with love from Poreca, Yugoslavia (1982)

With love from Poreca Yugoslavia

Having a superb holiday here in Yugoslavia. Weather perfect & sea crystal clear & warm. Ideal for snorkling. Yesterday we had a mini cruise to Venice which was as fascinating as ever – if hot, expensive & crowded! Rovinj, the town we are staying in, is most attractive, cobbled streets, busy harbour, pine trees etc. Hope all with you & will see you on your return! Love Auntie Joyce & Bert

The picturesque coast of Western Yugoslavia was a popular holiday destination in the late seventies and early eighties.  The area maintains its appeal, as Croatia, after the break up of Yugoslavia. Poreca, featured in the picture on the front, is about half an hour away from Rovinj, where Auntie Joyce was staying and where the card is postmarked; date 12.6.1982

Venice (North East Italy), is just across the water.

The stamp is 5,60 Dinar, the currency at the time.  It is now the Croatian Kuna.

Auntie Joyce is my Godmother, Bert was her second husband. She is a ‘courtesy’ aunt; an old friend of my parents. Her first husband is my Godfather. Auntie Joyce enjoyed several holidays in Yugoslavia, with both husbands. The card was sent to Norway, towards the end of my time there, hence the reference to my imminent return. Although I have not seen Auntie Joyce for many years, we still exchange news in Christmas cards and via my parents.


with love from Sandown, Isle of Wight (1982)

with love from Sandown

Dear Hiral – greetings from sunny Sandown & for once my luck is in, it actually is quite hot. Have been doing my first sunbathing of the season this afternoon.  Am going to a glassworks & bird place tomorrow.  Going to see my parents on Thursday for a few days – sorry to miss you.  We’ve nearly finished the decorating!  See you soon – love Anne xx

This is a different Anne from the one previously featured as indicated by the greeting – my nickname from school.  As ever, when holidaying in the UK the weather is of interest – a ‘summer’ holiday can often include several days of rain!  The glass works mentioned was established 10 years earlier and continues to produce beautiful hand blown glass.

The postmark date is Portsmouth & Isle of Wight, 11 Aug 1982 and the stamp is a second class 12½p for a small postcard.

The other postmark says ‘Be properly addressed POSTCODE IT’.  This card does not include the postcode, it was still delivered; it was now eight years after postcodes were supposedly obligatory.

Anne and I were in the same friendship group at senior school, along with Sara, and we all went on to the same 6th form further education college.  I selfishly abandoned my friends, in favour of the Canadian boyfriend, and was lucky that they tolerated and forgave my behaviour.  Anne is clever and articulate; she wrote long, chatty, detailed letters to me in Norway – the writing often spanning several days.  I am still in touch with Anne, via Christmas cards and emails, but we have not met up for some years now.


with love from Niagara Falls (1976)

14 from Niagara with love

Dear Hilary, Canada is just terrific and I only wish that you could be here to share it. On Tuesday, 9th, we went to Niagara Falls and went in a boat right up to the base, which was really incredible! I can’t tell you how sorry I am to have stopped writing to you and would be overjoyed to start again. Lots of love Julian x

This post card from the amazing Niagara Falls is post marked ‘Campbellville 16 Aug 1976’

There are two post marks spoiling the picture on the front; one detailing the arrival of the card in the UK ‘Portsmouth & Southsea 21 Aug 1976’ (some five days after leaving Canada) and the other promoting the Portsmouth Navy Days on the Bank Holiday weekend of 28th, 29th & 30th August 1976

The stamp on this card is quite unusual – it is commemorating the Canadian Para Olympics which were held earlier in August 1976 and were the 5th Para Olympics, where amputees and visually impaired athletes competed for the first time.  The only stamp produced by Canada to mark this event was 20 cents and features a mixed-media painting of an archer by Tom Bjarnason.

Julian lived round the corner from the first house I can remember.  Our mums were friends and would often take us to the park. When we moved back to the area the friendship was rekindled. Julian went away to boarding school and we would write to each other regularly. Being fickle teenagers, sometimes we were romantic, other times each of us pursued love interests elsewhere. The wording on this card suggests it was sent to re-ignite romance! I have lost touch with Julian, but our mums are still in touch. I was lucky enough to see Niagara Falls when I was visiting the Canadian boyfriend some years later.

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.

with love from Llangollen (1974)

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Dear Hilary, I hope you are well.  On Saturday we went to the sheep dog trials at Llanrhaeder and it was very hot.  What sort of weather did you have?  On Sunday we went swimming.  On Monday we went for a picnic in the mountains & had a nice day.  love from Julia

Fantastic Welsh traditional dress features on this card.  Julia was my new best friend at the school I joined when we moved, she lived just down the road and made me feel very welcome.  Julia was bright and clever -see how she’s broken up her holiday report with a question back at me.

The postmark date is 8 August 1974 and the stamp is a second class 3½p which approximates to 37p in 2014

I was only at that school for one term before we all moved on to senior school.  Julia went to a different one and we both made new friends.  It was difficult to maintain the friendship with Julia and we lost touch.   On reflection, this was probably more my fault than hers.

with love from St Ives (1974)

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Dear Hilary, At this moment I am on a camp-site in our tent in bed.  I have been to Sennen-Cove today and after a gastly shower I am still sandy.  I had a nice time at the Wye-Valley we did lot’s of things.  I shared a room with Helen, Tracey, Anne and Clare.  Hope you are well and your family.  I didn’t manage to get to boarding school this year but I’ve got another chance next year.  Hope to see you sometime.  My mum gives her love to your mum, lots of love, Ida

Another postcard from my childhood – the postmark date is 9 August 1974.   We moved areas earlier in 1974 and it took me a long time to settle in my new school.  My friend Ida was committed to keeping me up to date with news from my old friends.

The other postmark is still asking us all to ‘Remember to use the post code’ which by 1974 was supposed to be included on all addresses.  As I recall, it was quite hard trying to find out  what the correct post codes were.

In 1974 a first class stamp had gone up to 4½p

St Ives is still a popular destination for tourists and artists.  The photo appears to have been enhanced by tropical vegetation – I think the main shot has been taken from the end of the harbour wall where there are no plants.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Ida and I were at infant school together, we have not seen each other for over 20 years, but continue to enjoy catching up via regular exchanging of Christmas cards.

with love from Teignmouth (1972)

Dear Hilary, Having a lovely time, I have just been to my uncles farm And seen all his horses And we went to the beach a few times and went in the sea Love Helen

This is one of the oldest postcards that I have – the postmark date is August 1972

The other postmark is asking us all to ‘Remember to use the post code’.

The stamp cost 3p (first class) which is approximately 37p in 2014

The view of the railway along the coast remains unchanged (although it was devastated by the storms in early 2014) however the trains have been updated slightly.

I have lost touch with Helen.