Saturday 31 July 2010

Post Box #3 Central Promenade (LA4 13)

Royal Mail boxes get painted every three years. You'd think that they might have special self adhesive stickers but no, just a scrap of paper and some sticky tape.  Some boxes get painted more often if they are in exposed places like this one on the sea front in Morecambe on the north west coast of England.  This, and its companions were a shiny red.
Gleaming in the sunshine, and this one nicely place by a pub, I wonder if the painter called in.

How could he resist, because the sign says "All the best beers served with the best music by the friendliest of staff".  Now are you wondering whether it was still wet when I took this picture.  Of course before posting my cards it was irresistible to test it with my finger, no, I am pleased to report on this warm day it had completely dried.

The postcards I was posting were going home.  They were part of  Post Muse's Orphan Postcard Project.  You adopt a card of a place that is relevant to you, she sends the cards, you write on them, and send them back.  For the full explanation see her blog here.  I live by the side of Morecambe Bay and posted one on the side I live (north) but I thought it would be nice to get a local county postmark on the other two, the post box by the pub was a must as one of the cards was drawings of local pubs, in fact, a postal pub crawl.

Gemma at Greyscale Territory is the hostess of Weekend Mailbox, post anything related to mail.

Friday 30 July 2010


On the 31st July 1902 the funicular system of  The Great Orme Railway carried its first passengers up this limestone headland.  As their website says it has "been delighting visitors" ever since.  Its founder believed in the health products of fresh air so the carriages are open to the elements. These are the original wooden carriages, of which there are four in total, all named after local saints.  The views from the top of the Great Orme are over to the north Wales mountains of Snowdonia  and also out over the Irish Sea. The history, how the funicular works and video all can be viewed on The Great Orme Tramway site here
The card is one of the Bamforth of Holmfirth, Yorkshire ,Color Gloss' series printed in Holland, probably in the 1970s.
Here is a card showing views of Llandudno with the tram trundling up Old Road.  Llandudno sits between two headlands, Great and Little Orme. The seaside resort was at its peak in the Victorian and Edwardian eras when the Happy Valley park (top right) was created in the hollow of  Great Orme. If you do not fancy walking to the top, or taking the funicular then the cable car to the top can be caught here, or perhaps take tea in the tea pavilion instead.  The cable car was installed in 1969 so I can definitely state that it was there when this

card was produced due to Bamforth's numbering system. Unlike Dennis who still produce comic postcards, Bamforth and their "All British Production", as it says under the stamp mark,  is no more. The number 78 in the top left indicates that it was produced in 1977/78.  Their system for indicated where the card was is on the bottom, L for the place, in this instance Llandudno and the 08 was the geographical location, the last two numbers the unique one for the photograph.

I'm playing with Google maps so here is Llandudno and the Great Orme.

View Larger Map

Visit Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy who is our hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday.

Monday 26 July 2010


Card received from Germany, not a country associated with dolphins, but I'll go with the sentiment of being a dolphin's friend. From the Omega Dolphin Therapy website it says it is a facility in Turkey helping children with mental and physical problems by being in contract with dolphins.

The card came with the pretty German flower stamp and one of the Undo Lindenberg stamps issued on
the 1st July this year.  This is his design and celebrates his song, 'Special Train to Pankow', sung to the tune of Chattanooga Choo Choo. 
Lindenberg is a German rock musician who in the time of a divided Germany wanted to play in the DDR. (Pankow was a district of eastern Berlin , home to the communist elite).  He got his wish in 1983 and sang in the  Palace of the Republic in East Berlin but was told not to sing Special Train to Pankow, which satirised the East German leader Erich Honecker, (words here) of course he ignored that instruction.  His permit to tour was withdrawn.  Twenty years later there was an anniversary celebration of this event and a real train decorated by Lindenberg set off across Berlin with 13 carriages (for the 13 years since reunification). 
He continues his political activity into the present day and founded Rock Against Right Wing Violence in 2000.

A nice clear postmark of Halle on the stamp which is where my sender lives.  But here for a clearer view is the stamp without a postmark.
Halle, my sender tells me, is "a 1200 year old town in East Germany and the birth place of the world known composer G F Handel".

The card travelled 660 miles (1,062km) and took 5 days. Thank you Hans-werner. 


