GHOST, c. 1935
NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM
Photographer unknown – Gelatin silver print
The National Media Museum is a fantastic place to visit if you have any interest in Film, Radio, Photography and Television (which is where my interest lays). I visited here when it was called the ‘National Museum of Photography, Film and Television’ and really enjoyed it. The museum is located in Bradford (West Yorkshire) and it has seven floors of galleries with permanent exhibitions with the television one being, in my opinion, really good. The museum (under both names) has issued a number of postcards and these have changed over time with some of the earlier ones now being quite collectible. This one though is a more recent issue. It depicts a photograph taken somewhere around 1935. I know someone who actually collects ‘Ghost’ related postcards and I suspect this one would appeal to him. Collecting Ghost themed postcards can be quite a task as the subject is not that common.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
“In the happiest land of them all, Fantasyland, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs take time off from work in their diamond mine to meet new friends”
DISNEYLAND, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA
This probably has a reference number but I suspect it is under the stamp on the reverse side (quite often these are placed in or underneath the stamp box). This particular copy here was posted in 1977 but has a rather unusual usage. The card was actually posted from New Zealand to England. The message written on the reverse side explains that the card was written on the plane travelling to New Zealand. It would seem they were at Honolulu waiting for further passengers to board, so it was nice that they took this time to write this postcard. The card was obviously posted sometime after their arrival in New Zealand (I also liked the stamp that has been used – it is actually a 1970 stamp – SG927 – an 18c value depicting a Maori Club)
Ref – R 46
(Printed on Recycled Paper)
Not my local beach, despite their pier and deck chairs being similar to Southend’s (although, not to boast, but our Pier is longer). This has to be your typical British seafront scene and is as classic as you can get. Brighton is of course a famous south coast location which even has Royal connections. I have had the pleasure of visiting here several times over the years and it is a location that someone like me, who resides in a seafront town, can really enjoy.
BOULEVARDE SOUTHCHURCH – SOUTHEND-ON-SEA
MANNING’S PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES
Posted 10th June 1920
One of the joys of collecting postcards of your local area is finding unusual ones which you really had no idea existed. This one here is a multi-view card showing the tramway lines in the four main images and the seawall on the centre photograph. Interestingly the spelling shown here of BOULEVARDE, with the ‘E’ on the end is different to how the road is spelt now which is as BOULEVARD, Southchurch Boulevard (I know this area well as I used to deliver milk in the roads in and around the Southchurch area). The tramway here was opened on 19th July 1901, after work had commenced back in February 1900.
Unfortunately, despite early success, the trams fell out of favour during the 1920’s (not long after this very postcard was posted). This was because the trams did not keep up with the local buses for comfort and quality. The trams just were not kept up to standard. The first double decker tram did not enter service until 1921 and open toppers were still being run until 1939 (driver’s windscreens were not fitted until 1928). It was not until 1929 that the first tram had all its seats upholstered.
The section of the route in Southchurch Road east of Southchurch Avenue was closed on 7th January 1942. The entire route was closed on the 8th April 1942 after dropping usage due to the ongoing war at that time.
REMEMBER – POPPY APPEAL
THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
REMEMBRANCE PAINTING BY MAUREEN LIPMAN IN AID OF THE POPPY APPEAL
This is the official postcard that was once sent out in recognition of the amount raised by the receiver towards the annual Poppy Appeal campaign. The front artwork was painted by the television actress Maureen Lipman in 1991 (this therefore makes this a very unusual TV related postcard for my collection). The annual poppy campaign is extremely well known in the UK and raises lots of money for what is an extremely good cause (one which I always contribute to because my youngest son was in the army and came very close to needing this charity himself, but that is another story for another time).
I believe this particular design was used for a number of years. This one here was sent out to a Lloyds TSB section.
I have mentioned the ‘Paperchase’ shops before, and these are spread out all over the place and they specialize in stationary items. They issue exclusive postcards and sell these alongside other publisher postcards. At the weekend, when I was in London, I visited the branch located in The Strand’ and was pleased to find some new designs which I had not seen before. Included was what appears to be a set of four designs which show either a montage of a major city’s landmarks or a single photograph of one. These have then been covered with coloured blocks in an artistic style. The four locations are:
LONDON – BIG BEN
PARIS – THE EIFFEL TOWER
NEW YORK – CITY SKYLINE and THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
RIO DE JANEIRO – CHRIST THE REDEEMER
Paperchase postcards are 70p each but they do issue some very interesting art designs and their exclusive issues can be very interesting.
