Tag Archives: Postcards

Picture Postcard Parade (widescreen edition): Seaford Esplanade, looking West

1 Oct

I couldn’t resist this card when it came up on eBay, partly because I have ancestors from Seaford, Sussex but mainly for the novelty value of the size of the thing. The actual size is 292mm x 82mm, which is about the same height of a normal postcard but over twice the width.

Seaford Esplanade, looking West

If you click on the image you can have a look in detail, but the print quality is a little disappointing to be honest. I don’t know whether that is because of the size or just a poor quality printing process. It is clear enough to make out some of the buildings in the town on the right-hand side, but not much detail of the people strolling along the seafront on the left-hand side.

I have had a look on Google Street View, but I haven’t been able to find exactly the same viewpoint. It looks like a lot of the buildings along the Esplanade have either been demolished and rebuilt or heavily altered.

I know virtually nothing about the publisher of the card, or when it was published. It has not been used and the back of the card names it as a PANORAMICARD. Down the left-hand side of the back is the name of J.B. Armstrong, 52 High St., Seaford. As I have seen other Panoramicards from different parts of the country I assume that J.B. Armstrong was the person who commissioned this particular Panoramicard, rather than the actual publisher.

Six reasons why postcard collecting is like family history research

28 Sep

As I sat on the train making my way to the postcard fair at Woking last Saturday I started considering the similarities between postcard collecting and family history research. I came to the conclusion that there is some common ground between them which probably explains why I love doing them both.

1. The thrill of the chase is as important as the end result – If someone handed you a neatly bound, fully sourced copy of your complete family history you would probably be interested, but not as interested as if you had put in all the effort and done the research yourself. In the same respect if someone handed you an album of postcards you would be pleased, but you would be lacking the experiences and feelings that go with the whole process of searching and discovering.

2. It can take a long time to find what you want – Patience is a virtue they say, and never more so than when it comes to family history research and postcard collecting. There may be some short cuts (and the internet has made things easier), but in both cases it might take a long time to find what you are looking for, that is if you find it at all.

3. The thrill of discovery is a huge part of the experience – Nothing beats the feeling of finding the answer to a particularly difficult question, or locating a missing ancestor who has been hiding for years. Well, the same feeling of euphoria is experienced when you discover a particularly unusual, unexpected or long sought after postcard.

4. Each discovery leads to more questions – Every record you discover seems to lead to more questions, finding a missing individual is just the start of a longer process of find out more about the individual. Discovering a new postcard can also be the start of a longer research process, so many more questions are raised such as who is on the postcard? What does it look like now? Who published it? When was it published? Who was it sent to? What does the message tell you?

5. You never know quite what you are going find – A good example is the WW1 British Army Service Records, you may not be certain that someone served with the army during WW1, and until you actually look you don’t know whether the record survived. With postcards there is very rarely any way of knowing what postcards were actually published and how many examples (if any) have survived.

6. The internet has made both of them a lot easier – It may not be the complete solution and of course not everything is on the internet, but it has become a lot easier to find you ancestors and postcards online these days. The postcard collecting community hasn’t embraced the internet as whole-heartedly as the family history community (but it is getting there) and sites like eBay make adding postcards to your collection far too easy!

Do you share my passion for postcards? Do you think there are other similarities between family history research and postcard collecting? What do you think makes them different? Let me know in the comments below…

2010 Autumn South of England Postcard Fair

25 Sep

Today I made my way to Woking, Surrey to The 2010 Autumn South of England Postcard Fair held at the Woking Leisure Centre. You may remember that I wrote about the postcard fair held at Woking earlier in the year.

Autumn 2010 South of England Postcard Fair

To be honest there are only a few reasons why I go to Woking: for a postcard fair, family history fair or to visit the Surrey History Centre. It is not that Woking is a bad place (or so it seems to me), just that there is not much else to entice me into the town, although Brookwood Cemetery is nearby.

An added bonus is that I got to travel along one of my favourite stretches of railway line, the North Downs Line, which travels along the foot of the North Downs for part of it length. In the bright sunshine the southern slopes of North Downs looked so wonderful, with their trees starting to show the first signs of their Autumn colours.

The fair itself seemed a little quiet, there were lots of stalls with postcards, cigarette cards, ephemera and various other paper collectables, but it didn’t appear to be that busy. Personally I got off to a slow start, and despite my best efforts I struggled to find anything to spend my money on.

Eventually I got lucky and in the end I came away with six postcards and one photo. Not really what I would call a successful day, but it was quite enjoyable nevertheless. I am sure you will be seeing some of these cards in the future, I know I always say that, but I really must get around to writing about some of them, after all that is the reason I am buying many of my postcards these days.

