My mother began collecting postcards when she was au-pairing in Italy in the early 1970s. Her parents kept all the cards she sent home from her travels, including pictures of many Roman antiquities. These then formed the core of a substantial collection that has grown over the last 40 years as my mother passed the collection on to me and continues to supply me with any that she receives.
Now, just shy of some 700 cards, this collection is a fascinating documentary of where our family has lived and who our friends are and where they have travelled to. I can easily spend an hour gazing at the pictures and reading through the legends and feeling wistful about the days before email and instagram.
Since I have got in the habit of uploading something more visual at the weekends and, inspired by another blogger (Rosalilium), I thought I’d share a few randoms from this collection:
Somewhere near Rome Circa 1970
There are no clues on this card, the reverse is blank but it is one of many my mother acquired in Italy.
Crab and Lobster Inn, Bembridge, Isle of Wight. Dated 2/3/70
My mother’s family has connections with the Isle of Wight and my grandfather kept a boat on the Solent. This was a favourite spot.
Mudmen of Asaro River area, Papua New Guinea. Postmark 1977.
This one is great, sent to my parents in Zimbabwe from a New-Zealand Uncle who was scouting new business opportunities in the province. Actually the back is worth a look, too:
Check that Silver Jubilee PNG Stamp!
I think the irony of the mudmen picture was calculated by the soap salesman.
C.E.G.B. Didcot Power Station, Oxfordshire. Circa 1987
I acquired this on a school trip to the power station, maybe one of the most uninspiring cards in my entire collection. Several years later I wrote on in but clearly never actually posted it to my best friend at senior school:
Congratulations on your A in media studies; I bet you’re pleased. I am very relieved to have got an A in maths. Sorry I did not write earlier to tell you what I have been up to. I want to start up a sort of journal publishing young people’s writing from all around the country. Tell you more when I see you at school.
What a dull postcard!!?
Tom is a successful journalist now. I’ve been involved in a couple of unsuccessful magazine start-ups and have eventually resorted to blogging and podcasting.
September 2002. Made for the Art Show on Channel 4.
When I picked this up (I think it may have been at a cinema) I thought it might be worth something one day. I have no idea, it’s probably worth diddly-squat but it’s definitely one of the more curious cards in the collection.
Here’s a link to Rosalilium’s Vintage Postcards post.
Filed under: Art, Photography, Travel | Tagged: Nostalgia, Vintage | 87 Comments »