Nuts And Sweets And A Trip To The Dentist

Here is another of those wonderful old picture postcards of Halifax from the turn of the twentieth century, which provides an insight into both the public persona of the town and, at the same time, the private persona of its citizens. The public persona is provided by the front of the card, posted in May 1912, which proudly displays a diptych illustrating both the rugged natural scenery of the area (Cat I’ Th’ Well, Wainstalls), and the artistic refinement of a town of culture (the statues in People’s Park).

A more personal insight into the lives of its citizens is provided by the somewhat restrained message on the reverse of the card, which was addressed to Master John Lassy who was living with a Mrs Sutcliffe of Silver Grove, Utley, near Keighley. The message reads as follows:-

Dear J & P, We are in receipt of your card and hope you are enjoying yourselves. We are saving your nuts and sweets until you get home. Yours sincerely, E & H Lassy.

The card appears to be from Erasmus and Harriet Lassy who lived at Upper West Scausby in Halifax, and it seems to have been sent to their children John, then aged 9, and Phyllis, 7. For whatever reason they were staying with Mr and Mrs Sutcliffe. Initially, I thought they might have been at boarding school, but a a quick search of the 1911 census reveals that Mr Sutcliffe was a dentist! The reason why the children were lodging with a dentist is lost in history, but it may well be connected to those promised nuts and sweets which are being saved for their return home.

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