I thought it was high time I kicked off another 'Postcard Stories' post, as I've been scouting flea markets, antiques shops and car boot sales in my quest to find some good stories and I think I've got some goodun's to show you.
After a fantastic recommendation from Amanda (a fellow deltiologist) about the best places to source vintage postcards, I took myself along to Portobello Road early one Saturday morning and flicked through boxes and boxes of cards, rucksack tucked between my feet for fear I'd turn around quickly and smash an array of rare crockery. It was antiques day, after all. I didn't find as many as I hoped, but I did find three old printing stamps, a beautiful leather satchel and a good cup of coffee.
I was searching, searching, searching, but for what I wasn't sure. A beautiful photograph? Elegant calligraphy? The oldest post date? I came to the conclusion that it wasn't any of these things, not by themselves at least. It was the stories. That's why I spend so long pouring over dusty boxes, reading every message - who knows what you might find?
1. The Victorians loved a postcard about illnesses and ailments. I cannot tell you how many times I read 'I believe I've caught a slight cold', or 'my cold is not much alleviated.' What whiners!
2. The angle of stamps means something. Like a secret code. More on that in another post...
First things first, let's have an update on George and Louie. I couldn't believe how many people were caught up in their story - no sooner had I read the debacle of 'the missing stockings' I knew I had to find out more. I spent a morning searching records online and found one tiny, smidgen of a record that might mean something. George was registered on the 1910 census for Brighton & Hove, but... not the 1914 one. I don't know if this means he signed up when war was announced and didn't make it back. I don't want to think that, but it's a possibility. I don't have much experience of digging through records, but I was hooked as soon as I started. I haven't finished my search, so George - you haven't heard the last of me!
Charley & Edie
This time we're hearing from Charley of Essex who is writing to my favourite Grandma name ever, 'Edie'. The picture isn't a looker, to be fair, but it was his intriguing message that got me.
My Dear Edie,
I arrived home
safe but a little sleepy
on my way home.
We had a good time Sunday
and think we enjoyed
ourselves very much.
Dear, I hope you feel alright
and I am sorry I made you
feel like you are, I think I
know what it is, but never
mind dear I will come and
see you Tuesday night and tell
you better news, with love Charley
Edie, you poor old girl. I can see what Charley's doing here. First off, he's all about the guilt trip, telling you he arrived home safe but poor him, he's a 'little sleepy'. The little lamb! He's probably sleepy because of that fabulous night he had on Sunday and is likely feeling tender travelling back home. Then, he just dropped in casually afterwards that he's sending an apology your way! Edie, I hope he did bring you good news on Tuesday night because I don't think he sounds sorry enough! Is this the 1906 version of 'I know you're mad at me but I'm not sure why so I'll say sorry anyway'?
I wonder what Charley did? What news could make it all better two days later? I reckon Edie must have read this postcard with the same angst-ridden speculation we read texts with nowadays - unpicking each word and phrase and analysing how many, if any, kisses were written at the bottom. Did Charley pick this postcard as a nod to special places of courtship, enjoyed during happier days?
Perhaps my reclaiming Charley's postcard from the corner of a flea market is a sign that Edie tossed it away - for what reason we can only speculate...
What's the story behind Charley and Edie's fateful weekend? Feel free to wonder aloud in the comments!
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- What next?