Sunday, 17 March 2013

Old Postcards

I recently bought on E-bay a job lot of old postcards. Some were used (i.e. had been posted) and some were not. Although the main purpose was to pick out the unused ones for postcrossing I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through the used ones as well. Many of them were from the time of George V (1910-1936).   Some of them were Christmas, Easter, and Birthday postcards - something one doesn't see nowadays.  Perhaps the fact that it costs the same to post a card as to post a light letter or card in an envelope has made the postcard less popular.  In earlier times it was a halfpenny for a postcard and a penny for an envelope. There was also a period when,  if the only thing written in the card was the address, the cost was a halfpenny but if a message was also written on it the price went up to 1d.

Did you know, for example, that in England it was a common practice in the 1920s/1930s to address one’s post as being ‘Local’ - rather than using the name of the town - if it was to be delivered in the vicinity of where it was posted?

The clue that this particular Church Street was in Whitby can be found in the frank -

One of the cards was posted in the 7.45 p.m. post at Bettws-y-coed in North Wales on 20th July 1949.

The author was on holiday (or perhaps even honeymoon) in a part of the world I know well from many holidays and days out.

One is reminded that this soon after the War it was still hard to find luxury goods for sale.  This being the highlight of the last couple of days -

The full message reads:-
Tuesday 'Same Place'  TEL 56
Dear Mum & Dad,
Weather still good.  Hope to climb Snowdon tomorrow if weather permits.  Went to Conway & Lanndudno yesterday. GOT SOME NYLONS in Llanrwst.  I am writing this by a lake up in the mountains near Trefriw.  Having super meals.  We have just been paddling in a stream.
Lots of Love

Here's a birthday postcard to Ethel from her friend Jinnie...

And some typical old fashioned postcards from around the 1920s.  I like the gentle, muted, pastel shades.


  1. Until more or less 25 years ago, in Spain people wrote "ciudad" (='city') in the letters instead of the name of the city, if they were addresse to the same city. The rate was lower than sending a postcard to another city.

    1. I wondered if putting Local on the card made it cheaper. It sounds as thoughb that might have been the reason here as well. The regulations changed so often over the years it's hard to know.


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