Saturday 24 July 2010

Ulverston Post Office

The main post office on County Square. This card is probably from the late 1970s.  Ulverston is a small market town with narrow streets.  This one would be considered quite wide in comparison and leads out onto the main road.  The square has recently had a 'make over' but would still be recognisable from this photo.  The postal vans are kept round the back.
From an older time, possibly the 1920s, when it looks as though there was just one long street.  I think the post office was possibly built in 1875.  The inside has been modernised but is still quite a spacial place.

Weekend Mailbox is hosted by Gemma at Greyscale Territory. Join us by posting anything to do with mail.

Friday 23 July 2010

Window Shopping

A pleasant afternoon can be spent window shopping.  I wonder what has caught these two's eyes in this grocers shop.  Whatever it is its mesmerising.

Postcard of a photograph taken in 1927 in St Leonard's Gate, Lancaster. Next door is the Tramway Hotel.  Trams ran in Lancaster from 1905 until 1930, when buses took over.  The hotel retained its name. To modern eyes both premises look a little grimy, maybe it is the black and white photo or modern sensibilities.
Our hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday meme is Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Tallin, Estonia

The Kadriorg Palace

Built by Tsar Peter I in 1718 for his wife Catherine (Kadriorg means Catherine's Valley).  This wonderful baroque confection was designed by the Italian architect Michetti and is said to have been inspired by Italian villas.  My sender tells me that "after Peter's death in 1725 the place fell to bad times (even if the palace of the tsar stood there, the locals were afraid to visit).  But a century later the Russian royals started to use the palace during the summers and the situation changed"

The Palace sits in 247 acres of gardens and woodlands and now houses the Art Museum of Estonia's collection of foreign paintings from Russia and Western Europe. I could find no list of what they have there, in fact the museum site is well out of date, but I did find at the In Your Pocket guide that there are two exhibitions on at the moment, Baltic Biedermeier (works by early 19th century Baltic Germans) and one of the German Impressionists.  The handy comment posted on the site said, don't go on a Monday, because all the museums in Tallin are closed.  (Having had that 'closed Monday' experience recently in the UK when visiting the Tate in Liverpool, or to be accurate, not visiting The Tate, that is useful advice).  The palace is 2km east of the centre of Tallin on both a bus and tram route.  I would love to visit the Estonia and there is a handy little map on the back of the postcard of the states surrounding the Baltic Sea, I could plot my journey.

The card came with a wonderful selection of stamps:
The first, from left to right,  is a Liverleaf (Hepatica nobilis) issued in May 2006. Estonia issues a special flower stamp every year.
Next, the issue of January 1995 celebrating the Matsalu Wetland Reserve on the west coast of Estonia, an area of floodplains, meadows, reed-beds, woods and 56 islands. It is one of the most important wetlands in Europe and migratory birds use it as a stopping off point, 2 million waterfowl pass over ever spring.  A birdwatchers paradise with 282 bird species.  This particular stamp shows Greylag geese (Anser anser).  I love to watch the V shape of geese flying over our estuary, calling to each other.
Lastly the Church of St John the Baptist, Kanepi, issued in October 2007. The church was established in 1675 and the present building was built from 1804-08 and holds 1,000 people. The stamp designer was Riho Luuse.

This card travelled for 5days and 1,113 miles (1,792km).
Thank you Jalutaja.


Monday 19 July 2010

St Augustine, Florida

How nice to receive a card with blue skies when we are having torrential rain.  My sender tells me St Augustine is the oldest city in the USA and it is 98° degrees outside.  We are nearly 30 degrees lower than that in the UK at the moment.

The back of the postcard says "The Castillo de San Marco fortress dates from 1672 and has been occupied by Spanish, British and United States Military".  That is quite an understatement.  The fort was begun by the Spanish to protect the city  following the attack by the English pirate Robert Searl.  It is made of coquina, Spanish for 'little shells', a material similar to limestone.  The British were fighting the Spanish for control of the Americas but unsuccessfully attacked the city and  this fort a couple of times, eventually occupied it from 1763-84 when they translated and renamed the fort St Marks.  After Florida became a US territory it was renamed Fort Marion after a military hero of the Revolutionary Wars.  Then Florida proclaimed its independence in the civil war changing hands to the confederacy, then taken back by the union, all this without a shot being fired.  It reverted to its original name in the 1942.   For its long and eventful history Wikipedia has a rattling good tale here.  

