ZSL WHIPSNADE ZOO

My son Peter and his partner, Clare, have just returned from a week at Centre Parcs but whilst away also visited Whipsnade Zoo. Knowing my love of animal postcards in general and specifically zoo related cards they came back with a batch of their postcards for me.

These seem to come in to distinct groups, firstly colour modern issues of animals in the zoo now, and secondly a series of historical zoo images and animals. With the exception of this tiger one at the top (by now some of you will have realized I like tigers, a lot) it is the old black and white images which I like the best – so I have posted them at the end (to give you something to look forward to at the end)

I do like the fact that zoo postcards have greatly improved over time and some of them now produce superb postcards, just like these here>

 

Hari, Sumatran Tiger  

  

 

 

A Brown Bear

 

 

Nepalese Rhinoceros

 

(The Indian Rhinoceros - also known as the Greater one-horned Rhinoceros and the Great Indian Rhinoceros)

 

 

Cheetah & Cub

 

 

Red Panda in the snow

(I love this image as it really catches the colours of this fantastic relative to the Giant Panda's)

 

 

Superior at ZSL Whipsnade's train station

(the only non-animal postcard - but a nice one for those railway collectors out there)

 

 

Max the Eurasian Eagle Owl

 

I once, in my official capacity, had to catch one of these that had escaped on Canvey Island. The call came in that a paperboy was being attacked by a large owl. Taking the call with a great pinch of salt me and my friend Pete arrived to see this massive Eagle Owl which then swopped down on us and actually chased the car. We ended up cornering it in a garage entrance and it screeched and waved its talons at us. Pete was terrified of it (which was strange as he was pratically a Ninja martial arts expert - great with criminals but not with birds of prey apparently!) but we managed to trap it under a sheet and I picked it up, carefully. Definately one of my stranger jobs!!  

 

 

Chimpanzee

 

 

Giraffe

(another cracking image and one I really liked)

 

 

Polar Bear and Cub London Zoo

Not sure they still have these at Whipsnade, and the title does say London Zoo but the title on the front is for Whipsnade. I dont believe either now have Polar Bears on display anymore. With the black and white postcards there are two reverse types. One type has both the LONDON ZOO and the WHIPSNADE ZOO in large letters on either side on the reverse. I will call this TYPE 1 REVERSE. The other type just has ZSL LIVING CONSERVATION top left on reverse side, I shall call this TYPE 2 REVERSE. This Polar Bear card is a TYPE 1 REVERSE

 

 

Joan and Jimmy, 1927. The keeper Ernie Bowman reared 'Jimmy' a male calf born 20 August 1926

 

TYPE 2 REVERSE 

 

 

Elephant and keper at Zoo

TYPE 1 REVERSE

I again think this might be London Zoo rather than Whipsnade but can not confirm

 

 

Frank Meakin walking cheetah 1964

 

TYPE 2 REVERSE

 

 

Children's Zoo 1964

 

TYPE 2 REVERSE

 

 

Dunstable Town Centre on the way to the Zoo 1932

 

TYPE 2 REVERSE

 

 

llama Ride London Zoo

TYPE 1 REVERSE

(Another London Zoo image I believe)

 

 

These postcards are apparently 75p each, both the colour and black and white ones but the quality here I think is worth the cost as some thought has gone into these and there is not a single 'Naff' image amongst this selection. A really nice bunch of cards.  

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LITERARY POSTCARD MENTIONS

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, as here, when larger factual books also mention or depict postcards. 

Number 4

THUNDERBIRDS – THE VAULT (50 YEARS)  

By

Marcus Hearn

Published by – Virgin Books

 

This is an excellent ‘coffee table’ sized book which my daughter bought me for Christmas last year. When I posted the Thunderbird 4 postcard below I rushed upstairs and grabbed this to have a look inside because I knew that there were postcards illustrated amongst all the toys, books, magazines and props which proliferate this excellent book. If you are a fan of the original series in any way, and especially if you are a collector of related material, I think you too will love this book.     

 

INSIDE FRONT COVER

(Front pages)

 

This was why I grabbed the book. Can you see the below posted Thunderbird 4 postcard? It is pretty much centre top. Interestingly the photograph top right of Parker and Lady Penelope breaking into a safe was released as a postcard image by the London Postcard Company.  

