Back by popular demand (well not really, back because I saved these cards specially) are three special Christmas editions of the Postcards from Australia series of posts I ran earlier in the year.
Like the previous postcards this was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his wife and family back to his family in England. As you can see below this one was sent to his mother “with love and best wishes” for Christmas 1912, presumably in an envelope as there is no stamp or postmark.
The artwork on the card (The Call To Breakfast) is obviously by the same artist as the previous postcards I featured, but I wouldn’t really consider it a Christmas scene. I am not sure what is in the cut-out at the top, the plastic film covering it is disintegrating, revealing the “chips from the nuggets of gold”.
Postcards from Brighton, Sussex are not particularly rare, having been a tourist destination for many years there must have been millions of cards produced. This one probably doesn’t actually show Brighton beach and I am sure if I looked I could find examples with the names of many different seaside resorts on them.
The reason this appealed to me was the colour and design, it is such a bright and cheerful card. That is why I have featured it today, after last week’s snow scenes and the generally grey weather we have had, I decided that things needed brightening up!
I have no idea who published this card, it was posted on the 23rd August 1907 to an address in Camberwell, but the handwriting is a bit dodgy so I can’t be sure, or actually make sense of the message. Hopefully it will brighten up your day to!
Continuing the West Dean theme, here is yet another postcard from the parish of West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex. This one is not in brilliant condition, with some foxing (those brown spots) particularly noticeable in the sky and on the road.
This card is unused but appears to be from the same series as some of the cards I have previously featured, the earliest of which was dated 1918, so I would imagine we are probably looking at the similar date for this one. Unfortunately the name of the photographer or publisher is still a mystery.
The building on the right is the Selsey Arms Public House, and I love the fact that there are two carts parked outside, along with their horses and a push bike leaning up against the front. The owners presumably inside enjoying some refreshment.
Just to the left of the photographer (out of shot) is West Dean school. I don’t know the names of the houses further up the road on the left. None of my maps (or those online) seem to name them, there appears to have been three houses, and at one time the house at the far end was the Post Office.
I didn’t really get a great deal achieved last week. Of course there was the trip down to Chichester yesterday, but I spent most of my free time thinking about this blog and the way forward, essentially trying to streamline things and make more time for actual family history research.
I have scanned my latest batch of postcards, like I was planning to, but I never got around to scanning the four wills, let alone start transcribing them. I must at least get them scanned this week and try to make a start on transcribing them. I also need to scan the two newspaper articles that I copied down at Chichester, and transcribe them as well.
I have done more work on the BOXALLs of West Dean, Sussex and I think I have achieved my original goal of identifying the six BOXALLs on the war memorial at West Dean. I am still a little unsure about one of the men, and there may also be one other who is not recorded on the memorial. This week I need to start pulling everything together, but also there is so much more work that I could be doing on the BOXALLs, there are so many of them that I could keep going for ages.
So this week is going to be mostly organising and sorting out, a bit of scanning and possibly some transcribing. I will be really interested to see if my blogging plans actually help free up my time for family history. Also I need to try and decide what I am going to do with the bundle of maps that I bought yesterday.
The postcard below is one that I have had for quite a while. It shows the ivy clad St. Andrew’s Church, West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex and a few of the headstones in the churchyard.
There is not a lot more that can be said about this postcard. The card was posted from West Dean on the 6th September 1920 and sent to Mrs C BOXALL of Brown Hill Farm, Ashington, Sussex. The BOXALL connection was naturally of interest, but from what I can find it doesn’t look like this Mrs BOXALL was a close relation.
In light of my current obsession with the parish of West Dean I have decided that I am going to start seriously collecting picture postcards of the parish. It is not that I haven’t been collecting them already, just that I haven’t been making a special effort to find them.
What makes collecting postcards of West Dean (in West Sussex) particularly challenging is the fact that not only is there another West Dean in East Sussex (as I previously mentioned), but also one in neighbouring Hampshire. From what I saw at the Shoreham Postcard Fair last Saturday most postcard dealers don’t distinguish between the eastern and western parishes, and sometimes Hampshire cards are to to be found amongst the Sussex cards. Likewise I probably should check for Sussex cards in with the Hampshire cards.
Examining postcards of an area, working out where the views were taken from and when, is a great way of learning about a place and how it has changed over the years, although of course the bulk of the postcards I am likely to find will only cover a short period of time, probably from 1900 to 1930.
Apart from learning more about the parish of my ancestors the other bonus is that my increased attention on West Dean postcards will hopefully turn up a postcard sent to (or by) one of my closer relations.
I had hoped to go down to Chichester today, to do some research at the West Sussex Record Office and the public library, but it became obvious early in the week that I wasn’t going to be prepared in time, so I decided to postpone to visit (probably until next weekend).
To be honest I wasn’t really too disappointed, it was a good excuse for me to stay in bed. Many weeks of getting up early nearly every morning have taken it’s toll and I really couldn’t face another early start. Besides there were plenty of other things that I wanted to do.
Top of those lists of things to do was a visit to Shoreham Postcard Fair, at Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex. So after a lazy start to the day I took the bus to Brighton and then Shoreham, and spent some more of my hard earned money on postcards.
Shoreham Postcard Fair is a fairly small postcard fair, probably twenty or so dealers, and not all postcards, some coins, stamps and cigarette cards. There was plenty to keep me occupied for several hours, and I came away with another eleven postcards for my growing collection, including some great bargains from one dealer’s 50p box.
The great thing about Shoreham Postcard Fair is that it is pretty convenient for me to get to, just two bus rides. Unfortunately it means passing through the crowded city of Brighton. Perhaps it is just me getting older, but I am starting to get very “crowd intolerant”. I am really starting to go off buses packed full of passengers and crowded pavements (and as we get nearer to Christmas it can only get worse), so I was very pleased to get back home, put my feet up and study my new postcards.
I don’t know quite what happened last week, the last seven days seem to have just flown by and I don’t seem to have achieved anything in my family history.
I suppose I did spend some time fiddling around with my to-do list, and there was a bit of searching, but for the life of me I don’t remember actually achieving anything. In my defence I would say that I probably didn’t have quite as much free time as I would normally, but that is not really a very good excuse, because there were opportunities to do some research.
I am struggling to remember if I have actually updated my database last week, I probably did add one or two bits and pieces, but nothing major (or indeed memorable as it turns out). If there was an event at the Commonwealth Games for procrastinators I would be in line for a medal, I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about what I could do, but I just never seem to get around to doing anything about it.
I did get all my latest postcards scanned, and I feel I could probably spend a couple of weeks just writing about my postcards. I would like to write more about postcards and using them in family history, but whether I will ever get around to it is a different matter.
I think the big problems is that there is so much that I would like to do but don’t have the time, whether it is blogging or family history. I think the answer is going to be to capture all the thoughts that are running around my head and put them all into my to-do list, where I don’t have to worry about them unless I want to.
The exciting news is that whilst searching for one of books in my parent’s attic, I discovered (or re-discovered) a few family history treasures, which had once belonged to my grandfather, including a tiny little birthday book, which lists the birthdays of many of my relations (from the TROWER and GASSON side of the family). I am going to have great fun going through that and extracting all the details.