Thursday 23 April 2009

St George's Day, England

Postmarked South Devon, dated 30 June 1976.
Cockington Forge, near Torquay, Devon, is considered to be one of the most picturesque villages in Devon, and being only a short distance from Torquay, it attracts large numbers of visitors.  The thatched forge is of particular interest, and it is the custom to leave your visiting card sticking in the thatch.  The Corporation purchased Cockington Court and approximately 270 acres of land, and are preserving the manor house with its wonderful gardens.

Part of the message reads, "it has been a wonderful holiday in spite of the heat".  Although it was early in the period, this is a reference to the heatwave that struck the UK that made the summer of 1976 the hottest since records began.  From 23 June until 7 July, each day at least one place somewhere in the UK reached 90°F (32.2°C).

This is as typically English a scene as I could find.  23 April is St George's Day and also Shakespeare's birthday, both commemorated for the day by using a special logo.  St George is the patron saint of England but the tradition of celebrating it as a feast day had waned by the 18th century. Gradually, very slowly, people are trying to counteract the indifference which has become the norm, and encourage a day of celebration.


  1. Oh Sheila I just love this post card, it looks so peaceful to me. I need that, lol! God bless.


  2. It does look peaceful, doesn't it, but who knows what upheaval is going on underneath the outward appearances? :):)

  3. This St-Georges Day flag brought back memories to me. I'm Canadian and we have a flag of our own nowadays, but when I was a little girl growing up in 1950s Quebec Canada still had the Union Jack on its flag. I remember that in order to earn a certain Brownie badge (Girl Guides) I had to learn that the Union Jack was made up of the the St-Andrew's Cross of Scotland, St-Patrick's Cross of Ireland and St-Georges Cross of England. Very nice symbolism I find.
    Evelyn in Montreal

  4. I remember the days of Brownies too, and learning the flags. My sons were cubs and had almost exactly the same things to do.

  5. I loved seeing this card. I was born and grew up in Torquay and it is still home to me, although I left when I was 17. I still have family there. And I was married in Cockington Church, right next to the manor house.

  6. In the last comment, I forgot to mention, I remember when this was a working forge with fire and an anvil inside.


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