LONDON – I wasn’t looking for a shop that sold yesteryear stuff, but I found this one quite by accident, and it had a little surprise in store for me. It’s called A. Gold and it’s close to Spitalfields market between the City and the East End.
During the week it sells ready-to-order sandwiches and coffee to the lunch crowd. But they also sell traditional products sourced from around the UK that look like something your grandmother ate during the war.
I slowly wondered to the back of the shop and took a look at all the different products neatly placed on the shelves but I soon got lost while rummaging through a large pile of vintage postcards. They were being sold for 50p each so I bought a few.
This one reminded me of the Victorians. They loved their seaside holidays. It is dated June 25th 1907. It was posted from Littlehampton at 11:15 am and reached London by 2:30pm on the same day. Here’s the reverse. It reads:
Thanks for P.C. Weather is fine but very windy.
Love from Elsie.
I love how the English always worry about the weather. I’m not to sure what P.C. is though.
And here’s what it says on the back. It’s dated 18th August 1906 and was sent from Gateshead. I can’t quite make out the destination address and I’m puzzled as to why the sender would write upside down…
Dear Miss Soulsby
I am coming tomorrow by the train you mentioned. Sorry I could not send word before but mother only came today so Lucy won’t be coming.
How interesting that a postcard was used to send word rather than a telegram. It’s all so different from our world today where we chat online and text each other instantly.
Now here’s another interesting postcard.
John Bull, the man drawn below, is a personification of Britain in general and England in particular, and his character was often used in political cartoons back in the day. This postcard was mailed to someone in Surrey on the 10th May 1906. And I’m assuming at this time that England/Britain was worried about foreign imports surpluses and trade in general. See how the crate in the front with the writing MADE IN GERMANY is so prominent as is a second crate that has MANUFACTURED IN USA written on it. Two big economic threats, still to this day. As this was before the First World War, this period would be the last time that Britain would be a superpower before it gave way to the US.
Here’s what’s written on the postcard.
I hope you will not forget the rollers (sp? not too sure of this word) as promised. I hope you are all quite well. P O’Larey.
The final postcard is bit more fun. It was send in 1905 to Miss K Gay in Norfolk.
Notice anything unusual about the message on the left?
Take a closer look.
The author wrote the message back to front. You need to read it with a mirror to make out what it says. Here is what I think it says.
Could not resist sending this card, but could not find Egypt. Do you happen to have it___way. Should like it so much. Am going home Friday, worse luck. I will write a letter next for I have such a lot of news. With love from Mary.
Hmmm…I really hoped I was going to be decoding some lost WW2 message written for the allies, but instead, it’s just a missive from Mary to K about nothing!
Did you read the poem as well? Notice anything a bit controversial? Glad that word is no longer in circulation.
I really loved browsing through these postcards. So many of the others mentioned the weather. I suppose that’s something we want when we’re on holiday, good weather. But I do love the sense of nostalgia you get from a postcard and who doesn’t love getting mail in the post. The only thing I receive in the mail are my bank statements.