 

 

PAGE 54

 

Two Vita Nova Dutch issued postcards from the same series of postcard as the Thunderbird 4 posted postcard below. This is the type of information essential to a collector as I have neither of these two postcards in my collection and now know what to look out for.  

 

 

 

PAGE 58

 

Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward 1960’s postcard published by CG Williams (printed by Plastichrome). Although not stated in this book this card is from a set of 8 and is valued around £8.  

 

 

PAGE 90

 

The CG Williams Parker postcard from the set of eight

 

 

PAGE 92

 

Another Nova Vita Dutch postcard depicting Jeff Tracy. This one I do have. If you look closely you should be able to see the slight deckle edging that this card, and all the Nova Vita Thunderbirds cards have.     

 

 

PAGE 137

 

Another Nova Vita Dutch postcard depicting Thunderbird 1 and Scott Tracy. This is the first in the series and is in the same format as the posted Thunderbird 4 postcard. There are cards like this, in this format, for all five of the main Thunderbirds crafts, although the Nova Vita Thunderbird 2 card is not shown in this book. The description of this card in the book informs me that the set consisted of 14 postcards and that it was issued in 1965 (I knew the release date but not the number of cards).    

 

 

PAGE 147

 

This time we have card No 2 in the CG Williams set of eight depicting Virgil and Thunderbird 2. Again all five craft received this treatment and there is a sixth showing Lady Penelope’s pink rolls Royce. The 7th and 8th card depict Lady Penelope and Parker (see above).     

 

 

PAGE 159

 

This time we have card No 4 in the CG Williams set of eight depicting Gordon and Thunderbird 4.

 

 

END PAPER - LEFT SIDE

 

Underneath the 'EPIC' magazine is a postcard depicting Parker and Lady Penelope and the pink Rolls Royce. This is a Vita Nova postacrd as is the image of Brains with a magnifying glas bottom right.

 

 

END PAPER - RIGHT SIDE

 

Here you have the John Tracy and Thunderbird 5 Vita Nova Dutch postcard displayed towards the top end on the left.

 

 

I know I have said this before but this really is an interesting book because it does concentrate on all the collectible items that have been produced and shows the props and how they made them, often with a scene photograph showing the prop in place. For fans and collectors this is a must (and in the magazine SFX this got top marks in their review)  

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THUNDERBIRD 4

Published by

VITA NOVA

Printed in Holland

Thunderbird 4 met Gordon Tracy als bestuurder”

 

There is a set of these Dutch issued postcards which depict all of the craft and their pilots and other characters from the TV series. These are very collectible as they were issued at the time the series was first being shown back in the mid-1960’s. These are quite often priced around £8 each but they are worth it and I know that I do not have a complete set. There is one issue with collecting these and that is the fact that the cards individual number appears in the stamp box which means if the card is postal used the stamp covers this so you do not know which one it is (this is not an unusual situation with Dutch publishers as I have a Flintstones series which has its numbers in the same place). If you see any of these card’s then pick them up as they rarely appear on eBay or on dealers stalls.

The card has a slight deckle edge which does not show up on this scan.   

 

 

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MUSIC TO WATCH GIRLS BY VOLUME 3

Advert Postcard Issued by ‘FREE CARDS’

 

This music CD was the third in a series and contained a selection of easy listening classics. The image shown here is the cover of the CD and it has nice paintings of Michael Caine and Cary Grant (the third actor is annoying me as I can-not think who it is but also sort of recognize him and for some reason am thinking ‘French’). I love the work on this cover and it would make a nice addition to any Film themed collection but could of course also fit into a music collection as the names listed across the cross are those who have appearances on the CD, Dean Martin, Tom Jones, Tony Bennet, Andy Williams, Henry Mancini and Burt Bacharach (who had a cracking set at Glastonbury last year)

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CENTENAIRE DE LA TOUR EIFFEL

No 1

1989 Centenary Postcard Published by EDITIONS NUGERON

‘FIGARO EXPOSITION’

Poster showing the base of the Eiffel Tower on the occasion of the 1889 Universal Exposition. There were a number of postcards to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower and this was the first in a series published by this French company.   

