Brian’s Blog

  • Cycling has come a long way since the era of the song about a tandem bike. And at last, on 8th September 2018, the Tour of Britain came through Keyworth, Nottinghamshire. Impossible to let the occasion pass without publishing some postcards, so here they are. Postcards of events are so much rarer now than they used to be – social media is a wee bit faster but postcards are more permanent. Apparently few (if any!) from France on the country’s World Cup win, which is a shame. So enjoy the phenomenon while it lasts..

  • Messing about on the river A postcard collection can have many ways of being organised – by places, subjects, artists, publishers – or by an individually invented theme that can straddle all those parameters. I’ve often thought of starting a collection based on the A1 road, for instance, and including postcards of characters and towns along the way.  Such a linear collecting idea could, of course, be based on any route you care to name. Publishers Raphael Tuck must have had such an idea in mind when they followed up their earliest postcard series (24 artist-drawn London views) with a …read more

  • Anyone  needing proof of the continued popularity of picture postcards today need look no further than the holiday destination Center Parcs, which has five locations in England and a sixth soon to open in Ireland. Sister company Center Parcs Europe operates 23 sites, in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany. Each centre has a stack of postcards available in its dedicated Gift Store, each helpfully numbered with a prefix indicating the location eg. SF = Sherwood Forest. There are also a number of generic cards which can be sold at any of the centres. The postcards are a mix of views …read more

  • suffragettes_7a

    If you watched Lucy Worsley’s recent TV programme on the Suffragettes, you’ll have spotted the generous use of, and reference to, old postcards. A selection of anti-Suffragette comics was featured, along with some amazing real photographs inside the WSPU headquarters     Picture postcards often feature in television documentaries, especially those with a transport theme, underlining once again just how important they are as source material for social history. A couple of the ones on the programme were comic cards on the theme of force-feeding, a deplorable practice. Should Millar & Lang have been ashamed of themselves for publishing such …read more

  • According to a recent poll (who does these things??!!) 23% of young people (10-25) didn’t recognise a picture postcard, one of a number of items they were asked to identify. Now while it’s no surprise to learn that teenagers don’t use postcards (they have quicker ways of communicating), I was shocked to find such a large number didn’t even know what one was! The trouble is, postcards do not plop onto the doormats of houses as regularly as they once did, and holidaymakers don’t write and send them as a matter of course, so youngsters are not used to seeing …read more

  • Picture Postcard Monthly has been around for 38 years, during which time it has kept collectors in touch with what’s happening in the world of postcards, and featured articles on most subjects under the sun. It has tried, and still continues to try, to be informative, humorous, educational, advisory and sociable. So it has always raised my eyebrows when collectors say they’ve (a) never heard of it or (b) never read it. I mean, come on! How can you manage without it? For the monthly price of one cheap postcard, you can have access to the latest fair dates, gossip, …read more

  • The recent deaths of postcard dealers and personalities Christine Booth from Bristol and Ken Hassell of Glossop will leave a big void in the postcard world. Christine was a generous and knowledgeable lady with over 40 years experience in the hobby, beginning with the lovely specialist postcard shop she ran in Barnstaple’s Cross Street. She was a leading authority on Louis Wain, compiling the catalogue devoted to his cards, and always had a very fine stock of artistic postcards in various subjects (especially artist-drawn animals). Royalty was another of her passions. She played a big part in organising the postcard fairs …read more

  • How come dealers can’t wait to escape from a fair? I don’t mean all of them, but there are some serial offenders…. So a postcard – or antique – fair is advertised as being open to the public for stated hours. Doesn’t that obligate the dealers to keep their stalls open until closing time? They are, after all, part of a shop for the day, and you wouldn’t expect M & S to shut down an hour early. But whatever the advertised closing time of an event, you can bet some dealers will be itching to leave at anything up …read more