Thursday, February 05, 2015

A Dozen Dollops Of History : 5 - The Last Of The Summer Of The Last Of The Summers

My fifth found dollop of history (50 pence from the second hand shop) features a 1913 vintage postcard of Lantern Hill, Ilfracombe.

This is another card which is a bit difficult to read, but as far as I can make out, it goes like this:

Dear S, Many thanks for letter, sorry I forgot to mention about the parcel, thank you so much, of course I am busy out hoppicking now it's got hotter, will write you next week and tell you all news. We have only another fortnight here. Kind love from us all, Yours Beat  And On The Front : Was pleased to hear you had a nice time. I really did not expect you to come down here, it is just the same old slog.

The card was posted in Malvern in Worcestershire, which is not a part of the country I immediately associate with hop picking (one always thinks of the hop fields of Kent), but a quick check online reveals that it used to be quite a centre for hop growing and there is a rich heritage of hop picking in the locality (Bromyard, which is not far away from Malvern, hosts an annual hop festival and the world hop pocket championships!). Miss Lawrence was Miss Sarah Lawrence, who, when she received the card, was a 37 year old parlour maid at the house of Frank Marsh a Consulting Surgeon at the United Hospitals of Birmingham. Marsh was to become a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Army Medical Corp Reserve and serve at the Army's 1st Southern General Hospital in Birmingham. 
I can't look at the card without looking at the date: September 1913. It is the last of the summer of the last of the summers before war descended. The time when hop picking was about to be replaced by trench digging.


  1. Love the trivia that you seem to always come up with, from a simple post card. Ah the trails of "Six Degrees of Separation."

  2. You do keep us spinning with interest. It's funny too, as I'm going through my blog roll, I catch just a glimpse of the beginning of the title, and my mind says, it must be Alan's post, and it is! Enjoy your day and your discoveries!

  3. That's kind of sad about the summers because it's not only WW1; but WW2; Korea; Vietnam etc. etc. and now the terrorists and yet more discontent in Europe and I won't begin to mention the discontent over here. I am thankful for my teenage years of the fifties. I thought your comment on Christopher Columbus was insightful -- but even he has his naysayers.

  4. Sad for sure everything would change...and has been changing ever since:(

  5. I like the landscape which is a bit more dramatic than most British seaside views. According to Wikipedia, Hillsboro (now spelt Hillsborough (and when was "ough" deemed an improvement?)) is known locally as the "sleeping elephant" at 115m above the sea.


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