Saturday, April 23, 2011

Canal Postcard

Occasionally I will buy a postcard or two from ebay. It's a fairly cheap way to buy canal memorabilia and the photographs are an interesting view of the canals in the past. Most postcards are from around 1910 up to the 1950s, with the modern ones being popular in the 1970s. 
The last two cards I bought were both from the early 20thC. The first is a French postcard showing French soldiers defending a canal during WW1. The second postcard is a fairly standard real photograph of Red Cote Bridge in Armley Leeds, on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Its not a great photograph, the view hasn't changed much over the last 100 years. The bridge is now obscured by a very ugly pipe but it is still there and still surrounded by trees on a nice bit of the canal. The only barge in the photograph is in the distance and just a black blob and the one person is a girl with her back to the camera. 
On the back of the card is a short message in pencil from Jessie to her Grandma, Mrs Ingle of 353 Kirkstall Road, Burnley Mills in Leeds. 


The message reads:


Dear Grandma,
Dada is here from France, mamma wants you to come up on Sunday for tea. Dada is going away Monday
Love from Jessie


The date on the postmark is 4 October 1916. I assume that the Father would be going to France to fight in the war. 1916 was the year of the Battle of the Somme, fought between 1 July and 18 November 1916. There were 1.5 million casualties. 
So the two postcards were linked at least by time and country as well as canal. 
Sometimes the messages on the back are more interesting than the photos on the front. 

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