Picture Postcard Parade: On the South Downs

4 Aug

My choice of postcards usually reflects somewhere I have visited recently, a connection with something I have written about or some connection with my family history. In a way this is somewhere I have visited recently, but my main reason for showing you this card is to show just how bland some postcards can be.

On the South Downs

I think it would be hard to find a worse picture of the Downs, it just looks so dull. We are standing at the bottom of a slope looking up the hill, with a bit of rough grass and what looks like they could be gorse bushes in the foreground.

This card hasn’t been used, and personally I would be embarrassed to send it. It is not as if there are any interesting features, perhaps a bit of colour would have helped, but that would probably just end up varying shades of green.

I have seen similar cards of Wolstonbury Hill, which just made it look like a grass mound. At least they had a name so I knew where it was, unlike the one above which could be anywhere, and not necessarily even the South Downs.

The problem with this card is that the beauty of the South Downs is in the whole landscape rather just one side of a hill. If the photographer has walked about a quarter of a mile away from the hill, or turned left or right he would probably have had a much better picture.

Some postcards will become more interesting in time, even modern cards with views of factories or shopping centres will one day be important pieces of social history, but it is hard to imagine that this one will ever become sought after.

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