Thursday, January 10, 2019

Postcards From Home : What Is Picturesque About Halifax?

Here's a challenge for you! If you had to put together a postcard featuring five views of Halifax and entitled "Picturesque Halifax", which views would you choose? Probably not the ones featured on this vintage postcard from 100 years ago.

This vintage postcard from Lillywhite's of Halifax probably dates from the First World War - there is a "Passed For Publication" stamp on the reverse - and is intended to act as a showcase for "Picturesque Halifax". The choice of the five views is a little odd however: whilst Ogden Water might still make the cut, the waterfall on the River Hebble at Weatley is a little underwhelming, and Cote Hill is nothing more than ordinary. Wainhouse Tower is interesting but perhaps not picturesque and People's Park is .... well, its People's Park. It is easy to be critical, however, and not quite as easy to suggest alternatives. Once the winter weather has gone, I will try and come up with five twenty-first century alternative examples of "Picturesque Halifax", and in the meantime I would welcome any suggestions as to what should be included.

The postcard seems to have been sent, but not as a postcard but as an inclusion in a letter or parcel. It has been sent by Jack (whoever he was) to someone called Joe, or Jos, or even Joo in May 1918. It appears that Jack is a collector of "crest china" (small china pieces incorporating a coat of arms), and is a little particular in his specific requirements (he is not keen on the basket). Even though the china is not the exact shape that Jack wants he is prepared to accept it for the time being. And even though the five views of picturesque Halifax are not the ones I want, I am prepared to accept them for the moment.


  1. I am interested in the style of penmanship of Jack...rather round compared to many others' which seem more vertical. If I knew whatever that meant, I could tell you. Yes, I'd love to see your choice of Halifax 5.

  2. I was always amazed that my dad used a fountain pen to write letters to me from the war front. I don’t suppose ball point pens were invented at the time.


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