Joining TOM JACKSON to discuss the postcards from her past is Professor of Literacy Studies in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University and principle investigator of the Edwardian Postcard Project, JULIA GILLEN (The Edwardian Picture Postcard as a Communications Revolution: A Literacy Studies Perspective). Together we meet Ruby and Arthur and learn about their cycling trips, consider the digital shoebox, spend the day in a spaceship made of sand and wonder where the earwigs went. And we’ll hear crosshatched tales of unexpected family reunions and how the census can fill in the postcard gaps. Wish you were here?

Somerset multiview, 23 August 1986, “Dear Claire I am having a fantastic time. I have been to a swannery and have seen the red arrows I went to the beach and made a spaceship out of sand and played in it all day. Weve had 1 really bad day so far. I haven’t spotted any earwigs yet. The tent is lovely and cosy but a bit squashed. See you at school from Kelly (Bateman)”

Cromer from the Pier, 31 August 1999, “Dear Emily, (Mum & Dad), I hope you have had a wonderful holiday. I haven’t heard from Mummy yet so I don’t know the situation. Had lovely weather when I stayed at Walton. Nearly paddled! If you can will you phone me I’m so worried about Wales – I don’t know where your Mum is – Lots of love Nan xxx”

Julia’s postcard from the Edwardian Postcard Project: Mumbles, featuring a message in distinctive crosshatched writing.

Puffin North Dock Swansea 13 12 1909 “My Dear Wife Laurence and I were walking up the main St this evening at 4-45 when we came face to face with George. It was a great surprise to all of us. We returned at once (to the) Puffin So we are now going to have tea. I shall persuade him to stay here tonight It seems like old times him being here again tonight (True) love to you & all at home (always) yours George”

Bude multiview, 10 August 1998, “Dear Laura Having a nice time are you? We went to the beach today Then we went swimming. Plese note clorine and salt do not mix! I have seen this really nice boy that I think he wants to go out with me I’ll find out and tell you. lots of love Rebecca

P.S. My friend won’t shut up about the boy.”

Julia’s postcard – part of an extensive postcard correspondence between Ruby and Arthur, August 13 1909.

“Dear R. I am sorry to have to tell you I shall not be home to go for a ride with you on Saturday as I was late getting on board on Wednesday morning ran into a fog just this side of ??anstead so I have got to remain on board for three days but expect to be home on Sunday morning will come round home to see you as soon as I can, have no time to write a letter. From Arthur.”

A musical postcard of an Alpine Lake.