Saturday 23 July 2011

In 1964 we spread our wings

The first card above was one bought by my father and unused. Although there is a scribbled 1964 on it, it must date from at least two or three years earlier because St Andrews church on Freeman Street had been demolished by 1962.

Here was the common ground for all of us - going to school in this town, Grimsby in Lincolnshire, during our teenage years as we were finding our feet as we strived for adulthood. Some of us had lived here from birth, others were just passing through. Now we we've scattered throughout the country.  In 1964 all these cards were sent to me by friends as we took our first steps taking summer holidays without parents.

Wendy and Rosie went to Rosslare, in Ireland.  The weather wasn't too good but they seemed to have fun recovering from hard work at school.

Jennifer and Susan went to Scotland, a "grand tour" of Largs, Arran, Inverary, Loch Lomond and Edinburgh.  The card itself has a story.  I found it as I moved a small desk that used to be my mother's.  It dropped out of a narrow slot which can't be seen unless the desk is on its side.  The card arrived for me while I was living at home and it must have fallen behind the drawer soon afterwards.  The desk has moved house at least six times and yet the card didn't fall out until last month.

Muriel and Esther went to Chichester.  Muriel has since returned to that area and teaches nearby.

My sister went on an exchange to France.  She went with strict instructions to write home frequently and, goody-two-shoes that she is, she did.  I think she bought all the cards at the beginning of the trip, probably even wrote them all at the same time, and then posted them every other day.

The card shows the cross channel ferry, the Lord Warden, the first drive-on, drive-off car ferry for British Railway's cross channel service.  She was launched in 1951.  In October 1964 she was repainted in the new colours for British rail: blue hull, red funnel.  At the end of 1979 she went to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, but just a year later was sent to Pakistan for scrapping.

And I, what was I doing?  I was staying with my grandmother in Dublin, and apparently not sending any postcards home.

You can find some other flights of fancy at Sepia Saturday.
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  1. That was a great looking group of cards Sheila and liked what you wrote too. Hope you are having a great weekend.

  2. I enjoyed seeing all those cards. I remember, at one time, I always mailed cards, religiously, when I traveled. I had pre-typed Avery labels for friends and family and my postcard list which I checked off. Somehow, when my cruises begun numberingin the 30's and my trips increased, I got tired of writing and did less and less!

  3. Great collection of cards! Your street in Grimsby looks incredibly similar to my hometown, same time period, only mine was a small town in Pennsylvania, USA.

  4. In 1964 my wife and I were living in Scunthorpe. I used to visit Grimbsy to play hockey so I recognised your first card immediately.
    I spent a week in Chichester conducting a training course in the 1990s/2000s and walked round the cathedral then.

  5. That brought back so many memories. For some reason I was always drawn to Grimsby Fish Docks - it used to be wonderful to visit there back in the 70s and 80s : it is not the same now.

  6. Ah Grimsby; the very name conjures up memories of the past! I was at teacher traning college in Lincoln in 1970 and my first teaching practice was down the coast at Scunthorpe. I’d already spread my own wings by then but something kept drawing me back to Lincolnshire over the years. A lovely selection of cards with a tale attached to them. It’s intetesting that the girls went off travelling in pairs.

  7. It's fun to read old postcards that have a personal connection. Your sister sounds very efficient.

  8. well, that Loch Lomond postcard showed up just in time to make an appearance on your blog. how timely!! very nice card.

    how odd that you collect them now, if you weren't much of a "sender"... what happened since?

  9. Wonderful post. And it fascinates me how that the street in the first image reminds me of the main street where I live today in California, except the church is Spanish architecture.

  10. What a great adventure. Very interesting that the one postcard just showed up now.

  11. My mother has recently started a project of mailing old postcards that her mother, my grandmother, had saved, back to the original senders or their descendants. A neat kind of time machine.

  12. I love the postcards in this post and the stories behind them! It reminds me of a time when summer holidays seemed to last forever (not that I was around in 1964, but I read lots of Enid Blyton!!!) I am really bad at snail mail, as you might have noticed while waiting forever for mail from me!!


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