Facebook Posting Circa 1904!
Updated: Jan 14
One of my absolute favourite things to find is a collection of old postcards and this week we have a beauty in. With dates ranging from the early 1900s right up to the 1970s, this is a fascinating peep into a long life filled with friends, fun and historical events. We tend to think of postcards being used for the 'Wish you were here' holiday message and there are plenty of them, but there are also birthday and Christmas greetings, love letters, gossip, mundane arrangements and even some passive agressive shade! Reading through them gives you a real sense of the changes that happened in a lifetime which spanned Victorian times, the Roaring Twenties, 2 World Wars, the 60s and 70s. The pictures, places and the language changes but so many of the sentiments remain immediately recognisable!
There are children cajoled into writing a couple of lines to auntie and uncle like Jackey in 1907 - "Dear Auntie, arrived home all right after enjoying my self and I hope you and Uncle are quite well. Love from Jackey"
Grown up children communicating as sparsley as possible like John in 1948 "Dear Ma, just a PC to let you know I shall be leaving here on Monday for 10 days leave, that's all for now, John", John is just waiting for text to be invented so he can send "'k". Or not bothering at all like Marylyn and Dave in 1965 when 'mum and dad' (you know it's just mum right!) wrote "Hope you had a nice weekend and arrived home safely. Haven't heard as yet."
Or the more considerate Eve who wrote in 1907 "Am returning tomorrow eve all being well. Don't trouble to put a fire in as I don't know what time I shall arrive." I love to think that Eve was off having a great time somewhere like 'L' who wrote to Mrs Pearson in 1937 "Sorry I am late sending the paper, you see I am at St Leonards with my brother and sister enjoying myself". Priorities, sorted!
Some messages left me needing to know much more about what was going on. For example, in 1904 "I will call round this Tuesday afternoon about 4.30. Hoping you are well. Will explain yesterday." What happened yesterday?? Had he stood her up? Had a sulk? Been spotted with another girl? We need to know! And we need to know what happened on Tuesday, did she forgive him? What excuse did he come up with?
My personal favourite could be straight off Facebook but was also written in 1904 (is this the same couple I wonder!) "Did you receive my letter on Monday or what have I done this time to offend your 'highness' ". Of course, writing this on the back of a postcard means everyone in the household could read it as well as the postman so this went on the newsfeed not via PM. We demand to know what happened next!
Some of the wartime postcards are poignant of course and also make me wonder what happened - for example to Ronald who was joining the Middlesex Regiment in 1914. In 1918 Herbert wrote "Dear Arthur, Just a line to tell you I am having a rough time of it, they cut my hair like a prisoners on Tuesday when I went to the orderly room. I will let you know how I get off when I come home. I am being discharged when I finish my time". I find myself hoping that a bad haircut was the worst Herbert had to worry about but I doubt it was.
I always love to look through old postcards, the pictures are wonderful and this collection includes pictures of places I know well such as Lynton and Lynmouth, Clovelly and Cornwall. In 1915 J.W.Bird wrote from Brighton "Postcards will soon be a thing of the past so I send you this while yet I may". Wouldn't it be lovely to renew the practise of writing postcards - they are so much fun to look through!