The four designs here have no title or description and no reference numbers (which makes them hard to record). On the reverse side the format is vertical in format and along the bottom there is a small photograph of the relevant landmark, so on the London card it is the Big Ben tower, Paris the Eiffel Tower, New York the Statue of Liberty and lastly the Christ the Redeemer statue on the Rio card.
I picture all four of the postcard designs here
“THE MUST SEE EXHIBITION”
VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM
20TH October 2012 – 27th January 2013
This was an exhibition of costumes from films going back all through the ages. It was a cracking exhibition and I paid two visits to it (the first was on my own but it was so good I later took Jo back for a visit). The exhibition had quite a lot of costumes from well-known films including an original Charlie Chaplin ‘Tramp’ one and the Dorothy dress from The Wizard of Oz, thus this postcard. If ever there was a competition for the best free postcard of 2012 I would have put this one up as a contender. And this is another case of me finding the postcard and then as result of this reading about the exhibition and attending it. So this postcard achieved what it was intended to do. But you’ve got to admit it is a fantastic image.
There was a boxed set of exclusive exhibition postcards sold in the museum’s shop which I also bought. I will dig these out and post these as well in the future.
POLDARK MINING LTD
POLDARK is of course back with a vengeance as a new version has recently been produced and has been a huge success. But it was of course the original television series which first caught the public’s imagination. It ran between 1975 and 1977 and became a favourite and became a classic. The series was based in Cornwall in the late 18th century. There was a story line around the main character’s attempts to make a tin mine a success.
The popularity resulted in the opening of a tourist attraction called ‘Poldark’s Mine’ which gave the story behind the tin mining and which was an actual old mine which you could travel down into. You could also post items of mail in a postbox located underground. All the mail thus posted received a cachet:
‘POLDARK MINING LTD – POSTED UNDERGROUND’
These days these cachets are very collectible and are not that common despite, I expect, many items having been posted from here. Depicted here is a postcard and an envelope which have received this cachet (and as previously mentioned I am very interested in cachets and marks applied to postcards). This cachet can be found in black (as on the postcard here) and in blue (as on the envelope). It can also be found in red but I do not think this one is quite as common (I have a copy somewhere on a postcard but will need to hunt that one down so that I can show you it). All of the copies I have so far seen appear to be dated around the mid to late 1980’s but I have been told it continued into the 1990’s.
“AN EVENING WITH GERALD DURRELL”
In aid of Moreton Church Restoration Fund
7.30pm – Saturday 5th December 1918
£4 admission ticket (postcard sized card)
We all have our hero’s, they may not have been perfect, but for some reason they have an effect on us which actually changes our look on the world. Gerald Durrell is one of my personal hero’s. As a school child I read my way through all of his books. I was already interested in wildlife (at this point I was only collecting wildlife postcards) but his books took this to another level. The stories of his animal collecting trips around the world fascinated me. I also read with relish the stories around the creation of Jersey Zoo (now called the Durrell Wildlife Park). As a result of this in 1984 I visited Jersey and went to the zoo (still called Jersey Zoo on my visit). It was fantastic to actually see some of the unusual creatures I had read about in the books.
One of my collecting interests is signed postcards (I also have a collection of signed photographs related to film and television as well) and I always seek out any unusual signatures. Therefore, I was delighted to be sent this Gerald Durrell signed card in a charity bundle I had paid for. The simple addition of his autograph makes this, for me, a very, very special item. The autograph of one of my hero’s.
(I was reminded of this card because I have been watching the drama series 'The Durrell's' on Sunday nights - I enjoyed reading 'My Family and Other Animals' which this series is partly based on - it is also taken from his sisters book of their early life on the Greek Island of Corfu)
Nigel Allison Photography
Card Ref: HB22L
Aidensfield is the fictional home of all the characters from the television series ‘Heartbeat’. The real village of ‘Goathland’ doubles as Aidensfield and I have had the pleasure of visiting here several times now and as result I have several hundred postcards from this area. Any fan can pick up quite a number from the various shops, some of which have exclusive issues.