Despite the attacks the fort was never conquered in war and it looks as though it remains quite intact.  It is now a National Monument, there are occasional military re-enactments here and looking at their calendar it seems most weekends a costumed demonstration of antique firearms.

The card travelled for 8 days and 4,113 miles (6,619Km) over the North Atlantic. Thank you Jim.  

Saturday 17 July 2010


My entry for the weekend mailbox meme is the post office in the hamlet of Ulpha, lying in the Duddon Valley, a quiet corner of the southern Lake District. The building is tucked away on the corner of a narrow road, and it appears on this postcard bottom left. Combining  postal activity with a village shop selling newspapers, groceries, ice cream and of course, postcards.  You can even buy a fishing permit here.   It is probably not obvious in this small picture but the postbox is located in the end wall of the building.  Despite having walked in this area for years I have never taken a picture of it. Next time I call in for an ice cream I will have remember my camera.

William Wordsworth wrote 'Sonnets on the Duddon' and mentions the church (top right) as "the kirk of Ulpha to the pilgrim's eye is welcome as a star".  A pretty and sturdy church, there is no record of when it was built although it is recorded as standing there in the 56 year reign of King Henry III in the 13th Century.

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference SD195954

Visit Gemma of Greyscale Territory our hostess of her Weekend Mailbox, join in with anything connected with mail or post.

Friday 16 July 2010

Morecambe Rail Poster

I do like old railway posters on postcards.  This is of one designed by Claude Buckle in the 1950s.  It says the "sunny Lancashire coast" and it certainly is today.

The scene is of this seaside towns front with the Super Swimming Station (left), Winter Gardens (right) and Central Pier in the background.  I like the muted colours, the detail of people walking round the gardens and  the little sailing ships although the hills are a bit of artistic licence as they are in reality further round the bay, but that is one of the joys of painting, you can alter a view to create a harmonious scene.  

The Super Swimming Station, its actual name, was built to rival Blackpool down the coast. Built in 1936 on the site of a former ship breaking business that was an attraction in its own right, people payed to board doomed ocean liners and old warships. The open air pool size was 396 ft x 110 ft and it could accommodate 1,200 bathers and 3,000 spectators. The inter war years were a boom time for lidos and many were built but few survive and this is one that did not. It had a problem with a leak in the sea wall that was never satisfactorily fixed and seawater came into the pool at high tide and water from the pool escaped at low tide. It was finally demolished in the 1970s.

The Winter Gardens was a 2000 seat theatre but  is now in the hands of a charitable trust who are raising money to refurbish it, but at the present time is only open for things like ghost hunts, supposedly a very haunted venue.  Being opened in 1897 it  has had over a hundred years to build up a collection of spooky spirits.

Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy is our hostess for Postal Friendship Friday.

Monday 12 July 2010

St Petersburg

View at the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island

This is one of a set of extra large cards of St Petersburg I'd forgotten I had.  Difficult to choose which one to post in this city of spectacular buildings but I rather like the curved horizon on this. A city in its own world.

Vasilyevsky Island is at the north west corner of the central city and the spit is at the easternmost point, where the Neva divides.  Peter the Great when building his capital intended to place the centre of government here and construct canals reminiscent of Amsterdam but things did not go to plan and the centre was built elsewhere.

The large building with the columns was the old stock exchange and since the 1940s has been the Central Naval Museum

Saturday 10 July 2010

Post Box #2 Crossbank (CA17 157)

A grey overcast day but the postbox stands out by the drystone wall and surrounded by white umbelliferae. This box stands at the end of a narrow country lane, there are scatterings of houses nearby but its closest neighbour is the The Fat Lamb pub. A great place to post your postcards, not only to have a drink at the pub but the postcards will make a nice metallic clunk as they fall to the bottom.

Crossbank is a hamlet in the Howgill Fells an area in northern England  in-between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.  GR NY739023

Gemma at Greyscale Territory's Weekend Mailbox.  Go visit or join in by posting anything to do the mail.

