Tag Archives: Postcards

Picture Postcard Parade: The old Common Pond, Hailsham

6 Jul

Mentioning the missing burial of Jane GEERING the other day gives me a perfect excuse to show you this postcard of where her body was found. It looks quite picturesque doesn’t it?

Common Pond, Hailsham

I have written at length before on the circumstances surrounding her death, but basically her body was found in the Common Pond, Hailsham, Sussex on the morning of the 15th September 1874 and the inquest the following day returned a verdict of "found drowned".

The postcard hasn’t been used and no publisher is mentioned. It has quite a distinctive style of caption which I am sure I have seen been and feel I should recognise it, but I can’t place it at the moment. I would imagine it dates from the early 1920s.

These days the banks of pond are a more open, although beyond the banks it is now surrounded by more housing. I need to go back to Hailsham in brighter weather and get some better photos of the Common Pond and the parish church.

Picture Postcard Parade: The Old Belle Toute Lighthouse

31 May

I think this will be the last of my Beachy Head postcards for now, it is time I got back to some more family related postcards. This is one I picked up at the South of England Postcard at Woking, Surrey last weekend.

The Old Belle Toute Lighthouse

This is very similar to the one I showed you three weeks ago, in fact almost identical. The reason I bought this one is for the cachet on the back.

The back of The Old Belle Toute Lighthouse

According to the book Beachy Head by John Surtees this particular cachet was in use before 1920, but I have no other clue about who published this and when. There were apparently four different cachets used by the Watch Tower, I showed you one of the other designs a couple of weeks ago. I just have to find examples of the other two now.

The 2010 South of England Postcard Fair, Woking, Surrey

23 May

It had been quite a while since I had been to a postcard fair at Woking Leisure Centre, in Woking, Surrey, although I did go to the leisure centre in October last year for the family history fair.

The leisure centre is a great venue for a postcard fair (and a family history fair) because it has all the facilities that you could need on site, such as a restaurant and plenty of car parking. There is also plenty of space to move around and most importantly for me it is just a short walk (less than 10 minutes) from Woking railway station.

The fair was held over two days (Friday 21st May and Saturday 22nd May), with a specialist modern postcard fair included on the Saturday as well. There were supposed to be over 75 dealers (spread over more than 110 stalls) over the whole weekend, but I didn’t count them. There were certainly more than enough to keep me busy for almost four hours, before my money ran out and I decided I needed to start heading home.

It wasn’t just postcard dealers, although were in the majority, there were dealers selling accessories (albums and pages), cigarette cards, ephemera and most surprisingly for me someone selling old Ordnance Survey maps, something I had never seen before.

So was it worth me going? I would have to say “yes”. The cost of admission was only £2 (£3 on Friday) and with such a large number of dealers it was inevitable that I would be able to add to my collection. I came away with eight postcards, several of which were incredible bargains, and one Ordnance Survey map (a 6” to the mile, 1912 edition of Henfield, Sussex).

There was however on item which I would have loved to have bought, a professional and probably unique photo of the shop in Hailsham which once belonged to my GEERING ancestors. The photo was a lot later than when my ancestors were there (probably by 60 or 70 years so) and the shop front had changed quite a bit since their time, so I couldn’t really justify the £30 asking price!

The fair was organised by Specialist Postcard & Paper Fairs, their website has details of their upcoming fairs, the next one being at Twickenham on the 16th and 17th July 2010. Time to start saving my pennies!

… and whilst we are on the subject, where do I get my indecisiveness from?

22 May

Why do I find it so hard to make a decision? Is it something I inherited from one of my ancestors? If so, which one?

All of these questions crossed my mind as I tried to decide what I was going to do today. In truth I had known that I had to make a decision for several days, but had been putting it off.

My two options for today were walking another section of the South Downs Way or going to the postcard fair at Woking, Surrey. There were of course other options, such as staying at home and doing nothing, but I had at least narrowed it down to these two possibilities.

I could always toss a coin for it, but the logical side of me thinks that I should be able to make the decision without using luck. The problem is that although I can see all the advantages and disadvantages for each of the options, it still doesn’t help me make up my mind either way.

So it makes me wonder, did my ancestors have the any difficultly making decisions? If I had a time machine would I be able to go back and find my ancestors sitting on the fence?

Their decisions probably wouldn’t have been quite so trivial as mine, but is indecisiveness something that gets passed down through the generations, or something you learn from those around you?

South Coast Family History Fair

25 Apr

The Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, West Sussex played host to the South Coast Family History Fair today. This is one of the smaller regional fairs that are held around the country.

The Pavilion, Worthing

There were the usual selection of exhibitors at the fair, a couple of national societies, several local societies (Sussex Family History Group, Hampshire Genealogical Society and West Surrey Family History Society) and the West Sussex Record Office.

There were several dealers of family history “stuff”, such as books, maps, accessories, CDs and software. There were also three postcards dealers as well, and I came away with four more postcards for my collection.

The attendance seemed down on last year, by virtue of the fact that it was not as crowded as last year, but I could be wrong. Looking at the photo above you might think that everyone was outside enjoying the sunshine, but despite appearances we have had some rain and there was quite a strong wind, so it wasn’t quite as nice as it looks.

There wasn’t really anything that I was after at the fair today, I really just went to have a look around and see if there was anything new on offer. I did feel that there was not really anything new there to make it worth my while. I think I will need to move outside my Sussex research “comfort zone” and head to the Kent Family History Fair on Sunday 6th June 2010 to get a greater benefit.

Picture Postcard Parade: Hailsham High Street

6 Apr

Below is a postcard of the High Street, Hailsham, Sussex and of course there is a connection with what are hopefully my GEERING ancestors.

Hailsham High Street

This postcard was published by Edgar Smith (like the one of Hailsham Church), but I can’t read the date on the postmark on the back. Observant readers will notice that the building on the left is Edgar Smith’s shop.

That shop is the site of the GEERINGs shop, probably some forty years earlier. I don’t know how much of the shop is original, it looks like it may had been enlarged between 1842 (tithe map) and 1874 (Ordnance Survey map) which presumably meant a new roof as well as new windows.

The windows on the right-hand side obviously don’t match with the two large windows and doorway on the left-hand side. This suggests to me that the left-hand side is original, and the right-hand side a later addition.

One hundred or so years later the same view is still recognisable, the shop fronts have changed, but above them (and above the cars) the scene is not that different, at least as far as the first three buildings are concerned.

Picture Postcard Monthly now available through online subscription

2 Apr

Picture Postcard Monthly describes itself as “the top magazine for collectors of old and modern postcards worldwide”. Whilst there is a definite bias toward UK material, there is still much to interest postcard collectors worldwide.

Although it has previously been available by post for readers outside the UK (through an annual subscription), it is now (from the March 2010 edition) also available online as a pdf download, again through an annual subscription.

The magazine covers all aspects of postcard collecting, from old to modern, news and events, research on publishers, photographers and artists, book reviews, articles on subjects or places on postcards. There is an article index on the website which will give you some idea of the wide range of material covered.

Currently on the publisher’s website (Reflections of a Bygone Age) there are two sample issues available for download. So not only can you see what has been going on in the UK postcard collecting scene, but there are also some wonderful articles in the two editions.

In the November 2009 edition there is an article of Sussex interest about the Bonfire Night celebrations in Lewes. In the December 2009 edition I really enjoyed reading about Jacob Popp the High Wycombe shop-keeper and his continued defiance of the Sunday trading laws.

I am not sure if I can give up getting the printed edition, partly because it gets passed around the family after I have finished with it, but it would be such a great way of keeping back issues of the magazine without having to take up precious shelf space.

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