Joining Tom Jackson to discuss the postcards from their pasts are Emmy-winning writer DAVID QUANTICK (Go West, The Mule, The Thick Of It, Veep, The Blagger’s Guide) and blogger and author JO MIDDLETON (Slummy Single Mummy, Playgroups and Prosecco). In this episode we encounter a vicar inappropriately sponging his aspidistra, recall the postage stamps that only existed in sweetshop packets, and relive the horrors and indignities of school foreign exchanges. Along the way we discuss the Soviet space programme, the days when radio requests were sent by postcard and John Peel’s missing Festive Fifty. Hide the rabbit’s head behind the cruet, for the Cosmos belongs to us all. Wish you were here?

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

Brighton Pavilion, 1966: “The speaker this afternoon was Mrs Olive Stephens. She is a television personality on the panel of ‘Ask Me Another.’ Quite good.”

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

Kylemore Abbey: “Thank you for your gift of a pound, I used it to buy batteries for my cassette player.”


Jo’s grandfather was in charge of postcard-writing duties. On this card from Mevagissey, he has news of “an unexpected spectacle.”

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

A signed postcard of Yuri Gagarin. The idealism of the Soviet space programme appealed to a young David Quantick.

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

Longleat House, 1965: “Yesterday we visited Longleat, a magnificent house and grounds, but Freddie & the Dreamers were there, so of course about 1000 of their followers!”

David Quantick: Enjoyed this Donald McGill card so much that he gave a lecture based on it at a French university.

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

A postcard of Paris, sent by Jo Middleton to her father, mid-French exchange. 

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

Not a postcard from Siouxsie Sioux, but a postcard of Siouxsie Sioux. John Peel would receive and read out postcards not just from listeners, but also from musicians he played on his show.

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

Palma de Mallorca: “The bullfight was very well done but it was a bit gory. You should have come, instead of buying a caravan.”

Tom Jackson, Past Postcard, Podcast from the Past, Postcard from the Past

A musical postcard inviting listeners to visit Belgium. The sounds are clear, but not especially inviting. Unless you are very fond of recorder music.

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