Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Postcard Of The Week: Walter Has A Moan



This week's postcard is another new acquisition. It is an early colour-tinted picture of Brighouse, which is just a couple of miles down the road from where I live. It was the local connection which attracted me to the card, but I was also quite taken for the message on the reverse which somehow seems to sum up the Yorkshire character. The card was sent in April 1905 by someone called Walter to Dorothy Helliwell (sweetheart, relative, friend ... who knows) who lived in Lytham, Lancashire. In typically laconic Yorkshire style, Walter points out that it is only three weeks to Easter and then complains that Dorothy's last card didn't have a stamp on it and he had been forced to pay a penny to receive it. Add to this penny the further halfpenny it cost Walter to send his terse billet-doux and it is clear that a Yorkshireman is always prepared to shed out his hard-earned brass for a good moan.


With postcards of local scenes I can never resist doing a "then-and-now" with them so yesterday I went in search of the exact spot the picture must have been taken from. It wasn't too difficult to find a hundred and five years down the line, the arched entryway and the distinctive bay windows provided useful locational clues. I couldn't manage to get a shot from exactly the same angle as the postcard as that would have entailed me standing in the middle of what is a busy main road. Who knows I might have got knocked down and that would have really have given me something to moan about.

See other Postcard Of The Week posts on News From Nowhere
See other Then and Now posts on Alan Burnett's Daily Photo Blog

13 comments:

  1. What I find so wonderful about your then-and-now posts is that they don't look that different. No big billboards or high rises. Old buildings are preserved. Makes me feel all warm inside.

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  2. It really is so funny that most of the note is taken up with complaint!

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  3. Nice! I was gonna suggest the "then-and-now" theme, then I scrolled down and...I like that it looks about the same a century later, wot?

    WV=honwime?

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  4. I think you have pegged Walter just about right
    wonderful comparison pictures

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  5. Wow! He was really upset about that penny, wasn't he?

    A very interesting then-and-now comparison; it's nice to see decent old buildings lasting so well.

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  6. If you 'ad been knocked down at least you could have claimed compo.

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  7. Times was 'ard; what's life without a good moan. It's funny to see that he needed to waste his card and postage just to get the moan in. N'owt so queer as folk.

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  8. Very funny, Poor Walter!
    Opportunity to moan or not, I'm glad you decided not to risk a perfect angle. No need - great comparison!

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  9. Let's hope that postcard wasn't intended as a billet-doux! Love the "then & now" shots.

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  10. I agree with Christine. I adore that you can find these postcards and recognize instantly where they are located! It's amazing. Very funny stoary about Walter, too. Bet he never thought in a million years we'd be talking about his postcard to Dorothy 100 years later.

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  11. Your blog has been then-and-now heaven lately, Alan! You should publish a then and now book...coffee table sized. (throw in a little chapter of crispy chip pics in the back)

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  12. Typical Yorkshireman, perfect in his moaning. I love it!

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  13. I've always loved 'then-and-now' photographs. This one is wonderful.

    Walter's note is just too funny! How amusing that he attempted (and failed) to lessen the severity of his moan by the wee remark about Easter coming up in three weeks.

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