Monday 27 September 2010

Morecambe Bay Cocklers

Cocklers on the tidal sands of Morecambe Bay early 20th Century

There are 120 square miles of sands in Morecambe Bay and shellfish have been collected here for centuries on the intertidal sand-flats, in the places where the cockles are not disturbed by waves or currents. I think this card captures the early morning misty light and  the flat shining sands perfectly. All the things  needed for collecting cockles are in the photo. There are both women and men, perhaps a family group, although women sometimes collected cockles to supplement a households income in these times.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Post Box #5 Guildhall, Winchester SO23 9

Luckily the British postbox is coloured red otherwise it might not be spotted from across the road., but there it is just showing between cars.  The beautiful building is The Guildhall in Winchester, built in 1871 and comes
complete with tower. If we had not been running for the bus in the 'park and ride' scheme  before our parking ticket ran out a better composed picture might have been possible. Which is to say that three hours in Winchester is not nearly enough time in this  historic city.

Gemma at Greyscale Territory is the hostess of the Weekend Mailbox, join by posting anything about mail.

Friday 24 September 2010


It had passed me by that the American painter Winslow Homer spent two years living in the fishing village of Cullercoats in Northumberland so having discovered the  information this week in celebration I'm posting a map of the county. I love a map card. It has many points of interest, Hadrian's Wall, Cheviot hills, and the beautiful coastline.  My Father must have visited the area in the 1970s because some of the cards I inherited seem to feature it a lot.  Such as
Embleton Bay and Dunstanburgh. A popular place for watersports or just laying about on the beach, weather permitting, a nice windbreak or tent like the yellow one in the middle is always an advantage. This view is looking southwards to the ruins of the castle built in 1313 by Thomas, the earl of Lancaster. It was an important defensive structure until Tudor times when it fell into disrepair.

The whole coastline is littered with castles
such as Bamburgh (at the top of the map near Holy Island).  There has been a fort here since the 5th century when it was the capital of the region's kingdom. The Norman core, besieged unsuccessfully in 1095 was added to over the years and it was the first ever castle to be defeated by artillery after a nine month siege in later years. Now you might be thinking it looks remarkably well  preserved for a building of that age, and you would be right, because the Victorian industrialist William Armstrong built additional parts and preserved others in the 19th century.  He is quite an interested character, far ahead of his time, for he advocated renewable energy and his house Cragside near Rothbury (centre of the map) was the first in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. In 1863 he said coal "was used wastefully and extravagantly" and that England would cease to produce coal within two centuries. He overestimated the time, but  nobody could imagine that a person like Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would destroy an industry in a decade.

For a 1793 view of Bamburgh here is the publisher Noel Tatt's  'Sketchcard', no other information on the back.

Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy is the hostess of Postcard Friendship Friday

Wednesday 22 September 2010


 "Scenic Oregon Coast At Sunset"
One of the places I would love to visit having gazed at its beauty in many pictures on photo blogs in the past.  My sender travelled the Oregon coast a few years ago and says that in many places the forests run right into the sea. She would like to go back sometime, you can see why, I can almost feel the sand on my feet.

As you can see the added interest of this card is that it is in the shape of Oregon.  Possibly an additional map may be required if intending to walk the Oregon Coast Trail and a tide table for timing the crossing of stretches at low tide. The length is 382 miles or 425 miles (if no ferries are used) and some creeks will have to be waded through, hight dependent on time of year.

The card came with three stamps, the clock and the wonderful Katharine Hepburn received  here and here

 The middle stamp is the 27th in the American Treasures series issued in August of this year. The title is 'Boys in a Pasture'  painted by Winslow Homer in 1874 who is also famous for his seascape pictures. He spent two years on the Northumberland coast of England which faces the North Sea and also has wide sandy beaches, bays and cliffs however its coastal path is only 64 miles long but it does have a dramatic castle.

Thank you Bonnie Jeanne for this lovely sunset.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Le Vieux Bourg

Post box at Le Vieux Bourg, near Pleurmel, northern France. In past times before the bridge this village controlled the ford across the river. Now is is just a sleepy little village.

I liked the little holes in the stonework.
 Handy for storing small objects while posting your letters?

The hostess for Weekend Mailbox is Gemma at Greyscale Territory

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Charlie Up Against It

Back on line again after a bit of a computer glitch. Its had its power jack replaced, soldered in place and now glued together so up and running again.  I don't think I have any cards showing technical breakdowns so perhaps this strap line "Charlie up against it" will do.

