with love from Lanzarote (c1999)

With love from Lanzarote

Dear Hilary, Simon + family, Just thought I’d drop you all a line to say ¡Hola! from Lanzarote. Our stay here is nearly over in fact, but it’s been truely lovely. Plenty of sun, sea + sand + vino. We’ve explored much of the island by car, been on a camel ride, down caves, up volcanoes – all the usual sights. Some excellent meals out, lots of fish, mainly lunches easier with the chilblains. We’ve self-catered a lot too. Our appartment is right by the sea with views across the bay + pools downstairs (overleaf pic). Not too crowded anywhere and a nice size island to get about on. Oh well, back to the reality of B…..m soon! We definitely want to stay in your house in August to confirm – for two weeks, but not arriving until the Mon (16th) I believe Ali + Rachael will join us this year + my folks for a day or two. Much love Janice, Adam, Sam + Emily xxxx

Wow! Tons of info crammed onto this card, which sadly lacks a date and a Spanish postmark.  However, the sights and appeal of Lanzarote are elequontly described by Janice, who has obviously enjoyed the trip.

The card has been post mark stamped in Frankfurt, presumably while en route to the UK.  The stamp is an IFCC prepaid for a postcard.

This is an unusual card as I do not recall ever meeting Janice and family; we have never been friends! Janice mentions Ali + Rachael in the text – I am friends with Ali and have known her about 25 years; we were expecting babies around the same time. I stayed in touch with Ali after moving to live closer to the sea.  Despite being near the beach in the UK we would often go to France for two weeks in August, thus it made sense for Ali + Rachael to use our house for a holiday; Ali’s great friend Janice would also stay at ours with her family 🙂 I still see Ali regularly and she keeps me up to date with news of Janice and family!  

with love from Pisso Livadi, Paros, Greece (1986)

With love from Greece

Dear Hilary & Simon, Hello there, just to let you know that I’ve moved down to Plymouth, got a brilliant job in Freedom Fields – but at the moment Chris & I are on holiday in the greek islands – stayed in Athens for 2 days & saw the sights – then sailed down to Paros – which is out of this world – quiet, relaxing & very cheap. found this gorgeous village and harbour which really has got us hooked!!! and in love with it – Moving on to Santorini on Tuesday, an island rich in beauty. Having a fantastic time really wonderful to have Chris at home – Take care and keep in touch Lots of love Anne & Chris xxxx

Lots of information in this cheerful and exciting status update from Anne & Chris who are making the most of their trip to Greece.

This is another card taking the opportunity to update a change of address at the same time as raving about the gorgeous harbour village of Pisso Livadi, which, thirty years later, is now slightly more developed!

The post mark is very feint but the date ’17 X 86′ is visible. The 40 lepta stamp is from the 1986 twelve ‘Gods of Olympus’ series (mythology) and features Hephaestus – god of fire, metalworking, stone masonry and forges.

Sadly, I still have not managed to re-connect with Anne

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 Cambridge (1982)

With love from UK

Do you know where this card comes from? I hope you are enjoying the summer in Norway, this could have been better, but of course I haven’t come to look at the weather. I am here to work! The hospital seems all right and I hope I will like it here but I think I will. You are still welcome to visit me here, and write me when you come back. Love Rikke

Of course we know where this card comes from! Interesting choice of image to send from historical Cambridge. There’s the inevitable weather mention, together with news of Rikke’s new job and life.

It’s postmarked ‘Cambridge 1 July 1982’ and also carries the ‘Be Properly Addressed POSTCODE IT’. The 19½p stamp features Admiral Blake and his ship ‘Triumph’ which is part of the Maritime Heritage series issued in June 1982

Another card from Danish Rikke who left Norway a few months before me to work in Cambridge, UK; at that time and place the Union Jack image would have appealed to me far more than a view of the historical buildings, so she made the right choice! I’m sorry to say that I did not visit her while she was in Cambridge as shortly after my return from Norway I went on to travel with the Canadian. Rikke and I recently exchanged long emails catching up on recent news 🙂

with love from Lyme Regis, Dorset (2015)

With love from Lyme Regis

28.5.15 Dear Hilary, Simon & Co. A few days away to re-charge the batteries! Place is lovely, with plenty of eating, walking and swimming. Not far from ‘The Cobb’. Forgotten how hilly Lyme is. Lots of love Gill, Ash, C & P X

Picturesque Lyme Regis is famous for its Cobb, which has featured in several films, most notably The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), starring a young Meryl Streep.

This card was sent recently and carries the new style UK stamp which merely states 1st or 2nd class. These ‘valid in perpetuity’ stamps were introduced on 30th April 2012, negating the need to purchase smaller value stamps to add on when the postage rate goes up. This is convenient for users as well as for Royal Mail, who can hike prices without anyone noticing. Indeed when these stamps were introduced, first class postage jumped 30% from 46p to 60p. Three years on, very few people in the UK know the current price of a first class stamp!

