I made some additions to the Archives Page this week.
I've added the transcript of the 1947 Diary (January) to my Yorkshire Family page. As I explained in a previous blogpost this was a diary kept by my mum (Doreen Buckle) in the early months of 1947 - Austerity Britain- when she was nineteen years old;
I've put a link to the blogpost about James William Murray (1845 - 1918) on the East End Family page;
I've added Queen Victoria's Funeral Memento to the Births, Marriages and Deaths page.
I Think I Prefer the Tinned Variety
I've published a new post on the Blog that goes with the book of the same title.
"Came off watch at 04.00.
Although I should have now got used to it, the tropical night still fascinates me.
The queer throbbing of the insects, the flashes of static disturbances in the sky, the queer glowing of the glow-worms (said to be calling its mate by means of light) all combine to make one realise how different it all is from the European night."
That's what my dad, Norman Buckle, wrote in his diary on January 10th 1944. By then he'd been in Africa for nearly ten weeks stationed at H.M.S. Spurwing, a Royal Navy airbase at Hastings, near Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Read more at I Think I Prefer the Tinned Variety Blog.
Are you a Deltiologist?
Did you know that the study and collection of postcards is known as deltiology?
I certainly never thought when I was given Miss Smith's postcard collection that I had become a deltiologist.
I've read several book on the subject of deltiology in recent months and found Illuminating your Family History with Picture Postcards by Philip J Chapman to be a useful reference.
The first postcards didn't actually have a picture on the front at all. They were just a piece of plain card with an imprinted stamp: message on one side and address and stamp on the other. The early postcards were intended for business use and had to be permitted by the government of the respective countries where they were allowed: Austria was first in 1869 followed by Britain in 1870 and U.S.A. in 1873.
In Britain the card was buff coloured and the imprinted stamp was violet. It measured 122mm by 88mm. The card was sold inclusive of postage costs and those in the stationery business were very annoyed as they could only sell paper, envelope and stamp separately which of course was more expensive. This, said the stationers, gave an unfair advantage to the Post Office.
The first "picture" postcard was sent in 1872 in Nuremberg in Prussia (Germany) and the first in Britain was posted in 1894.
At first the images were for advertising purposes but over the next thirty years the postcard images encapsulated virtually every form of human activity. Remember there was no radio, hardly any telephones, no television.
By the start of the twentieth century the postcard was a major form of communication.
In its hey-day everyone sent postcards and people couldn't get enough of them. Every corner shop sold them and the demand for variety and novelty was enormous. Post Office statistics say it all: in1895, three hundred and twelve MILLION postcards were sent in Britain; by 1905 this had increased to 734 million annually; by 1914 a staggering 926 million postcards were sent in just one year. However the traffic started to diminish during the First World War and by the early Twenties the "Golden Age" of postcards was over.
The earliest postcard in Miss Smith's collection is the one with celebrity actress Gertie Millar on the front sent on 17th July 1905.
This postcard was postmarked Douglas Isle of Man 8 August 1905 and sent to Edith by her sister Annie.
Hope you are all in the best of health and just about ready for going to see the wedding. Miss L will soon be Mrs. Has the other big wedding come off. There will not be many to see that one. Miss N and M + G have gone to Dublin. We are just going on Douglas Head for the morning. Lovely weather at present. Best Love A.
At the time Annie was an assistant school teacher; you can read more about her on the Schooldays page of my archives.
Douglas Head on the Isle of Man was popular with Victorian and Edwardian tourists notably the Grand Union Camera Obscura. Other attractions for holiday-makers at that time were Castle Mona, a magnificent seaside mansion built in 1804, the horsedrawn trams on the seafront, The Gaiety Theatre designed by Frank Matcham in 1900, the Jubilee clock of 1887 and the Loch promenade and the Sunken Gardens.
Holidays at Douglas, Isle of Man were popular with the Smith family as these postcards sent to Miss Edith Smith show.
From her sister, Beattie
Postmarked Douglas Isle of Man 19 September 1906
Arrived at 1/2 past five. Had a lovely passage as calm as the canal. Was not sick but it got very tiring. Beattie
From her sister, Elsie
Postmarked Douglas Isle of Man 14 August 1908
How are you getting on. It seems ages since we came. We were up on Douglas Head on Wednesday with Lily Firth. She is here for this season. It is crowded with people. Best Love. Yours Elsie
From her sister, Beattie
Postmarked Douglas Isle of Man 26th June 1912
Having splendid weather here just now. We are having a gay time of it too. Best Love B.E.S.
From her mother, Eliza Anne
Postmarked Douglas I.O.M 4 July 1914
Dear E + A
Hope you have got over the storm I am glad you are alright as it has been dreadful in places. We didn't have it bad here at all. Had a lot of rain overnight but not during the day. We may come home on Monday but don't know yet. Love to all E.A.S.
You can see more of Miss Smith's Postcards in The Archives.
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK