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Happy New Year 2012

1 Jan

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

I searched long and hard to find the least seasonal Christmas postcard I could, and they don’t come much less seasonal than this one. The addition of the words Christmas Wishes was a rather poor effort I think to turn this otherwise quite attractive postcard into a Christmas card.

Still it serves it’s purpose in allowing me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year, as well as showing off some of the most stunning scenery in Sussex.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: The Schools, Framfield, Sussex

28 Oct

Many months ago I showed you a postcard of the school in Framfield, Sussex which was really the school building rather than todays postcard which hardly shows anything of the building, but instead shows the school in terms of the children that made up the school.

This really is a delightful postcard, admittedly the quality is not brilliant but what I really like is that this doesn’t have the formality of normal school photos, with children lined up in rows. Here we find the children all over the place, some in the road, some peering through the hedge and some even climbing in the hedge by the look of it.

The majority are standing, but there are some kneeling, one little boy on his hands and knees and a couple of boys lying in the road. If you look really closely it looks like four of the boys have bottles in their hands, one boy in the middle looks like he might be saluting, but I think he is probably taking a swig from his bottle. And not a teacher to be seen anywhere.

The sad thing of course is that we don’t know who any of these children are, although I feel sure that there must be several HEMSLEY children among this lot and probably a few other relatives. Unfortunately I don’t have any other photos to compare this against, but I would guess this dates from around 1910.

Interestingly when you compare this with the other postcard it also looks like the photograph has been flipped, the school building should be on the left hand side of the postcard. I wonder whether this was an accident or whether the publisher (A.H. Homewood of Burgess Hill, Sussex) thought it looked better this way?

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: The River at Houghton

20 Oct

This delightful postcard found its way into my collection because it is such a lovely view. It is an area that I have walked in the past (up the river from Arundel) and it is within the boundaries of the South Downs National Park and at one time was on the route of the South Downs Way, but that was moved a bit further north away from the busy road.

As the caption says, this it “THE RIVER AT HOUGHTON”, the river itself is the River Arun in West Sussex and we are looking roughly south-west down river as it snakes its way towards Arundel and eventually to Littlehampton (about ten miles away) where it meets the sea.

Houghton is a small hamlet which is just up the little road on the right of the picture. I believe the photograph was actually taken near Houghton Bridge and more specifically from the tip of the little island on which the middle of the bridge rests.

The photographer responsible was Frederick Douglas Miller of Haywards Heath, whose name is embossed in the bottom right-hand corner, who produced some of the most outstanding picture postcards of Sussex.

This postcard was posted from Arundel on the 7th June 1920 (at least I think it is 1920). It was sent to a Miss Acford in London and has the rather puzzling message: Thanks very much for “Punch” and information. I am hoping there will be a little change left out of it when we come home. We are having lovely weather – cold winds night and morning but gloriously hot and sunny all day – hope it will last. Yrs A.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: Mr Isaac Ingall

14 Oct

This postcard is a little different from my usual subject matter, very rarely do I stray from my usual topographical collecting themes, but I made an exception for this one because of the interesting story it tells.

The claim that Isaac Ingall lived to a great age is repeated many times on the internet, but I can’t see that any detailed research has been done that backs it up, but equally I can’t see anything that refutes the claim either, but I could be wrong. He is buried at Battle Abbey, where had he seemingly worked as a butler and a photo of his headstone can be seen here.

As for the postcard itself, there are no clues as to the age of the card, it is based on a much older portrait (which looks like it is now in The British Museum).

There is also a good reason why I chose this postcard today, because the 14th October marks the 945th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, which every schoolboy knows (or ought to) didn’t take place in Hastings but in nearby Battle, East Sussex, where Isaac Ingall was buried.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: Slaugham Church, Sussex

5 Sep

As I am on a bit of a GASSON theme at the moment, here is another postcard of St Mary’s Church, Slaugham.

Back in March 2011 I showed you a similar image, in black and white and perhaps slightly older, but in writing about it I said that the family connection wasn’t particularly strong. Now I know that the connections are much stronger than I imagined back then. My 4x great-grandparents were buried here, my 3x great-grandparents were married here (I did know that before) and my 2x great-grandfather was baptised here (but I already knew that).

There a caption in the bottom-left corner, but it is not particularly clear either on this digital image or the original postcard, as the red ink merges with the green grass. It is possible to make out the word “Dolphin”. That is enough to identify the publisher as Harry Tullett of Haywards Heath, Sussex.

Finding Postcard Fairs in the UK

31 Aug

I mentioned yesterday The Picture Postcard Show which opens in London tomorrow and lasts three days. Most postcard fairs are only one day affairs, although there are a few two-day fairs and some evening fairs. Whether they last one, two or three days postcard fairs are a great place to find postcards to illustrate your family history.

When it comes to finding out where postcard fairs are held there are two main places to look:

The Postcard Traders Association website

The Postcard Traders Association has a calendar of postcard fairs on their website. The good thing about this calendar is that you can click through and find out more information about the organiser, including contact details and possibly their website.

The main drawback with this list is that it doesn’t always get updated regularly, but it is a good starting place especially as a lot of the fairs take place on a regular basis. Also this doesn’t always feature some of the smaller fairs.

Picture Postcard Monthly

Picture Postcard Monthly magazine has a much fuller list of postcard fairs including some international ones (along with auctions and exhibitions). These usually cover the coming three months and also includes contact details for the organisers as well as indicating the number of postcard dealers likely to be attending.

As well as the list of fairs in Picture Postcard Monthly, it is also the main place where postcard fairs are advertised, as well everything else you would expect in a magazine such as news, letters and articles.

The Postcard Traders Association website has a page entitled How to Win at Fairs with advice to get the best out of your visit to a postcard fair. My own advice would be to set yourself a budget and stick to it, otherwise it could get very expensive!

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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