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LITERARY POSTCARD MENTIONS

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, as here, when larger factual books also mention or depict postcards.  

Number 3

BLETCHLEY PARK – THE SECRET ARCHIVES

By

Sinclair McKay

Aurum Press

 

This is a large book and one of those that has pockets of facsimile documents inside the book (this type of thing became popular about five years ago and books are still being issued with these – I have a couple of ones on the RMS Titanic with detachable documents etc).

I have always been interested in the Bletchley Park wartime decoding story and have actually visited the park. As a result, I was always going to be interested in this large book. I also liked the bonus of the large postcard depicted on page 20 which is titled ‘The Lake, Bletchley Park’ which fills out half a page. This large postcard image almost made this book worth buying on its own but it is £30 - unless you have a branch of the book shop 'The Works' in your area as there it is just £10 at the moment (there are copies in both the Southend and Basildon branches near me).

Although this is a large book with many interesting pictures within the author has written two other books which are really worth reading and which are based on the decoders –

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF BLETCHLEY PARK (The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women who worked there) – Published by Aurum Press – ISBN 978-1-84513-633-8

 

THE SECRET LISTENERS (The Men and Women posted across the World to Intercept the German Codes for Bletchley Park) – Published by Aurum Press – ISBN 9781781310793

 

Both of these I have read and can fully recommend.          

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

Various ASDA stores  (Shoebury and Basildon)

 

HARDY’S WINE

‘POSTCARDS’

 

Those who know me will be amused by these photographs which I have taken at two Asda stores because they will know that I don’t actually drink. But I could not resist photographing such amusingly named bottles of wine.  

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SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

“WALT DISNEY”

 

Disney’s very first full length animated film which appeared in 1937 (the premiere was on 21st December 1937 but its basic release was from 4th February 1938). This 83 - minute movie was based on the Brothers Grimm story and it was also the first ever full length cell animated feature film. One interesting fact is that this was at its time the highest grossing sound film (it earned $8 million – it was also apparently a favourite of Adolf Hitler). At the 11th Academy Awards (The Oscars) Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar for this film (I seem to remember there was one large one with seven smaller ones – in honour of the title – I think Shirley Temple presented it)

 

 

 

REVERSE SIDE OF ABOVE POSTCARD

UNKNOWN PUBLISHER – PRINTER

Posted from Poland

(it is difficult to make out the year but I think it is cancelled 1991)

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MARGARET THATCHER

 

CARTOON MUSEUM

Daily Express, 21 January 1983

Charles Griffin

 

Despite her unpopularity in the political world (which always seems strange to me as she was a third term Prime Minister – so must have had some popularity – as this made her the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th Century) there is little doubt that Postcard wise Thatcher is the most popular political figure. It can safely be said that there are more Thatcher related postcards than any other politician (with the possible exception of Winston Churchill – but it would still be a close run thing). There are Pro-Thatcher designs but I suspect there are more Anti – Thatcher designs.

Depicted here are two postcards from the CARTOON MUSEUM (www.cartoonmuseum.org) both of which depict Thatcher. This one here is a very well-drawn cartoon that I think has captured her likeness very well.

I should perhaps point out that I was never pro-Thatcher in a political sense but I have collected postcards of her since the start of the Thatcher postcard output and it is one theme that I have built up quite a large collection of.    

 

 

 

MARGARET THATCHER

 

CARTOON MUSEUM

Daily Mirror, 14 November 1990

Copyright Charles Griffin

 

‘Love, Geoffrey’ appears on the cricket ball and there is no doubt this refers to Geoffrey Howe whose resignation in 1990 is widely considered to have been the start of the issues which lead to Thatcher’s own resignation three weeks later.

(an unusual card for a cricket themed collector)

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BREAK THE SILENCE

“free TIBET”

 

Another campaign postcard, this time aimed at the government and their position of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The text on the reverse side makes mention of the calls for freedom during the Arab Spring (uprising) and states that although this was backed by the government, and this was commendable, this stance is in stark contrast to the silence on Tibet.