Nigel Allison has been producing postcards of images of the area and the stars of the series for a long time, from its start with Nick Berry right through to its last episode with all the important characters in-between depicted.
Collecting these cards though can be difficult and taxing. Many collectors use a personal checklist and this is a good idea, although possibly not with these cards here. A quick look might not reveal that they are actually different. But a better look shows that on one card the garage doors in the top centre image are closed (top postcard) whilst on the other these doors are open (bottom postcard). There are also different images in the top right hand corner. On the top card the Aidensfield Arms pub is depicted (actually the ‘Goathland Hotel’) whilst on the lower postcard another building is depicted (I’m not sure what one this is – I used to vaguely watch the series whilst Jo was watching it as she was/is a fan). So, there are two differences here between these two cards, but here is the complication, they both have the same reference number – HB22L (and have the same reverse layout). So on a checklist if you had written down this number and came across it again you would assume you already had the card. But as you can see this is not always the case. But that is the fun of being a serious collector.
As a side story on my very first visit to Goathland I did buy lots of Nigel Allison postcards. I then drove into Whitby (which is nearby and is where some of the Heartbeat stories were also filmed) where I found a few more. I then had lunch in a café in Whitby and whilst I was there a man came in and started to place stacks of sealed bundles of postcards on the table. Ever curious I approached him and enquired about the cards, which were those that I had been buying. Sometimes you just can-not believe your own luck as the man was Nigel Allison himself. He was having lunch before going out to sell the cards to the local shops. We ended up having a very interesting chat and he showed me two brand new designs (new back then obviously – which was around 10+ years ago). These were still wrapped and he had only received them that morning. He opened these and I was the very first person to buy copies. I also got Nigel to sign a couple of these postcards for me and these are very special cards in my collection. I could not believe my luck that day (I shall dig these out and post them at some point – I have often wondered if Nigel has ever signed any other cards).
“Surrounded by exploding volcanos and rivers of molten lava, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex engage in mortal combat…a terrifying finish to the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad trip into Primeval World”
(Text from reverse side of postcard)
Card Ref: DT-35920-C
Based I believe on the dinosaur segment in the Fantasia animated feature film this is a short attraction on the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland (which is where this photograph was taken – there is a similar named segment on the Western River Railroad at Tokyo Disneyland). The attraction was originally part of the Ford Magic Skyway attraction at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. In Disneyland this appears between the Main Street station and Tomorrowland station (immediately after the Grand Cannon).
A Stegosaurus also appears in the ‘Ellen’s Energy Adventure’ (Universe of Energy) at Epcot in Disney World in Florida (and this one I have actually seen).
ROWNTREE’S POSTCARD SERIES
Posted on December 1903
Although damaged around the centre on the right side I still liked this design because I love the Whitby area. I have been here four times now and consider a visit to the Abbey to be an essential part of my holiday’s here.
The sender posted this card from Sheffield to an address in Sheffield and the stamp has been cancelled with a Sheffield S.D.O cancellation.
(This is the second Whitby Abbey postcard I have posted – take a look back over previous postings to find the other one)
“NEW FOR 2013”
Published by ‘Boomerang’
(a free rack postcard)
NEW UP CLOSE IMMERSIVE EXHIBIT OPENS MARCH 22ND
“New for 2013 Tiger Territory brings you right into the heart of the Tiger’s domain. Separated by a single pane of glass you will watch…and be watched”
(Text from reverse side of postcard)
I have previously mentioned my Tiger postcard collecting so when I saw this postcard in my local Odeon cinema Boomerang postcard rack (in 2013, obviously) I was delighted. Not only did I think this was a cracking free postcard it also did as it was intended to do and caught my interest as well. As a result, I rounded up the grandchildren and me and Jo paid a visit to London Zoo with them to see this very exhibit. I don’t mind admitting that it was rather impressive (it was actually my last visit to London Zoo as I have not been back since).
