Saturday, August 13, 2022

From Bristol to Beirut

Let's do some armchair time-traveling with more of the old postcards I bought at Covent Garden several weeks ago.

First is this colorful card from Nice, mailed in 1936. Like several of the cards in this group, it was sent to a Virginia or Ginny Lees, who lived at different times in Bournemouth, Christchurch and London.

"Hope you are looking after the Siamese kitten and teaching him to be good. He must be very nice. I am looking forward to seeing him. Love, Daddy"

Here's the stylish Presto Bar Automatique at 14 Boulevard des Italiens in Paris. There's no writing or date on the card. At first I thought the bar was a freestanding structure, but I think it's actually a corner shopfront.

Here's roughly the same location in 2014. That gigantic building must have come later.

This looks like a tour group photo that was turned into a postcard. It was never mailed. On the back it says, "Versailles -- 21 Juli 1931."

Mailed from London in 1933: "To dear little Virginia  with best love from M. Chappuis."

The Hospice du Grand St. Bernard is a former monastery and haven for travelers in Switzerland, and the origin of the St. Bernard breed of dogs. The Pain du Sucre (rough translation: Sugarloaf) is a mountain in the Alps.

"To wish little Ginny many happy returns of the day. Love, Daddy"

Saint Jean de Luz is in the Basque country of southwest France, near the border with Spain. I can't read the postmark so I'm not sure when this was sent.

This was written to J. Hornsby at the Chief Accountant's Office for the LNER (London Northeastern Railway) in Barnet, North London, but it has no stamp or postmark so must have been mailed in an envelope.

"Having a lovely time. We are all getting nice and brown. Keith is on the beach all day.  Have you had any storms? We had quite a nasty one on Saturday evening. It's very peaceful here and the food is very good indeed. Don't work too hard! We are just off to the beach so cheers for now. Betty"

The Killacourt is a park overlooking the sea in Newquay, on the north coast of Cornwall. Apparently the view still looks very similar.

"Here I am having a lovely time. There are so many things to do during the day that I can't fit everything in but I like boating best. Hope you and Neil went away. Love from Tessa"

Not sure about that last line -- I can barely read the handwriting.

Tyntesfield is a National Trust property near Bristol featuring an ornate Victorian house and gardens. The card's stamp was torn off so I can't tell when it was mailed.

And finally, an unmailed card featuring great old image of a pine-lined avenue in Beirut, Lebanon. If you like it you can apparently buy a poster print of it online!


River said...

An interesting collection. What will you do with them? Will you create a wall display or just keep them in a box?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Genuinely fascinating Steve. I suppose that Ginny's "Daddy" was gallivanting about with his mistress Mademoiselle Fifi. How kind of him to occasionally send Ginny a postcard.

Boud said...

Amazingly peaceful shot of Beirut. Not my usual image of it. Your collection would make great accordion books. Just sayin'.

Bob said...

I was going to say something pithy, or at least my version of pithy, and then I read Yorkshire's comment and that slayed.

Hope Daddy and Fifi had fun.

Ms. Moon said...

I love the tender way "Daddy" seems to love his Ginny.

Debby said...

A few years back, I knew a hundred year old woman who traveled extensively in the mideast, by car. Can you imagine? It isn't even possible today. They were teachers and devoted the summer to it. She loved it and had so many stories of those days.

NewRobin13 said...

Interesting collection postcards. I like these simple views and words of long-ago times.

Mary said...

Great selection, Steve. One could almost write a story about each of them--especially the one with the tour group. Especially thinking of all that was to come within the decade that would change so many people's lives.

Ellen D. said...

I was impressed with the tour group all dressed up with suits, dresses, hats. People are much more casual these days!
What a terrific collection. Do you just keep them in a box? Or are they displayed some how?

Moving with Mitchell said...

These are so entertaining and interesting, and make me write stories in my head. I love that you find these and share them.

Sharon said...

These are so fun to look at. That is a very large tour group at Versailles. Tour groups are hard to manage these days. I can't imagine what a chore it was in the 1930's.

Kelly said...

Ditto what Mitchell said. I hope you have more to share...

Margaret said...

These are wonderful snapshots and journals from the past!

Pixie said...

Reminds me of an old book, or it would make a good book. Love the postcards.

Jeanie said...

I collect old postcards too and it sure looks like you found some gems. Love the stories on the back, too. There's a tv series in there somewhere.

Steve Reed said...

River: I keep all my old postcards in a single photo storage box. (Kind of like a shoebox.)

YP: I also wondered about the circumstances of the father's repeated or continued absence in France!

Boud: I loved that image too -- so different from the concrete and chaos that we often associate with Beirut.

Bob: You gotta wonder what Mommy thought.

Ms Moon: At least he was thinking of her, and she apparently saved the cards, so she must have appreciated them.

Debby: That's amazing. The Middle East as recently as the 1960s was an entirely different and much more accessible place.

Robin: They're like little time capsules, aren't they?

Mary: I had the same thought, seeing that picture. I couldn't help wondering about some of those younger men and what their future held.

Ellen D: I have them all filed in a photo storage box. Most of my cards are from Florida, but since I moved to the UK I've branched out!

Mitchell: I like helping to make them part of our cultural record via the Internet.

Sharon: On the other hand, people were probably better behaved back then. :)

Kelly: I have many more, though not from my most recent shopping trips! I'm sure they'll surface here from time to time.

Margaret: Glad you liked them as much as I did!

Pixie: There are some great books out there based on old postcards and their messages. I have one called, I believe, "Wish You Were Here" that's hilarious.

Jeanie: It doesn't take much to prompt a story, does it? Just a few words or sentences can make our imaginations start churning!