Not all of the vintage postcards in my Great Uncle Fowler Beanland’s collection are pictures of northern towns, moors, and glens. Like all collectors, Fowler cast his net wide, and exchanged cards with fellow enthusiasts. This particular card came from Scotland and is one of several in the collection which depict the tartans of the various Scottish clans. Collectors always have a “this and that” category, so we can confidently file it away under that heading.
The message reads as follows:- “Thanks for P.C. I will send you down some of these tartan ones, I got this one in the shop, but they just had three in stock, but she promised to get me some, so I will send them down to you. I hope that you are keeping well and that you have plenty work. Give my best regards to the girls at Scaurbank, JWJ. Like most old postcards, the message poses more questions than it answers. Who was JWJ and what was his/her relationship with Fowler? Who were “the girls at Scaurbank”? It appears that Scaurbank was a house on the banks of the River Ask, just outside of Longtown. At the time it of the 1911 census it was occupied by a widow, Florence Graham, and her daughter Iris. Given the background of Fowler, it is likely that the “girls’ were the live-in servants at the house: the parlourmaid, Elizabeth Arnott; the cook, Ester Pearson; and the housemaid, Jeanie Kerr. For the moment, all we can do is make a mental note of all of these names and see if they crop up on some of the other cards in the collection.