classic teenage ‘it’s all about me’ status update – even without the internet we still managed to display the arrogance of youth.  Jackie and I vied with each other scrawling ‘I am the greatest!’ on anything and everything (which I had forgotten until I found this postcard!).

This picture is of Dartington Hall, Totnes in Devon which was built in the late 1300’s  Some 600 years later the Estate is home to a variety of arts and commercial activities as well as being a conference and wedding venue.

The postmark date is Axminster, 7 June 1976 and the stamp is a second class 6½p for a small postcard, which approximates to 48p in 2014.  Interesting to note that two years on from when post codes were supposed to be used on all correspondence, most of us still weren’t bothering.  The cards and letters were delivered anyway and they were too complicated to remember.

Jackie lived right next door to me at my new house, but I was put in a different class at the new junior school and became friends with Julia.  Julia went to a different senior school.  At my senior school I was put in a different class to my other junior friends and ended up being sat, alphabetically, next to Jackie.  She became my new best friend.  I found it all quite traumatic, it seemed to be several months of continually getting to know a new group of friends, the memory of which still causes me anxiety today.  Then Jackie’s family moved away from the area – we exchanged letters and cards, as well as visiting each other in the holidays.  Jackie’s letters dwindled and I got tired of trying to maintain the friendship, so I gave her an ultimatum – write more often, or don’t bother.  Jackie stopped writing and we lost touch.  This is regrettable and entirely the fault of my stupid and self-centred young teenage self.  I am truly sorry for any hurt I caused Jackie.