SOUTHEND ON SEA
Charles Stenner Cards
Postcards related to your home town are always of interest even if they are simple ones like this. I actually found this one on sale on the seafront in a little shop which also sells ice cream, seaside rock, buckets and spades and all the essentials of a day out by the seafront. You can still buy this one today if you should ever visit here.
Italian issued postcard
Possibly Published by a company called ‘Cecard’ or similar
Posted from Rome in 1972
This is a novelty postcard where the front is a sheet of moulded plastic which means that the roses, vase and leafs are all raised upwards out of the design (this can be seen in the scan). In what would otherwise be a fairly mundane image this embossed effect makes the card a little more special. Not an expensive card, but an attractive card.
ROYAL NAVY POSTCARD
Edith F. DRIVER, 43, Bramford Lane, Ipswich
This particular postcard is untitled and no location is given on either the front or the back. Often this can make identification almost impossible unless you know something which helps identify it. Now, in 1988 I started my work training staying at a training centre which was in a previous life a royal navy training ship (all Royal Navy centres were given ship like names beginning with HMS). The training centre I stayed at was in Shotley Gate, Ipswich. This was previously known as HMS Ganges and on the parade ground there was still the ships mast which stood high and proud. As this postcard was published by an Ipswich based company, and knowing that Shotley Gate is just ten miles down the road from the centre of Ipswich Town, and knowing that the mast was used for displays just like the one depicted here and having seen the mast located in the old HMS Ganges I feel confident in saying that this display here took place at HMS Ganges.
The postcard therefore brings back some memories of my 14 weeks spent here although there was a very specific instruction that anyone caught climbing the mast would immediately be thrown of the course……so sadly, I never got to climb this like these men did.
BUGS BUNNY FUN POST CARDS
“What’s up Doc?”
I have always collected ‘Looney Tunes’ postcards, especially any featuring Bugs Bunny. Over the years I have picked quite a few but there are always new ones which I come across which are from America. About three years ago I came across a Bugs Bunny one on eBay which I had never seen before. I obtained it and then looked out for more. Then I hunted down the story behind there issue.
As you will see from this posting I have managed to get quite a few but from these images you will also notice they are all rather rough edged and seem to be hand cut to different sizes. This is because these were cut out from their original source which I have good reason to believe was breakfast cereal boxes (or something very similar). The quality of the card used is cheap and rough, as can be seen from the reverse side which is untreated grey card. The front is matt printed and of a dull finish and the card is the right thickness for a cereal box cartoon.
In America there has been a tradition of printing postcards onto the reverse side of cereal boxes (also masks – I have seen and have a Batman mask one in my collection somewhere) and depending on the subject matter these can be very collectible. These ones depicted here do appear occasionally on eBay but cost anywhere between £5 and £8 each depending on condition. And the condition is often very mixed! I would seem that many a child has been allowed to use their scissors to cut out the postcard. This results in some very unusual cut edges, as you can see here.
I have never found one of these postcards actually posted so I do not know when these were issued, and to be fair I do not know for certain what the true source is so any information would be appreciated. I am sure an American viewer will know something about these
MOUNT MANSFIELD, STOWE, VERMONT
“This is Vermont’s highest mountain and it provides some of the most legendary ski terrain in New England. Dazzling red maple trees in the foreground beautifully contrast the season’s first snow on the mountain”
A fairly basic postcard image with a mountain and very nice red leafed Maple trees. At first there would seem little to really make this stand out but then I turned it over. I could see that some sort of sheeted sticky plastic had been applied to the postcard as the edges of it can be seen along the top and bottom. This has been used to stick real maple leafs to the back of the cars. Now, I don’t think that this card was sold like this (although it’s not impossible). My personal thoughts are that this has been constructed by someone as a personal souvenir and they have stuck leafs from their visit to this area. When I came across it in a dealer’s box it looked so strange I had to have it, and it was in the cheap box.
BROOKE BOND T.V. Chimps
Owned & trained by the Zoo park, Twycross, Leicestershire.