Monday 5 July 2010

The town of Schagen in the province of North Holland. Working in a clockwise direction the first picture is of people in costumes of 1900.  The old town of Schagen is famous for its West Frisian Market which takes place every Thursday from June  to September. There is a parade of carriages, landaus, street organ and fire engine pulled by Frisian horses and the people dress in peasant costumes.  Each Thursday has a different theme, such as children, animals, crafts etc

The great church in the market of Schagen is the neo-Gothic Reformed Church which replaced one destroyed by fire in 1895.

The two medieval towers on the moat are all that is left of the castle in the centre of Schagen which was originally built round about the early 15th century. The crumbling ruin was demolished in 1820 but the two towers were used as a prison and also jailer's residence until the end of WWI. A hotel was built on the castle site in a semi-medieval style in 2001.

Lastly the town has a "wide variety of pubs and terrace cafes" and this is one of them.  Time to have a rest, notice the bronze of sheep, these are still traded at the Thursday market. 

The card came with the 2009 stamp for postage to Europe. How nice to jump on a bike and ride from
country to country.

You would have to start off from Holland with its nice flat roads to build up to the fitness required to cross the alpine passes.

Or alternatively take the inter-city train that runs from Schagen to Amsterdam and beyond. Whichever choice taken, this stamps seems to invite you to travel the world. but at the moment I'm only doing this via postcards.

The card came from Wim whose home town this is and he tells me it is pretty all the year through.

The card travelled 343 miles (522k) and took 7 days. 
Thank you Wim

Saturday 3 July 2010

La Post Van

French postal van outside the Bar l'Arnica in the village of Tinteniac, the Isle et Vilaine area of Brittany. The village is close to the pretty Ille et Rance Canal.  Postie was in a hurry delivering to the bar, perhaps because it was a Saturday and more importantly for a Frenchman, midday. Somewhere 'dejeuner' was waiting.

Join Gemma at Greyscale Territory for the Weekend Mailbox meme. Post a photo or anything that relates to mailboxes or mail.

Friday 2 July 2010

Cunard Liners

Cunard have operated passenger ships on the the north Atlantic for over a century and here is one of them.  The RMS Andania arriving in Quebec as the sun sets, or rises.  I like to think it is rising, the slight yellow tinge in the sky, and it is always lovely to arrive in port early in the morning to a still city. The artist is Odin Rosenvinge, a painter of many Cunard ships and posters.   

Andania was a passenger ship launched in 1921 by Hawthorn Leslie, her maiden voyage in June 1922 was to Montreal then she was transferred to the Hamburg to New York route from 1924 to 1926 returning to Liverpool in 1927 to ply the Atlantic to Montreal route. This was the same route as her predecessor of the same name who sailed Liverpool via Southampton to Quebec and Montreal.  Both these ships had the same fate, both torpedoed by German Submarines. One in the first world war and one in the second.

In 1939 the RMS Andania was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser, HMS Andania. She was hit by 1 of 2 torpedoes 230 miles NW of the Faroe Islands, the ship sank slowly so all the crew (347) were saved, taken off by the Icelandic trawler Skallagimur.

The German submarine U-A has spotted them earlier in the day but in heavy rain and bad weather had lost them because of her zigzagging patrol course. Three torpedoes were fired, missed and not noticed until the U-A caught up again and fired two torpedoes, in response HMS Andania opened fire but could not locate the attacker in the dark.
The reverse of the card is the stamp of the Cunard Line Agency run by James Robinson in Barrow in Furness.
The same town that built the Cunard Liner Scythia.  Here is a card by the postcard company Sankey who by coincidence also resided in the same street at the Cunard Line Agency.  The Scythia was launched at the Vickers Shipyard March 23rd 1920. The tug will be escorting her to the docks for outfitting and completion.  She has not yet got her funnel or upper decking.

Following heavy losses of ships in the first world war Cunard began an ambitious building programme and this was the first of these, a luxury liner journeying from Liverpool to New York and Boston.  She was requisitioned at the end of 1939 to the end of the war when she took many of the American and Canadian troops back home, some with war brides.  But the Scythia also took many refugees from Europe and people emigrating to Canada.  Here is one family's story of the ship docking at the famous Pier 21 Halifax.

In 1950 she became a passenger ship again but this came to an end in 1958 when delivered to the ship-breakers in Scotland.

Our hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday is Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy