Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sat In God’s Waiting Room

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There is something slightly hazy about this old scanned negative. Something slightly hazy about the four pensioners. They were sat in Eastbourne, a town which is often referred to as “God’s Waiting Room” because of the preponderance of pensioners. I wonder if they are still sat there now, a third of a century later.

Progressing Favourably On Cheap Pale Ale

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I saw this advert in the Huddersfield Examiner and it seems like a bit of a bargain to me. Whilst the bottled Pale Ale seems to be selling at 4/- a pint (that is four shillings or 20p to those who are too young to be reading this blog), the cask conditioned India Pale Ale is selling at 1/10 per gallon (that is one shilling and ten pence or …..err ….. well not very much). Now I have just wasted a half hour of my time this evening (that is 30 minutes in new time) taking a load of beer bottles to the bottle bank. I would have been far better buying a few gallon of Seth Senior’s IPA and decanting it into my empty bottles. What a shame that the newspaper is a little out of date.

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From the same old newspaper I find a short article detailing the progress of patients in the Huddersfield Sanatorium For Infectious Diseases. Back in the days before telephones were widespread and when private cars were a rarity, it was a problem checking on the progress of a relative confined to the Fever Hospital. The printing of brief prognoses followed by a list of individual patient numbers was quite a clever way of informing those who needed to know whilst preserving an element of patient confidentiality. This system of bulletins published in local newspapers continued well into the second half of the twentieth century, I can recall seeing such lists in the papers when I was young (which was a long time ago).

A Dozen Dollops Of History 8 : Maudie’s Better For The Rest

My eighth found dollop of history (50 pence from the second hand shop) features a 1917 vintage postcard from Dover.

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Most vintage postcards date from the first decade of the twentieth century – the age of the postcard collecting boom when hundreds of thousands of cards were sent, received, and carefully added to postcard albums. Many cards were still sent during the next two decades, but by then the collecting hobby had subsided and consequently far fewer of them have survived. My eighth chance purchase at an antique fair is one of these later cards having been posted in 1917. Having said that, the photograph of Pier Head Dover must be from fifteen or twenty years earlier, depicting a calmer, more peaceful Edwardian era. By the time this card was sent, the pier had been taken over by the Admiralty and heavily fortified.

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The message on the card reads as follows:

31 August 1917
My Dear Maudie,
Thanks so much for the PC. So pleased to hear you are enjoying a much needed rest. I have not managed to write to you as we have had a friend staying with us for a week and we have been out and about so much. Hope to hear your mother and self are much the better for the change.
From CF

CF paints a peaceful enough scene. Friends have been to stay and they have been out and about. Maudie and her mother have also had a bit of a rest and, it would appear from the amended and forwarded address, they had been moving around Scotland. The card was posted on the 1st but wasn’t redirected until the 4th of September so we can assume that Maudie didn’t receive it until the 5th at the earliest. By that time there had been one of the heaviest night air raids of the First World War over Kent and over 150 people had been killed in the bombing. With luck, poor Maudie and her mother were safe and sound in Scotland, otherwise they wouldn’t have been any better for the rest.

Etched In Acidic Metadata

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One of the great delights of digital photography is not simply that you can capture a moment in time but the details of the capture are recorded forever, carved in digital stone, etched in acidic metadata. This photograph was taken by me at 15.58 on the 13th April 2005 in Budapest. Ten years on, is this girl still sending postcards home?