Sunday 31 March 2024

Happy Easter


2014: Easter Surprise

 Time for an Easter egg hunt and our 'bunny' has a variety to choose from

2016: 150th Anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth

but Benjamin Bunny prefers the lure of vegetables in Mr Gregor's garden and amusing himself by trying on the scarecrow's tam o' shanter hat.

1990: Winter Birds (Design - Wendy Bramall)

The wren will be glad the winter is behind us and is depicted here with rose hips by the Chapel of St Apolline (patron saint of dentists). Appropriately for this Easter season there is a very faded 14th century painting of the last supper inside

Sunday Stamps theme is Chocolate, flowers, eggs and churches - See It On A Postcard

Thursday 28 March 2024

Hold on to Your Hats

 See It On A Postcard's Thursday Postcard Hunt is in search of hats..

"When the Heart is young"

A breezy day on the beach and one person is making sure that her hat will not blow off.  She should have used hat pins. I have one of my grandmother's long hat pins and it looks as though it could also double as a lethal weapon.   The postcard was sent from the seaside resort of Blackpool in August 1909 from Amy to her friend Miss A Bodkin and tells her that they were enjoying themselves immensely as is this happy crowd.

"He doesn't see me yet"

I was sent a set of these cards published by Atkinson Bros in Toronto featuring a lot of hats and poses mainly worn by this young women playing peek-a-boo.

PHQ 2011: Centenary of the First UK Aerial Post "Gustav Hamel receives first mailbag"

Of course I have to feature a postman's hat and there would be postcards in his bag for this test flight from Hendon Airfield to Windsor carried commemorative cards and envelopes.

Sunday 24 March 2024

Uniforms and Horses


1997: All the Queen's Horses (Design - Jean Luc Benard)

I thought I would combine horses and uniforms this week. Apart from the Queen's horses this issue also celebrated the British Horse Society whose patron was the Queen, famous for her love of horses  (and dogs). We even have the names for these horses 20) - a carriage horse (and uniformed attendant) was a Windsor Grey called St Patrick, 26) a horse of the Lifeguard regiment, Thompson 43) Blues and Royal's drum horse Janus, and lastly 63) the Duke of Edinburgh's horse Janus

1974: Definitives - Royal Militia Uniforms

A little less grand but with a long history are the Guernsey Militia who were unpaid volunteers loyal to the British Crown who defended the islands from foreign invaders. Here, from the 19th Century, are two Royal Guernsey Artillery Field Battery men an officer (50p) and a Driver (20p)

Entering at a gallop a Cavalry Trooper of the Light Dragoons

Sunday Stamps theme this week is - Uniforms - See It On A Postcard

Thursday 21 March 2024

In Sunshine and in Rain

 See It On A Postcard's Thursday Postcard Hunt  this week is - Formal or Fancy Dress

Wimbledon 1967 by Tony Ray-Jones

Here is a card that never fails to amuse me.  Tony Ray-Jones (1944-1972) had the idea to survey the English at leisure for a book that was eventually published posthumously after his untimely death.  This photo is also one that later appeared in a 2014  exhibition 'Only in England' featuring work by two influential photographers Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr and where I picked up the postcard.

Southport for a Holiday in Wintertime by Fortunino Matania c1935

A flurry of snow in the seaside resort of Southport.  I collect postcards featuring the golden age of railway travel posters and this painting is one that was used in the 1930s to encourage travelers to take a winter break in Southport. The original oil painting is held by the Atkinson Art Gallery and Theatre in Southport.
Amsterdam Central Station c1935 by Willem L Bouwmeester

Also in 1935 Willem Bouwmeester painted this scene. of  a well dressed crowd waiting for the arrival of their train in the rain.  A painter of landscapes he was also fascinated by trains and railways. The Railway Museum in Utrecht hold a small collection of Bouwmeester 's drawings and paintings

Sunday 17 March 2024

Saint and Snakes


2001: Year of the Snake

Tradition says that St Patrick banished snakes from both Ireland and the Isle of Man.  Some 800 years ago arguments were had as to whom the Isle of Man belonged to - England or Ireland (based on the absence of snakes). It was claimed Ireland but the counterclaim was that if you brought a snake into the Isle of Man it did not die, as it would have done in Ireland.