 

Since finding out, through this blog, that I have kept postcards over the years, my friends and family are joining the campaign and sending cards with enthusiasm.  Gill sent this to me shortly after we met up again… 

 

with love from Ibiza (1984)

with love from Ibiza

Dear Hilary, Despite missing our flight and all the sun tan peeling I’m having a great time out here with the lads. The temperature never gets below the 90’s so I’m having to drink a lot to avoid complete dehydration. The pubs sell draught Guinness and there’s millions of Irish out here so it’s like home from home and the d****s remind me of the locals in Bradford. Love Gerard x

Ever the party island this card emphasises ‘The Sun of Ibiza’ with an eye catching topless sun worshipper supported by a rather incongruous donkey.  On closer inspection this is obviously a photo montage (pre Photoshop) as the various bits of sand, sea and sky do not match up!

Although there is no date or visible postmark, the 16 peseta stamp is, in 1984, commemorating 25 years of CEPT Europa (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration).  The bridge design, common to stamps for all CEPT countries, was created by the French engraver Jacky Larrivière.

Another from the summer romancer – Gerard is still enjoying trips ‘with the lads’ and still sending me postcards some eight years after we met as teenagers on holiday! My own discomfort has forced me to asterisk a less than complimentary description of the locals on the island and the people of Bradford. These once commonplace terms are now unacceptable. Despite various social media searches I am still unable to reconnect with Gerard.

with love from Wells-Next-The-Sea (1982)

With love from Wells-Next-The-Sea

Tues 25-5-82 Dear Hilary, I must thank you for your very nice letter. I hope you are well. As you can see from the card I am at present on holiday but unfortunately Uncle Ken isn’t with John, Alex & myself as the cat brought her kittens in & he is at home looking after all the cats and kittens.  I am glad ***** had her little baby safely. We went to Wells on Sea today Hilary, & the weather was lovely. I’ll write another time Hilary Love & God bless Aunt Jean x

Poor Uncle Ken – missing the holiday because the cat had kittens! This card is without stamp or postmark, although it is correctly addressed and I suspect I received it via a parcel from my Mum.

The baby referred to was born to the family that I was working for during my time in Norway.

Wells-Next-The-Sea is in Norfolk; the granary with gantry, seen in the top right picture, has now been converted into flats.

Auntie Jean was a ‘courtesy’ aunt; she was an old work colleague of my mother’s. Jean and her family did not have a lot of money, but she always remembered my birthday and enclosed a postal order without fail every year. She was very concerned for others and had a strong faith. Jean died several years ago, possibly earlier than she would have, if her life had been less of a struggle.

 

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 Calais (1981)

Calais 1981

Well, after a complete change of plan I made it to France. The wine and weather has been superb. The French are very strange, they don’t seem to understand somehow. Anyway, all the best for the rest of the exams see you in July love Gerard

Although this card was purchased in France and carries a French stamp, it is postmarked Tunbridge Wells (UK) 15 June 1981 from where it was presumably posted.  Amazingly it still arrived. These days it would not have been delivered; a red note from the post man comes instead, advising collection from the sorting office upon payment of the correct postage.

The other postmark is advertising The Pantiles ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Gerard and I met on holiday when I was camping with my family and he was on his first ‘lads’ camping trip.  We had a ‘holiday romance’; we lived 300 miles apart, so continued our romance by letter; enthusiastically at first and later, intermittently; we managed to meet up from time to time. This card was written five years after we first met – it is a testament to our younger selves that we maintained this commitment to communicate for so long. Sadly we have now lost touch.

with love from Sussex (1981)

love from Sussex

Hi Hilary, Michael here.  Bet you thought I wasn’t going to write!  I’m sorry about the card but I couldn’t get a wedding one so this was the best I could do.  By the way I’m at scout camp at the moment (Oh kinky) Love Michael.

The wedding referred to was, of course, the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, when it seemed as though the whole world stood still to watch.  Souvenir memorabilia soon sold out and those slow on the uptake were forced to make do with old stock from other royal events.  This picture commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee is from four years earlier.

Postmarked ‘Sussex Coast 2.30pm 13 Aug 1981’, this was a time when there was more than one collection a day from UK post boxes.  The other post mark, as ever, is reminding us to ‘Be Properly Addressed POSTCODE IT’

1981 was the 25th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and a set of first day cover stamps designed by Philip Sharland was released accordingly.

Michael is the son of my Godmother and he is my mum’s Godson.  We were born within six months of each other and as our parents were good friends we saw each other often; as young teenagers we enjoyed memorable family holidays together. The card was sent to Norway in the early weeks of my time there – I missed home and was grateful to everyone who wrote – it was my main way of staying in touch. Our lives went in different directions; Michael and I lost touch.  Although he remains in contact with my mum, so I hear his news and he, presumably, gets mine.