Joining Tom Jackson to discuss the postcards from their pasts are publisher SCOTT PACK (How to Perfect Your Submission, Weightless Fireworks, 21st Century Dodos) and photographer, curator and writer KAREN SHEPHERDSON (Seaside Photographed, Beyond the View: Reframing the Early Commercial Photograph). We encounter photographers photographing photographers, visit model villages inside model villages, and look through the wrong end of a telescope at our parents as children – welcome to the hall of mirrors that is Podcast From The Past at the seaside, in a special episode recorded live at the Turner Contemporary as part of the Margate Bookie 2019. Wish you were here?
Hunsett Mill, River Ant, Norfolk Broads. “We are having great fun. We have had two great catastrophes. 1. My pants went overboard and into the water & 2. Aunt Pearl’s hat did the same. The hat we rescued the pants we could not & did not.”
The Devil’s Chimney, Beachy Head, 1977. “The hotel & waiters are nice but there is no-one my age. Hope your hamster is well.”
The front and back of Karen’s seaside comic postcard with photographic interest. Unusually, the subject matter from front is reflected in the message: on the front, the man is changing the film in his camera, while on the back the correspondent refers to making home movies: “I’VE SHOT OFF ANOTHER 150-200 FEET OF FILM.”
Karen’s seaside photography themed German novelty card. The fold out reveals that the card is not so shocking, but disappointing for our voyeur-photographer.
Three photographs from the SEAS archive: a ‘prop’ in use on a ‘walkie’; the opening of an ice-cream parlour in Margate, 1958; in the sea at Margate.
Scott’s postcard from Bekonscot, his favourite model village.
A series of postcards about posting postcards.
Front and back of Scott’s unique postcard-as-artwork, created by artist and author Miles Gibson. This is a proposed illustration for an as yet unpublished (unwritten?) book entitled Welcome To Earth: An Imaginary Encyclopaedia.
Bathing Place, Cliftonville, Margate, 1907. “Many thanks for the trouble you are taking on my part sorry I cannot let you have bike as you wanted because we are the other end of M – [Margate?] at work and it is very handy.”
The Sands, Margate, 1908. “We are having a our first glimpse of sun to-day. Its awfully rough but very enjoyable.”
A Storm at Margate, 1904. “Letter received. Thank you muchly.”
Karen’s real photographic postcard of her mother.
A Margate postcard showing the meeting of hobby photography and commercial seaside photography in the 1920s. See the holidaymakers looking at yesterday’s photographs.
Two cards from a series of postcards that Scott received as part of a long correspondence with Rosemary Du Aime, the widow of Albert Du Aime AKA the author William Wharton, who wrote Birdy. Scott republished some of the Wharton novels, and was in correspondence about publishing unseen Wharton works.
Torremolinos, 1989. “The tallent around the bars is looking good, but I haven’t been to any log cabins (YET!!)”
A Butlins “Lazy-gram” from Margate.
Blackpool on a singing postcard.