1988: Reptiles

In pursuit of green I found a venomous tree vipers (Bothrops bicolor) only found in central America and

 the Sri Lankan green vine snake (Ahaetull nasuta), 'only' mildly venomous

2001: The Snake
This snake looks more friendly, its name is Nelson the Serpent. A character created by the children's author Ulf Stark for early readers.
1995: Reptiles and Amphibians

I had thought that St Patrick had also banished toads but maybe the small Natterjack toad looked like a frog to the saint.  They are very rare and breed in shallow coastal pools.  There are a populations near me in the sand dunes of north west England, always a walk with a purpose to look for their tadpoles as the breeding season starts.  A small toad with a big 'voice' heard here

2013: Europa: The Postman's Van
Lets finish with the postman delivering those Irish stamped letters.  This is the classic An Post van although they have had a rebrand in recent times and are now replacing them with white vans
County Wicklow

with different pictures on them. My persona favourite is the flying postman in superman pose but only managed a snatched photo of one as it whizzed past at speed.

Sunday Stamps this week on St Patrick's Day is Snakes, Green or Irish Stamps - See It On A Postcard

Thursday 14 March 2024

Take the High Road

 See It On A Postcard's Thursday Postcard Hunt this week takes a look at streetwear and here

Photo - Jean-Daniel Sudres; Illustrations - Jean-Pierre Arcile

is where raditional costumes and streetwear together with photography and art  meet in this postcard of the Rue du Port, somewhere in Brittany, France.

View Indicator, Douglas Park, Largs

I do lover an orientation table and from this viewpoint over the Firth of Clyde the islands of Arran and Bute and lots more will be seen. The postcard was sent in 1980 so I'm thinking 1970s or late 60s fashion.

Scotland Its Highlands and Islands "Off Staffa"

Going back further in time once again traditional and 'modern' dress is combined in this railway poster of the 1920s/30s encouraging travel to Scotland. The poster invites the reader to contact David MacBrayne Ltd whose ferries still ply the islands and islands (now trading with the name Caledonian MacBrayne) and still sailing past the basalt island of Staffa and the famous Fingal's Cave although our travellers seem to be distracted elsewhere. 

Thursday 7 March 2024

Traditonal Dress

 See It On A Postcard's Thursday Postcard Hunt this week is - Folk Costumes

and here are the many Ukrainian styles of traditional costumes across this vast country
Costumes; - Italy - Spain - Turkey - Germany

As can be gleaned from bottom right script this is a  plate from an old book but the postcard provides no further information on the back.  All these dresses are far too pretty to be wearing while working so

Plimoth Plantation "Breads, Pies and Tarts were all cooked in the communal oven"
something more practical for the 17th Century settler in America.  This postcard is from the living history museum in Massachusetts today called Plimoth Patuxet as it recreates both an indigenous Patuxet homestead and a 17th Century English village.  The Plimoth is of course an alternative spelling of  Plymouth from a time when spelling was a fluid and not a settled thing. The museum opens for this year's season on March 23rd until November. Judging from the snow on the postcard this could have been one of the last bakes of the year although maybe not for I read that it is not uncommon for it to snow as late as April in Massachusetts.

Sunday 3 March 2024



2015: Flora and Fauna of Alderney (Design - Petula Stone)

The tiny island of Alderney (2000 acres)  packs a lot into a small space consisting of woodland, scrub, wetlands grassland, heath and of course sandy beaches.  They issued this as both mini sheet and stamps but how could I resist the famous Alderney blonde hedgehog featuring twice on the mini sheet with bluebells and buttercups. Hedgehogs are not native to the islands and it is thought they were brought to the island as pets and either escaped or were set free in the 1960s.  Because of the small number they are not genetically diverse and it appears that two had the genetic variation for blonde spines (a rare trait) and today 60% of the approx 600 hedgehogs are blonde. 

The flora on the stamps are the aromatic Alderney Sea Lavender only found on Alderney and Jersey in the British Isles, Dwarf Thistle and the Spotted rock rose which is the county flower.

2010: Flowers - Pansies (Design - A Christensen)
From the wild to the garden pansy.  I can never resist buying some to pot up, these are a favourite
2010 (self adhesives): Flowers (Design - N Tamas)
 but I do like a mix.

2006: Flowers

Hibiscus are best planted in the spring and we are now in meteorological spring however there has been snow this week!  Our ancestors were more wise and knew Spring started with the Vernal Equinox, this year the 19th March

Sunday Stamp's theme this week - Flowers - blooming  at See It On a Postcard