Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not the seaside...

arrived at Canterbury
Not exactly a humorous seaside postcard, this gem from 1915 was sent all the way to Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. A pop-up flap reveals 10 photographs of the cathedral and its environs, as presumably that was all that was worth seeing here back then. A little unfair, as there was considerably more medieval architecture (and Victorian for that matter) before the bombs did their best to remodel the city in the 1940s.

Still, this is clearly how every visitor is greeted at Canterbury's two stations - cheering crowds, civic dignitaries, brass band, flags and all... in the current economic dip, that's certainly how we should greet tourists to the area!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seaside Postcard 106: Away with the ferries

Ramsgate seaside postcards

LD Ferries have started services from Dover, and Euroferries may be about to start from Ramsgate. A bright new Spring for ferry travellers heading for Boulogne, and a welcome boost to Ramsgate's ferry terminal.

Just one point to watch with their timetable - the LD schedule provides for day trips with outward sailings at 7.00, 12.30 and 18.00 - however the return is only 10.45 and 16.15 - except for Saturday when there is a sailing at 18.00. Maybe that is the best combination, as they have presumably calculated that the majority of day trips would be on a Saturday, and the rest of the week is dedicated to freight and onward travel. If you want a slightly shorter day trip it's fine, returning on the 16.15, so maybe they've got it just right. That still allows you about 6 hours shopping and eating. They are talking about adding a second ship to the route in the Summer, so there may be some developments in that timetable.

And Euroferries still just has a one page web site with no genuine contact details, just email. A schedule, the ability to check prices and a means to make advance bookings will be a real sign of progress - fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seaside Postcard 105: postings...

If you're expecting the appropriate affectionate response on Valentine's day morning, you'd better get your skates on and get down to the postbox. And as all our local postman are as smart and efficient as this handsome chap, you're sure to get your love token delivered promptly on Saturday.

This card dates from the 1900s, with a set of drop down pictures showing the usual - the new Royal Victoria Pavilion, beach heaving with sunseekers, the harbour crowded with sails. Happy days, and not a cargo plane, dodgy developer or knife-wielding hoody for miles around. Mind you, I expect we had as much TB, diptheria and smallpox as we needed, women weren't trusted to vote, employment rights and state pensions and unemployment benefits were but a distant dream - but still, they were the days...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seaside postcard 104: in the week of luuuurv

Ramsgate seaside postcard In the build up to Valentine's Day, here's a very sweet and romantic postcard from 1905, published by The Cynicus Publishing Co., Fife. And a reminder of changing fashions for names as the message says simply "Tell Ethel a letter is following. Yours truly, Albert".

Time to go and batten down the hatches for what can only be described as a blustery day... or a howling stormy gale... or "when's it our turn for some proper snow?". Sigh.

And just a reminder if you like these, the whole lot of them can be seen on Flickr: Ramsgate Comic Postcards.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Seaside Postcard 103: gone fishin'

Ramsgate seaside postcard Yet another card with fish on it, and also with bears. Not quite sure why, but bears seem quite a regular theme on cards.

This one was sent by Elsie in August 1913 to Dad in Upper Holloway, London. "I am fine and this is how I am situated. My face will soon be as red as my hat, but it is sore. I am going to Margarty tomorrow". Let's all call Margate Margarty, it sounds much friendlier!

We seem to have missed the snow at this end of the week, and with councils running out of salt and grit, it's just as well. So that's just the icy roads to worry about now then...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Trains and snow

A fine crisp morning, with heavy snow forecast. Interesting to see how that affactes the trains and roads as usual. What type of snow is it? Is it the right kind? Can we cope? Why is snow in February such a shock?

canterbury whitstable railway 1830

Here's a nice card from earlier train days - almost the earliest in fact! This commemorates the Opening Day of the Canterbury to Whitstable railway on May 3rd 1830. Given that the Stockton-Darlington railway only opened in 1825, the sheer speead and scale of the spread of this new technology muct have been breathtaking at the time, and obviously was good cause for local celebration (apart from those who were sure that speeds over 20mph would be fatal due to inability to breathe...).

And given that this weekend saw the maiden journey of the new A1 steam loco Tornado from York to Newcastle, it seemed fitting to celebrate the early days too.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I'd forgotten what fun driving on little country roads could be - coming back from Folkestone we diverted towards Elham due to an accident on the main road. So there we are, trying to maintain traction on an uphill snowy surface, and there's a car coming down hill. So my wheels are locked as we carry on sliding up the hill; the land rover (towing two huge bales of sileage), wheels locked, gently sliding in our direction coming down the hill... oh what joy. Anyway disaster averted, except I'm now stationary pointing uphill, wheels spinning madly inching up at 0.001 miles per hour - can't go back as it's a valley, so it's just as bad the other way. Still, got there in the end.

The other treat was on a steep downhill stretch, gingerly heading downhill at 10 miles an hour, brake full on (ABS not helping, pumping brakes not helping), but still sliding, then trying reverse gear with enthusiasm, but still sliding downhill. Again, it worked, but she-who's-not-keen-on-driving-excitement was a little quiet (in that slightly menacing way they have) for a few minutes.

And that was the day of 'light snow showers'. Heavy snow tomorrow should be a right laugh (luckily I only have to drive half a mile across town).

Take care out there...