When the Royal Mail was king

A postcard for Miss Purser
A postcard for Miss Purser
Slimming - Carol Stedman, who raised the most money in the sponsored slim, presenting the proceeds to Julie McGuire

THIS WEEK IN 1984: Sponsored slimmers hit the middle target

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One of my hobbies is collecting postcards, not so much for the views but for the postmarks and stamps from a given period in time.

It never ceases to amaze me how people sent a postcard expecting and knowing that a reply would be rapid.

Postmarked Havant July 1906. the sender expected a reply by return of post and no doubt received it

Postmarked Havant July 1906. the sender expected a reply by return of post and no doubt received it

First of all, in the postcard on the left, we see a request from a lady who lived at 9 Homewell, Havant in July 1906. As can be seen, there is a green halfpenny stamp worth about a quarter of a modern penny She has written to her dressmaker, a Mrs Purser, who lived at 66, Surrey Street, Portsmouth enquiring how much her dress would cost so that she could forward the money as she did not know when she would be next in town.

‘Will you kindly let me know by return (of post) how much my dress will be?’ she enquires.

The next postmark, pictured above right, is also fascinating as it shows that the card was sent from France and the Field Post Office. Jack seems to have survived the worst of the war as the card was sent on December 8, 1918 a month after the cessation of hostilities. We can see, though, that it still has a censor’s stamp next to the postmark.

It is addressed to Miss A Purser, who was the daughter of the dressmaker on the previous card. The man was the nephew of Miss Purser, as he addresses her as ‘Dear Aunt.’ As there are 10 years’ difference between the cards, I can only assume that ‘A’ was the sister of one of Jack’s parents. It would be lovely to find out.

Are you a relation of Jack? Please let me know. Thanks.