This is one of series of old Red Letter Postcards featuring Charlie Chaplin and is a still from The Champion, also called Champion Charlie, released in 1915 by Essanay Studios (their logo can be seen bottom right of the card).  The film starts with Charlie sharing his last sausage with his dog Spike when he sees an advert for boxing sparing partners.  Here we are well into the film, the crooked gambler, played by Leo White with a suitably large villain moustache, has tried to bribe Charlie to throw the fight.

All ends happily, Charlie wins the fight with the help of his bulldog Spike and for once even gets the girl.

Saturday 11 September 2010

La Chapelle Caro Post Box

The French Marie  (the local mayors centre of administration) are always festooned with flowers, this one in La Chapelle Caro, Brittany is quite restrained compared to some but still prettily decorated.  This one has an added benefit for the postal enthusiast for, as you can see, down on the right there is a yellow post box. I had just arrived in France for my holidays so to have a close up was a must
We were to pass this on a regular basis during the fortnight for it was on the way to our holiday cottage.

Gemma at Greyscale Territory  is the hostess of  Weekend Mailbox

Friday 10 September 2010

The Need for Speed

A 'demon of speed' riding a Terrot bike, faster even than a train, with time to wave to his friends on the bridge as he speeds off to exciting adventures.

This is a postcard of a poster from the 1920s from the manufacturer Terrot. They manufactured both bicycles and motor bikes and their posters always accentuated the freedom of two wheels, travel and tourism.  More of  Terrot's posters here

Terrot started out in Germany as a machinery manufacturer starting a branch in Djon in 1887 where in 1890 the factory added bicycles to its products. The 20th century brought their first motorbike in 1902.  At the time of this card they were producing 250cc machine with a 2 speed gearbox, powered by a British JAP engine.  The largest motorcycle manufactures in France for the most part of the 20th century, their bikes won many races and they even ventured into motorised bicycles in the 1930s, but were eventually taken over by Peugeot in 1958 and by 1961 all production had ceased.

I cannot find any information about the artist of the poster, signed Nick (the back of the card refers to him as Nyck but I think he may have used both signatures);  possibly worked for an advertising agency in Paris as there are other posters by him such as

Our hostess of Postcard Friendship Friday is Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy

Tuesday 7 September 2010


The card description says "This is one of ten commemorative stamps created to commemorate National Park Year. Mesa Verde, a World Heritage Site, is the first archaeological park in the US. Cliff Palace is the most famous cliff dwelling. Established June 29, 1906".

Mesa Verde is in Montezuma county, Colorado and has at least 4000 archaeological sites. Cliff Palace, originally the home of the Pueblo people centuries ago, has about 150 rooms and 23 kivas (rooms used for religious purposes).  Must be an amazing sight, the sepia card completes its ancient origin. 

My sender was at Mesa Verde last year and saw a framed version of the actual stamp and was tempted to buy it to send on a card to herself.  The only thing to stop her putting this plan into action was a ridiculously large price tag, and the alternative view of the idea from her significant other.

This great stamp card of course came with its own stamps
Clockwise, one of this years Animal Rescue stamps, all the animals featured had been placed with homes, such a cute cat.

The amazing Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) the 16th person to be featured in the Legends of Hollywood commemorative stamp series. She made a huge number of films over a long career. African Queen with Humphrey Bogart, who won an Oscar for his performance.  One of  her own four Oscar was for, Lion in Winter when she played Eleanor of Aquitaine, a women as long lived and feisty as Hepburn herself.  

Lastly another great stamp, the artist John Falter's gauche of  'Chautauqua 1874-1974' Tent and Buggies. This was a adult education  movement with travelling tent shows, taking entertainment, education and religion to rural America. Theodore Roosevelt called it "the most American thing in America".  To link back to the state of the postcard, one of the longest unbroken Chautauqua is based in Colorado.

Thank you Bonnie Jeanne for this fascinating card.

Sunday 5 September 2010


"Surtout ne pas abimer la coiffe!"
Mind the headdress!

The Breton national costume has many elaborate head-dresses, all differing from area to area. This card combines two things I like, the sea and bicycles.  If this is the breezy Atlantic coast she is doing well to keep on the amazing hat, there is certainly a determined look on her face.