The real bonus for this postcard is the line-up of world politicians and leaders across the bottom. What other card gives you so many people at the same time? And it’s a free postcard as well, although it was designed to be sent to the Prime Minister David Cameron. If I am correct the people are:-

President Barack Obama (USA)

President Francois Hollande (France)

Prime Minister David Cameron (UK)

?

Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany)

President Vladimir Putin (Russia)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Australia)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (Japan)

?

?

Does anyone know the three I am missing?

Have I got all the others right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVERSE SIDE OF ABOVE POSTCARD

 

Addressed to Prime Minister David Cameron  

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THE WOMBLES

“Orinoco”

Published by

‘JUDGES OF HASTINGS’

Ref C19797

 

Signed by

ELISABETH BERESFORD

(signed on the reverse side)

 

The Wombles were originally characters in a series of children’s books published by Puffin Books between 968 and 1976 (originally). They were created by the writer Elisabeth Beresford who wrote about the Wombles who lived on Wimbledon Common (London) and who collected rubbish and recycled it.  

The story goes that Beresford took her children to Wimbledon Common in 1968 and her daughter, Kate, pronounced it as “Wombledon Common” and thus the idea of the Wombles name came into being.  I also like the fact that she developed the characters on family members and named each one after a location that was connected to the particular family member chosen.

The television series based on the stories started in 1973 and originally ran until 1975 with many repeat showings. As a child watching the series I remember the narration which was done by Bernard Cribbins. A newer series was produced between 1998 and 1999 and the postcard depicted here is from this period.

 

 

 

“Best wishes, Elisabeth Beresford & The Wombles”

Signature and message – reverse side of above postcard

 

ELIZABETH BERESFORD MBE

6TH August 1926 – 24th December 2010

 

Beresford was born in Paris and died on her then home, the island of Alderney in the Channel Islands (where her family moved to in the mid-1970’s). There was in fact a womble called Alderney in the original books but the character did not appear on TV until series three which was the series produced between 1998-1999.

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BAMFORTH

“BANFORTH & CO., LTD. Holmfirth, Yorkshire.

“Comic Series”

No. 2285

 

“Don’t come down this gents Fred, they’ve filled it!”

 

I bought this Bamforth Comic postcard because firstly it is quite funny but mainly because on the seafront in my home town, down by the start of the Thorpe Bay end, there is a toilet block which is exactly like this one and you can walk down steps to the beach immediately beside the toilet building. So technically you could make this mistake if you were seriously, and I mean seriously, drunk. If the tide is very, very high then the waves could possibly lap up to the bottom of the steps.  

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RICK GEARY

NATIONAL POSTCARD WEEK 1993

“MORGAN WILLIAMS”

 

Rick Geary has been producing private commission postcard designs for many, many years now. I have been a big fan for quite a number of these and I have quite a large collection of his work, several hundred different postcards. His artwork is very distinctive and although most of the modern more recent issues have been in full colour I prefer, and specialize, in the earlier single colour prints like this design here. In fact this is a near perfect example of what a good Geary postcard is and the reasons are as follows:-

 

The card is printed in one colour

 

It is a private commission (Geary does issue his own postcards as well)

 

It is a Limited Edition of quite a low number – in this case 500 copies (lower print runs are known and these can even be as low as 150 for the earlier and mid period cards)

 

The cards are all individually hand numbered – this one here is number 247 of 500

 

The artist has actually signed the front of the card – top right corner (although Geary does sign postcards they are not as common, signed, as one might expect)

 

The design is a classic Geary drawing

 

As a fan this is the type of card I can-not resist and I was happy to add this to my collection but beware if you suddenly decide that you want to collect his earlier material as it is not cheap. This card here, without the signature could cost you £5. Some cards can be over £10.   

 

 

 

REVERSE SIDE OF ABOVE POSTCARD

 

This is an advert for a postcard book titled “LARGER THAN LIFE” which details the American trend for exaggerated postcards – the type where a cowboy is shown riding a giant rabbit or hare, etc (an American tradition which is almost unique to the US). That is why the front of the postcard depicts a man (Morgan Williams himself) riding a giant cockerel (in the style of the cards in the book release – which Morgan co-authored)

If you are interested in this book copies are available on the ‘Amazon’ webpage

 

These are the stamps used on the envelope that my Rick Geary postcard was posted out in. As a TV collector I was pleased to see two of the 'Peanuts' USA Christmas 2015 stamps used. When I was in Florida in October 2015 I managed to buy a mint set of these stamps in a stamp booklet so having some properly used copies was a bonus

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HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN’S

40TH ANNIVERSARY

 

‘THE ROYAL FAMILY’

Photograph by kind permission of the Royal Anniversary Trust

Includes an Illuminated initial from an Alphabet evolved from the magnificent manuscripts of the past

© 1991 CELEBRATION 1992 LTD

© Alpha Classic LONDON

 

An interesting card with the Queen’s immediate family individually presented around her main central photograph. There are postcards for just about every royal anniversary but those for the 40th anniversary in 1992 were quite attractive as there was some competition between designs.  

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CENTENARY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF CHEMISTRY

Set of four Royal Mail PHQ stamp cards issued for this stamp set issued on 2nd March 1977. The four cards were issued as PHQ 21 – cards ‘A’ to ‘D’ with each image designed by Jerzy Karo FSIA.

According to my ‘BRITISH STAMP MARKET VALUES 2006’ (I really must get a more up to date copy of this excellent little book) a mint set of these postcards was then valued at £4. The set, although a little strange, has always been one that I rather liked. I have a set with the stamps applied cancelled first day of issue but the set depicted here is a mint set.

What makes this set more interesting is that each of the four cards is signed on the front in the bottom left corner by the artist/designer Jerzy Karo. I have found that Karo, who was Polish, was at the Leicester College of Art where he was head of department.

I wonder how much a full signed set of these cards is actually worth? I bought this set at the recent Stampex show where it cost me just £5, which I believed was an exceptionally good price. As a collector of PHQ cards I am always on the lookout for the more unusual items and signed cards are a good find.

 

PHQ 21 (a)

STEROIDS. CONFORMATIONAL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

 

PHQ 21 (b)

VITAMIN C. SYNTHESIS

 

 

PHQ 21 (c)

STARCH. CHROMATOGRAPHY  

 

 

PHQ 21 (d)

SALT. CRYSTALLOGRAPHY

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DAREDEVIL

19.03.2003

 

Was it really 13 years ago? I remember this film with a bit more fondness than many who considered it to be a poorer version of a super-hero film. I actually quite liked this one but then I am a huge Super-hero film fan anyway so was perhaps slightly biased.

The titular character was of course played by Ben Affleck, who of course is appearing as Batman later this year in a new film release. Daredevil is a blind character who has a type of sonar which allows him to see without sight. He is a human character so has flaws and despite the reviews of Affleck’s portrayal I believed he was quite on mark (and no-one else on film, I know there is a TV series, has tried since). And for a budget of $78 million, takings of $179.2 million was not too shabby.     

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BULGARIA

1886 – 5 Stot Green (stamp) on yellow-ish (card) – Type 1 (third line of text from top is 48 ½ mm long [Type 2 would have been 51 ½ mm] – Type A (with a thin curved point on the right shoulder of the sleeve about 2 to 2 ½ mm from chin) – with Rose coloured picture.

“Details from ‘The World Stationery Catalogue - Second Edition 1977 – BADEN to BUSHIRE Section 2 – Bulgaria page 1”

 

Issued for Crown Prince Boris depicting a heading and coloured bust of the Prince as a child. I first saw this on a specific dealer’s stall priced at £7. I liked it but £7 was a bit much for my particular collection as I do not specialize in these cards and tend to only pay £1 or £2 for stationery cards. I kept seeing this card year after year as I went through the dealer’s stock each time. This was for about five years and each time I would look at it and think it’s a nice card but not for £7.

This year I was visiting the same dealer and he handed me a box which had everything for £1. Going through this box I came across this card again. I was happy to pay £1 and here it now sits in my collection. The price is interesting as the catalogue from which I obtained the details listed above prices a mint copy at £1 anyway (although that was 29 years ago!).   

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BRITISH CENTRAL AFRICA PROTECTORATE

‘INTERNAL’

1/2D

1898

 

1898 Issue 1/2d coat of arms green on cream board, two Africans, no boarder, figures are in parentheses.

(Details from ‘The World Postal Stationery Catalogue – Second Edition 1977’ – Baden to Bushire Section 2 – BRITISH CENTRAL AFRICA page 1. In this catalogue a mint example is valued at £5)

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VIRGIN HOLIDAYS

Postcard Series 2016

 

The March edition of PPM (Picture Postcard Monthly) is out and in my article inside I give mention to a series of postcards I found in my local ‘Virgin Holidays’ area inside the local Debenhams store (located in the ‘Royals Shopping Centre’)

Jo and I were in here in January (on News Years Day as it happens) and were not looking for a new holiday but I was after a brochure for Florida to access prices for a possible 2017 holiday. Clearly we holiday far too much as the saleswoman recognized me and called me by my name and asked me if I was looking at Florida again (a sure sign that we go here far too often…). Clearly as I was not looking for a holiday that was exactly what we ended up booking – a two week Florida break in November this year (I still think next year is also just as likely…but will wait until May to see about booking that).

Anyway, having priced up the little break I found myself looking at a wide rack of cards on their wall. I had seen them before when passing but without stepping into their area it is difficult to ask what they were. I was now in the perfect position to enquire. I was told that they were free postcards which were there for people to take with the idea being that customers send them back telling the staff how their holiday was going. I was then told to help myself if interested as apparently few people take any… I do not need to be told twice and thus obtained a complete collection. I pictured four of these in my article in PPM but promised readers that I would show all of the cards here on my webpage. So here they are as promised:-

 

AUSTRALASIA – Sydney Opera House at Night.

 

 

 

 

FAR EAST - Mount Fuji

a beautiful view of this iconic Japanese Mountain

 

 

AFRICA - Leopard Cub

This is one of my favourite from this series, which is no surprise as I started out collecting animal postcards when young, but then it is a fantastic image 

 

 

MIDDLE EAST - spice market or colour powder sales?

Look at the lovely colours of these, pink, blue and yellow and I think there is a green one right in the bottom left corner. Are these spices? Or are these some sort of paint powder used in a festival? If anyone knows I would love to have the correct answer (I know that in India there is the Holi Festival known as the Festival of colours where people throw around coloured powder - could these bowls contain this coloured powder for this festival?)    

 

 

CANADA - Bear

This could be either a Brown bear or a Grizzly. It is hard to say which without a bit more information. It is the second and last of the animal cards in this series.

 

 

ORLANDO – Universal Islands of Adventure

It is possible that Universal Studios is now higher on peoples ‘must do’ list in Florida than Disney World, although Disney World is still the main draw for this area in Florida. It was the addition of the ‘Harry Potter’ areas which have pushed Universal to the top. For me it’s a bit 50-50, If the Harry Potter areas were removed from Universal then Disney would win out easy, but I love Harry Potter and the two separate areas, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, are perhaps my favourite single locations.

Depicted here is the area of the Superheroes with the Hulk ride on the left (0 – 50mph in a few seconds!!, I know, I have experienced its sudden launch)

 

 

INDIAN OCEAN - isolated beach scene

 

 

 

CRUISE

 

 

FLORIDA - colourful beach lifeguard hut

A nice reminder that here is more to Florida than just the Disney and Universal Theme parks

 

 

 

USA

Is this the Rockies?

 

 

MULTI-CENTRE

My least favourite of the series but still relevent in context with this series' idea of promoting the various holiday options offered by Virgin Holidays 

 

 

FLY DRIVE

I always have a car when I visit Florida as it allows you to travel out and visit other places away from the likes of Orlando and its Theme Parks. This card might not be one of the most attractive in this series but the holiday type depicted is.

 

 

CARIBBEAN - now this looks like a beautiful place to relax and unwind (not that I am very good at relaxing - I would probably be snorkeling and looking at the fish and also bird watching 

 

 

SOUTH AMERICA

The ancient ruined city of Machu Picchu

(definitely on my ‘To Do’ list)

 

 

MEXICO

 

I have not been to Mexico but I believe that this is an ancient pyramid styled temple at Teotihuacan (Place of the Gods). Can anyone confirm this for me?

 

 

Well there you have it, the complete set as found in the Southend branch. One interesting point, which I mention in my article in PPM is that there is a printed line of text along the bottom on the reverse side which reads:-

 

“Visit us in Debenhams, Southend or call 0844 557 4924”

 

I would like to know if there are any of these designs in other Virgin sales areas and whether these have different locations printed on the reverse side. Any information would be much appreciated.  

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ERIC MELROSE BROWN ….. RIP

Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown

21st January 1919 – 21st February 2016

It is sad thing but we all at some point or other lose our heroes. Yesterday I lost one of mine, the pilot Eric Winkle Brown. Some many years back I bought a collection of FAGA postcards which had been signed by various people including military names. One of these cards was signed by Brown – the one depicted here. When I obtained these cards I spent some time looking into the stories behind the signatures and without a doubt Brown’s was one of the most truly amazing stories. Last year, at long last, I got around to reading his biography which was a fantastic book written without any bravado or self-promotion, if anything he almost plays down his amazing achievements (see below image).

Brown attended the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin with his father, spoke German (later) and met with German pilots and flew with them at an early age. In September 1939, still in Germany, Brown was arrested by the SS at the start of WWII. Brown was taken to the Swiss boarder and released.

Brown joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve as a Fleet arm pilot. Brown was posted to the escort carrier HMS Audacity from which, flying Grumman Martlet’s he shot down two Focke-Wulf Fw 200’s Condors. On 21st December 1941 the Audacity was torpedoed and sunk. Brown was only one of two survivors of the squadron after this sinking. Brown received the Distinguished Service Cross but with such a high loss of life his squadron was disbanded.

Brown went on to become a pilot at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough where his experience with deck landings was sought. Testing different aircraft for deck landings by 1943 he had performed 1,500 deck landings on 22 carriers. Brown also trained pilots and flew stints with fighter command.

In 1944 a V1 Doodlebug bomb destroyed his house injuring severely his cleaner and concussing his wife.

In 1943 Brown was in Italy flying Italian aircraft and evacuating captured aircraft, mostly with no tuition on these. Brown became Farnborough’s chief test pilot and it was here that he flew a whole range of different aircraft. Brown also tested dive speeds on American fighters like the Lightning, Thunderbolt and the Mustang.

At the end of the war Brown went back to Germany and interviewed a number of high ranking Germans including Goering, Wily Messerschmitt and the famous female pilot Hannah Reitsch (who he had met pre-war). Brown also flew the German jet aircraft including the extremely dangerous ‘Komet’ (Me 163B) which was an unofficial flight by him as the rocket plane was considered dangerous and practically suicidal to fly, but Brown flew it anyway and was the only allied pilot to do so. In all he flew 53 German planes during the post war period. Brown also visited the Bergan Belsen concentration camp and this did affect him and his interaction, although always professional, with those German's he later interviewed.  

Post war Brown was involved in supersonic test projects and flew even more aircraft. His skills in deck landings were again put to use and he was first pilot to land a jet plane on a carrier deck, and then take off again. Brown also did more test flying in American planes.

As a result of flying all these planes Brown is in the Guinness book of records as holding the record for flying the greatest number of different aircraft. That record is for 487 aircraft (which includes helicopters). But even more amazing is that this just includes basic plane types only, so only lists one Spitfire, but Brown flew 14 different versions of the spitfire. He also holds the record for most carrier landings – 2,407.

An amazing, story, an amazing man and a fantastic signature on a fully relevant Spitfire postcard. But I was a little saddened by how little news coverage his death received today so I bring amends to that by telling you here some of his life story - please do read his book as it was an amazing life.       

          

 

 

BOOK

(My copy of this book)

 

"WINGS ON MY SLEEVE"

By

Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown

 

ISBN 978-1-4072-4451-8 

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A CENTURY OF BRITISH POSTCARDS

1870 – 1970

“OFFICIAL CENTENARY POSTCARD”

Published by the

POSTCARD ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITAIN’

 

The century of the British postcard was celebrated in 1970, the 100th anniversary of the release of Britain’s first postal stationary card which was released on 1st October 1870. This rather nice Royalty based design was to indicate the rule of all those kings and queens who had reigned since the postcard first came out. The catalogue price for a mint copy of this postcard is £5 but copies can be found sometimes much cheaper when the value is not known by the seller (this copy here was bought for just 20p but this was an exception).   

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