Postcard printed by
E.T.W. Dennis & Sons, Ltd
(This copy here was posted from Leicester on 15th August 1966)
I missed a death last week, I was informed but it has taken a few days to find an appropriate postcard in my collection. Last week ‘Choppers’, one of the last surviving chimp stars of the famous PG TIPS adverts died at the age of 48. Choppers was a female chimp who played the character Ada in the iconic TV commercials. Choppers lived at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire and the postcard depicted here shows the earlier chimps from this very zoo. Choppers unfortunately is not included in this image as the card was posted two years before she would have been born but it shows an earlier group of chimps who starred in the TV commercials.
Choppers ….. RIP
THE GIANT PANDA, LONDON ZOO
“Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret watching the Giant Panda chase a big Alsatian Dog at the London Zoo”
I have always liked this postcard and for several reasons. Firstly, is the fact that this is an early photograph of the future Queen and her sister and as such this makes it a nice royalty postcard with an unusual subject matter. Secondly, there is the inclusion of the panda so this would fit nicely into my animal collection which was where I started out in postcard collecting. Lastly, one of my collecting themes is London Zoo related postcards. I have visited the zoo many times (I even did a course here for a day on a school visit, in their training centre). All in all a design hard to resist.
Meissner & Buch, London, & Printed at their Works in Leipzig, Germany
Posted from ‘Elland’ on 24th December 1909
(Elland is a town in Calderdale, West Yorkshire)
Zeppelins were the craze of this time in Germany, and here in England. This was all of course much before the first world war when these became the menace in the sky above London and the South East. This card here has a nice Zeppelin outline which is actually embossed on the card, as are the outlines of the clouds. In the centre of the white zeppelin is a nice farmer scene which seems typically English but which I suppose could also be German. In just a little over five years from when this card was posted here in the UK zeppelins were flying overhead and dropping bombs.
CARTE DE VISITE
I mentioned these briefly when I depicted a postcard of one which featured Florence Nightingale on it (the postcard was published by the National Portrait Gallery). They are not postcards but in some cases pre-date the invention of the postcard and as such they have an interesting story and one or two copies can make a nice sideline.
The idea was patented in Paris by photographer Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi in 1854 (although first used by another person called Louis Dodero. The item itself is a thin photograph print (called an albumen print) which is mounted on a thicker card. They were not initially popular prior to 1859 but then the Emperor Napoleon III appeared on one which was put on general sale by Disderi. Practically overnight they raised in popularity and spread their way across Europe and almost as quickly to America and the rest of the world. They became so popular that this gained a name and was known as ‘cardomania’. Initially the Carte de Visite were small cards about the size of a calling card. But by the 1870’s they lost their popularity and were superseded by the much larger ‘Cabinet Cards’ and this example here is one of these later larger designs. As you can see this is a photograph of four girls in a nice studio setting and was produced by Arthur Weston – 84 Newgate St, London E.C.
These larger Cabinet Cards would often have a printed reverse side giving an advert for the studio or photographer (often one and the same). The printed text here states that Mr Weston personally photographs each sitter. Many of course also have an attractive pattern or logo here as well. This is not a great example but it is indicative of the type.
SHIPPING ALASKA HALIBUT – ONE OF THE LARGEST!
American issued postcard in the tradition of the giant oversize animal picture. I have mentioned before this unusual theme which is an American specialty, although some can also be found from other countries, but it is North America where these were most prominent. Here you have a giant halibut which might be a drawn one but which has been cut out and placed onto this photograph of shipping. There are dedicated collectors of these in the U.S. but they are little collected here in the UK but I have a couple which I have picked up over the years
LITERARY POSTCARD MENTIONS
And POSTCARD BOOKS
I love it when postcards get mentioned in books that I am reading even if it is just on the one page or used as a small, or large, important device within the story. I shall list here the ones I come across. This will include when factual books also mention or depict postcards
OLD LONDON POSTCARD ALBUM
Published by Skilton & Shaw Publishers
I was in London on Saturday, as previously posted, walking along the South Bank. One of my favourite spots along here is an open air book market under one of the bridges. There are tables and tables of books and prints with some older issues and lots of modern stuff as well. As I approached the tables this book here was in fact the very first book I saw. It is a not a book I had seen before and £5 for a hardback seemed reasonable to me. Thus it now sits in my postcard book collection.