Postcards from Australia: Evening Yarn

8 Sep

The annoying thing about this postcard sent “home” to England from Australia by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN is that it is undated. It is obviously from the same series as the previous ones I wrote about, by the artist J. Hutchings. Whilst I do like these images, I do wonder whether these stereotypical views of the world were ever a reality or just a figment of the artists imagination?

Evening Yarn

This card is showing it’s age, whatever that is. It is slightly battered around the edges and at the corners, there is a bit of damage to the sky and the back is rather grubby, but it is probably over a hundred years old, so it is allowed to be a little worse for wear.

Evening Yarn (back)

Sadly there is also no address from which it was sent, but the message does give a few clues as to the date the card was sent. The “babys’ photos” is probably referring to their first child William Thomas Henry BATEMAN, born in 1906 and there is no mention of their daughter Dorothy Marguerite, who was born in 1909. So it is probably some time between the two, and probably around the same times as the other ones I have written about, which were sent in 1907.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 36

5 Sep

Last week was quite a good week for genealogy. I have been finding plenty of things to keep me occupied. There has been very little structure or logic, just picking off records or individuals as the mood takes me. This is certainly not a very efficient way of work (sometimes meaning I am going over old ground again) but it seems to be working for me at the moment.

I must be careful not to fall into the trap of doing nothing whilst waiting for things to arrive. I have orders out for copies of wills and a marriage licence allegation, and the danger is that I will use the fact that I am waiting for them to arrive as an excuse not to do any work.

I have discovered a batch of Framfield marriages which I had transferred to my spreadsheet, but I have not added all the details to my database. Most of these are HEMSLEYs and I have several marriages where the HEMSLEY is not on my database. There were lots of HEMSLEYs in Framfield, Sussex and I would imagine that all of them are relations, it is just that they haven’t been connected yet. That is one job for this week, connect them all up, in particular the ancestors and descendants of Trayton HEMSLEY.

I need to get down to some scanning this week, mostly postcards, but a few other family history bits and pieces. I am going to have to think of a way of getting more postcards on this blog, also I am still thinking about creating a database of my postcards, partly for my own reference and partly to enable them to be shared easier. This is the problem with going to the Picture Postcard Show, it fills me with all sorts of ideas, which I don’t have the time to carry out.

I might also restart the research I was doing on one of the local postcard photographers. I also want to start compiling a guide for dating British postcards, mainly for my own reference because I have yet to find a comprehensive guide to the many features of postcards that allow the approximate date to be worked out.

Picture Postcard Show 2010

4 Sep

Today was the last day of the annual three day Picture Postcard Show at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lawrence Hall in London. I was up in London with my wife, pretending not to be tourists, so I had chance to pop in for a couple of hours and spend some money.

It was near the end of the third and final day when I visited, so I wasn’t too surprised to find it was pretty quiet. To be honest this made things easier for me, I was able to move from stand to stand without too much trouble, and perhaps after three day the dealers were glad to be able to wind down a bit.

The theme for this year’s displays was "London; A Capital City", but because I was pushed for time I didn’t really have time to study them closely, but there were lots of displays and many of the stands were decorated with examples of postcard artwork.

Despite my limited time I was able to come away with seven cards for my collection. Two were free souvenirs, one upon entry and one for buying something from Reflections of a Bygone Age, this second one was an excellent multi-view of the Elephant Parade.

Of the remaining five, one was relatively modern (probably 30 or 40 years old) just bought for the personal connection with my new job, the other four were much older, with family connections in one way or another and once I have scanned them they will probably be appearing on this blog. I say probably because I now have far too many postcards to blog about.

Although I was never likely to come away with any truly outstanding cards for my collection, there is after all a large percentage of national and international dealers (who will probably never have heard of the small Sussex villages I am interested in), I am nevertheless happy with what I did find and could easily have spent all day there soaking up the atmosphere and just looking at cards.

Picture Postcard Parade: The Church, Singleton

13 Jul

This is another before and after post of sorts. The first image is a postcard of the church at Singleton, Sussex. The postcard was unused, but probably dates from 1910-20.

The Church, Singleton

The image below is not from the same position, but it does illustrate what happened to many of the headstones that were pictured on the postcard.

Singleton Headstones

When I visited the church earlier this year I discovered that most of the older headstones had been re-located and were now lined up along one side of the churchyard. I don’t know when this clearance took place, and there are now more modern burials (and headstones) in their place.

New Headstones

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