The Picture Postcard Show 2009

5 Sep

Today I attended the third and final day of the Picture Postcard Show 2009, at the Royal Horticultural Society Lawrence Hall, Greycoat Street, London. The show was organised by the Postcard Traders Association and is an annual event, probably the highlight of the British postcard collecting scene.

This years theme was “The Great British Seaside” and as expected there were some fabulous displays of postcards (and other material) about most aspects of the British seaside, with plenty of saucy comic postcards in evidence. The display which really stood out for me was one on the censorship of these saucy postcards, featuring material from the British Cartoon Archive.

In terms of my own collecting I came away with a few cards, perhaps more than I was expecting but still not many, and I certainly came away with some money in my pocket. I am sure you will be seeing some of these card on my blog in the near future, but to give you some idea, one was of West Grinstead Church (the FAIRS ancestral church) and one of The Main Road and Selsey Arms, West Dean (the BOXALL and MITCHELL families were from West Dean and the postcard shows the school that my grandfather and his brothers and sisters attend).

Perhaps the most remarkable thing was the free postcard that I got for buying a set of six Picture Postcard Show 2009 advertising cards. It is a modern card (the photo was taken in May 2009) and it shows a steam train emerging from Winchcombe tunnel. Winchcombe, Gloucestershire the village from which the tunnel gets it’s name is where my 2x great grandfather Henry BATEMAN was born, and where I hope to visit next year on holiday!

Probably the best find of the day, and it took a lot of finding, was not a postcard at all but a photo of the P&O ship S.S. Berrima, the ship on which my 2x great grandmother Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN sailed to Australia in 1921, and died within a week of arriving! To be honest the ship is quite a depressing sight and to my mind at least not a particularly nice ship to look at. I am not sure whether I will be able to show you this photo because of copyright issues, but I will have to see what I can do about getting permission.

The show wasn’t as busy as I was expecting, although by the sounds of it the previous two days had been busier. For me this was nice, not having to squeeze between hoards of people, by obviously not so good for the dealers. This was the reason I stayed longer at the show than I had originally planned and didn’t make it to the City of Westminster Archives Centre.

After spending almost five and a half hours on my feet, flicking through thousands of postcards I was only too pleased to get back on the train home. I am sure my neck and shoulders will be complaining tomorrow morning!

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