SOUTH BANK, LONDON
When I was in London yesterday walking along the South Bank I came across a little publicity stand which was giving out leaflets and this rather attractive free advert postcard. The art design incorporates a number of well-known London landmarks which are spread out alongside this side of the Thames. The London Eye is quite prominent but I like the OXO Tower top left. Free cards are always nice so if your down this way then look out for this one.
Here you have two very unusual black and white pieces of art by Dan Hillier. I have previously mentioned how the Australian Avantcard company allow artists to submit material of publishing as a free rack card. Boomerang do a similar thing and a number of pieces of nice artwork can be found issued under this system. These two appealed to me as they have a very Victorian Monster look to them.
This top one is tiled ‘MOTHER’
KYNOCHS HOTEL, CANVEY ISLAND
J. Woods, Post Office, Canvey Island
This copy is postmarked ‘SOUTH BENFLEET’ 15th August 1915
The hotel was apparently built in 1900, it had a large sign on one side (the other side than depicted here) which read ‘HOTEL KYNOCH 1900’. It was built by the Kynoch Dynamite Company and the hotel was used by company dignitaries and had a bit of a wild reputation. Interestingly the story goes that the clocks, on the top tower, never had any arms fitted despite there being a mechanism for it to work. The building was later sold to the Gas Company who used it as offices until it was demolished to make way for the gas site that still sits on the site today. An interesting old card depicting a long gone building, and if true, one with an interesting past.
“I THOUGHT THEY SAID YOU WAS DEAD!”
SOUTHEND ON SEA
H. B., LTD
Ref No 6003
This is a comic card which is clearly post World War II as it depicts a man looking like Hitler and the text makes mention of his death. The card is of a basic design which has an area where a location could be added. In this case my home town of Southend on Sea has been added in black print. Although I like the postcard anyway the fact that it has my home town added made it that little bit special.
ROYAL MAIL PHQ/STAMP CARDS
(See posting below)
I have collected PHQ stamp Cards almost since they started and am always looking out for little changes and related things. With this last set of ten cards I noticed that when I stacked them back up (after scanning for the post) three of the cards stood a little taller than the others. They are all the same width but although seven are 105mm Tall there were three odd cards which were 107mm. As far as I am aware I have never known this discrepancy to occur before. The three very slightly taller cards were:-
PHQ 413 (4) 4.16 - AS YOU LIKE IT
PHQ 413 (6) 4.16 – SONNET 30
PHQ 413 (10) 4.16 – RICHARD II
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has found similar size variations, however small the difference may be, and also if anyone has the same situation with their Shakespeare set. Although this may seem trivial there is a lot of interest in Royal Mail products and any little errors like this can be worth noting.
Royal Mail Stamp Issue
Released 5th April 2016
Royal Mail PHQ/Stamp Card
SHAKESPEARE 400 CELEBRATIONS
Today I have been in London on the South Bank enjoying the celebrations for the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare. There were 37 screens set up in stages along the side of the Thames each showing a specially recorded segment from a specific play. It took us around three hours to make our way along watching a number of these (although there were problems and a number of the screens were not working today – thankfully this did not cause us too much of an issue as we watched many that we were interested in, especially for me the one starring Peter Capaldi)
Having enjoyed today I have returned home and clearly can think of no better thing to post than the Royal Mail’s PHQ/Stamp Cards for the recent SHAKESPEARE set.
Now, to be honest I was not too impressed with the stamps themselves when I first saw them. I understood the concept behind them but thought the designs were lost on the small stamps themselves. But when I received the actual Stamp Cards I was surprised to find that on the larger postcard size the images come a bit more to life, especially more so with the actual stamp applied and cancelled with a nice related first day of issue hand stamp (as with my set here)
PHQ 413 (1) 4.16
SHAKESPEARE – HAMLET
Nice red cancellation
PHQ 413 (2) 4.16
SHAKESPEARE – JULIUS CAESAR
(I did this one at school)
PHOTOGRAPH’S Taken 23/04/2016
Far image – Peter Capaldi in a segment from Titus Andronicus
(Sadly there was no stamp with a phrase or line from this play – which looks to be quite a violent and gruesome one – I shall look out for this one)
Near image – Screen outside the National Theatre which was showing scenes from ‘LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST’