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Tag Archives: 50s


Christmas card Message

I’ve not seen a less festive Christmas card. In Thomas and Penelope’s defence, maybe this was a work greeting, and their friends would have received something warmer.

I picked this up for FREE from the kind people at Edinburgh Books (my husband was buying a proper book too, and the shop had no change). From a quick Google, I reckon Thomas could be the MP and Baronet Sir Thomas Cecil Russell Moore – the dates, Scottish connection and Thomas’ likeness tally.


Incremental kitchen make-over

We love our flat (to be fair, we would have loved almost anywhere after spending five years above a strip-club, but it really is a nice flat), but it needed some upgrading when we bought it in 2009 and we’re still nowhere near completing it. Something that clearly needed to be done was the kitchen, but now is not exactly the time to be taking out credit for home improvements and it seemed like it would take an age to get the lump sum together for a new fitted kitchen. In the end, me and an awkwardly positioned kitchen island came to blows and I won, triggering a piece-meal renovation to work with our gradual accumulation of funds.

A very inoffensive, surprisingly sturdy workbench from IKEA’s Varde range was the first thing I bought. Thanks to the wonders of Gumtree, we got it half-price from a guy who even delivered it for just a few quid. This is now our main pan and cutlery store. The best part of it was that no installation is required; I just sanded and varnished the floor where the old island had been, put new lining paper on the wall and then plonked it in place. Here you can see the scar of the old island on the floor:


Clearly, we wouldn’t be able to make a statement through a high-spec finish, so we were going to have to bring some character to the kitchen instead. I love all the 1950s metal larder units selling on Ebay, but the majority are collection-only and relatively few come up in Scotland. Just before Christmas, though, I spotted a sideboard whose seller lived near my family and which hadn’t attracted much interest. My Christmas present was decided:


Made by W. Lusty & Sons, it just needed a scrub and lining with paper before it was fine for storing canned and dried food. The atomic-style pink breadbin and lime green kitchen roll holder are both by Typhoon, bought from the Shelter charity shop chain and Ebay respectively.

The third key piece we needed was something to give us a sink and extra worktop. I toyed with freestanding again, but the state of the wall behind the existing units and the need for a good-sized food prep area meant that fitted would be more practical. After repeatedly dismissing the possibility that we could afford something by the guy who built the on-show kitchen for Freemans cafe in Edinburgh, I bit the bullet and called him. (Until recently, his contact details were on a brass plaque by the till – good marketing.) It turned out he was up for a small, no-frills job, so by tomorrow night, our sink unit will be ready to go! Here’s a picture of the reclaimed scaffolding planks we’re having:


Next, paint and lighting. My inspirations are the aforementioned Freemans and the enviable interior of another new Edinburgh cafe, Brew Lab. Watch this space.

I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein (http://CMP.LY/0/jXFZkQ).

The end of the 1950s

If I have done a thorough job of sorting out the postcard collection, these should be the last postcards from the 1950s. They are fragments; the first two are possibly from the same trip. These same two postcards  have typed, stuck-on address labels. I wonder whether she brought these with her from home to save bringing her address book along.

An overview of the postcard collection is given on its dedicated blog page.

London SW1

27th May, 1956


Have arrived safely in London We had a good journey stopping at LONDONDERRY as usual. The bus was very warm at first but they put the heating off. It was a lovely bus. We may get the 8.20 home so should be in about 6AM on the Wednesday. We haven’t reserved seats but have got our tickets. We are sitting in the Mall just now, may drop in to see the Queen later. It is very warm and our train xxx [scribbled out text] leaves at 4 o’clock.

Zurich 1956

Basel 2, Switzerland

5th June, 1956


Just now we are sitting in one of the main streets of Basel resting our weary feet. We are on a seat not the pavement. We had a terrific send of in Vaduz. Spent 3 hours in Zurich but didn’t like it very much, you take your life in your hands crossing the roads If you don’t run like mad, you’ve had it. We are thinking of going for our dinner and then the train and then home.

Quite hard to imagine anything risky taking place in Switzerland, even if it is just crossing the road. I’m amused too by her assurance that she wasn’t sitting on the pavement.


Ruhpolding, Germany

1st [?] June, 195x

Sunday night

This is where we have our lunch and dinner. It is very nice, like a large restaurant, to-night there was a show, it was a bit queer listening to a comedian telling jokes and not understanding a word of it. It is very cold and wet just now, not very great but we hope it will clear up. Haven’t picked up our tours yet.  they don’t seem to be what we want, might be better on our own. Hope you are feeling alright.

It feels like the end of a decade should be marked in some way, so here’s a picture of  the Edinburgh tenement where the recipient of all the postcards lived:

Tenement home of postcard recipient

(c) 2012 Google

As I said when I started blogging about the postcards, I don’t want to reveal the names or addresses of the writer or recipient; for this reason, I’ve removed the house numbers from this picture and haven’t given you the street name.* If you wish to speculate about these, please contact me privately. The postcards were addressed to the blue door on the right.

* There are a lot of similar-looking tenements in Edinburgh, so I don’t feel I’m compromising by including this picture.

1957 – two holidays?

I think we’ve got fragments of two 1957 holidays here – one to Italy and another to Germany. Hard to tell, though, as the dates on two of the cards are unclear.

(You can get a reminder of the background of the postcard collection on its dedicated blog page.)

Postcard showing Florence

Florence, Italy

4th [month unclear], 1957

Sitting on a wall in the square at Florence just waiting to go sightseeing We had a beautiful run here and it is a lovely day. Yesterday we were on a local bus they pack you in till you can hardly breathe. This looks a lovely place. Stalls all over to buy stuff, worse luck!

Postcard showing Venice

Venice, Italy

7th [month unclear], 1957

Trying to write a card in St. Mark’s  Sq. The pigeons [xxx] dive-bombing. We sailed up the grand-canal, it is a bit strong. The noise is terrific people all over the place. The buildings and paintings are beautiful never seen anything like them. As usual half of the folk on the tour have got lost we will have to get the next river bus. Like the ordinary buses they pack on dozens, you have to hang on by your teeth.

I wonder if, by ‘strong’, she means the canal smells bad. I sense irritation in this card, what with the noise, smell, crowded buses, dive-bombing pigeons and lost travelling companions.

Postcard showing Ruhpolding, Germany

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

21st September, 1957


Got two letters this morning. Glad to know that you are all right but sorry you have missed all the good weather. This is where we climbed to yesterday, it was lovely. We are being very lazy taking our time in the morning and walking in the afternoon. It is very hot to-day must see if I can roast. Maybe I should get my thumb working for the return journey. We got the English news on the  [xx]-box.

Is she thinking about hitch-hiking? Would seem uncharacteristic – she always seems to be on organised tours. It sounds like she might have access to TV, but would radio be more probable?

2012 – the shopping so far

2012 – the shopping so far

I spend not an inconsiderable amount of time (and a reasonable amount of money) buying old stuff and if you’re reading this, I guess you might too. Boasting about your possessions isn’t attractive, so consider post this more of a shopping audit.

I’ve gone a bit cool on vintage fairs since my trip in the spring to Judy’s Vintage Kilo Sale. I might have had a different experience if I’d arrived early in the morning, but arriving just after lunch, I felt faced with quite a lot of stuff that I personally think wouldn’t make it into my local charity shop – I couldn’t find a kilo on which to spend my £15. (I also didn’t like that business buyers got first pick before the general public were allowed in.) One vintage fair that is worth a look, though, is the Funk Fair.

It was just chance that I came across the Funk Fair – there was a sign outside one of my local churches as I walked back from Tesco on a Saturday morning. It looks like the Fair alternates across two Edinburgh locations and also does sessions in Dundee. Its traders are local and cover clothing, accessories, furniture and bric-a-brac.  There was really high-end stuff when I went, but you could also go with a fiver and still come out happy. I spent more than that, but not that much more, and came out with some experimentally-dyed underwear, a 1959 women’s magazine, a tea towel and  colourful adverts from old magazines.

Vintage underwear

Home Chat

Pictures before

Yes, I’ve worn the – PREVIOUSLY UNWORN – red pants.* They are perfect Edinburgh pants: warm (what with being massive and thick) and they hold your stomach in (for the winter comfort-eating, which goes on 11 months a year in Auld Reekie). The now-blue open girdle – style 762R from Berlei’s Gay Slant range – reduces me by nearly a dress size, but combine it with heels and you may as well just wear manacles on your ankles. The magazine pages and tea towel are now in IKEA frames and brightening up our kitchen – thank you to Rhian Wright (AKA Rhian Wright Illustration) for the idea. Finally, the magazine provided a couple of evenings of interesting bedtime reading, but my favourite part is where someone has scribbled reminders on the front about the recipes (cod with banana stuffing, anyone?) and food adverts inside.Recipe notes on magazine cover

Cod with bananas recipe

Food adverts

I really get a kick out of things which document household history, so one of my best finds this year was a copy of Better Home Making from a stall at the Meadows Festival at the start of June. The Meadows Festival is probably the closest thing my bit of South Edinburgh has to a village fête and it’s a good place to pick up old household items, books and clothes as well as a burger and some face painting. Better Home Making Image of Better Home Making bookis an encyclopaedia of almost everything you might wish to know about running  a house or raising a family if you were doing so around 1960. I paid around £3 for the book, which is slightly over the current going rate, but it provided me with some great pictures and insights for my earlier post “Single-Room Living”.

In preparation for my summer holiday in Greece, I did a bit of Ebay-ing. I’ve got an original 1950s sun dress that I wear to death in the heat – its full cotton skirt is cool and it’s not so skimpy as to make me self-conscious – so I tried to find another one like it. In the end, I opted for this white dress, which is made out of heavy linen and embroidered in blue – the embroidery was what attracted me. It was too big for me, and had quite a high neck and short sleeves  that I didn’t like, so I took the sewing machine to it. I did think twice, but the dress is fairly crudely home-made anyway, so I guessed it would probably be quite forgiving of my efforts. I made a scoop neck out of the high V (I used a dinner plate as a guide), removed the sleeves and took in the bodice, adding a popper fastening on one side (previously, the dress just pulled on over the head).  It’s not a fantastic piece of tailoring – if I was more skilled and patient, I would have added bust darts and tweaked the yoke – but it did the trick and the dress fulfilled its purpose.

A few weeks ago, at the start of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, I picked up yet more postcards, this time at a stall in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket. I really can’t help myself when it comes to old postcards with messages on, but at 3 for £1, I guess there are more harmful compulsions. I’ve already written about one of them in my post “Father and Mr Thom”, so here are the other two:

Edinburgh from Calton Hill

Edinburgh 1923


13th June, 1923

Dear xxx

just arrived in auld Reekie this morning weather sunny [?] and awfully windy. expect to see Mull Tomorrow. so will have my sky and  kindest  regards to all xxx

As always, help deciphering the writing I’ve transcribed as ‘XXX’ is very welcome.

Love's Thermometer

13th August, 1910 [?]

Dinna forget your Huntly Johnnies.Love's text

yours entirely

The picture and colour on the second postcard are just great. Who were (or was?) the Huntly Johnnies?

Finally, last week, I saw something I would like to own in order to display all my shopping finds – a cabinet of curiosity. This seems to be a kind of lavish, portable museum that has been around for hundreds of years, one of which has recently been recreated by the University of Aberdeen. The Aberdeen reproduction has been inspired by the Augsburg Art Cabinet, shown here:

Augsburg Art Cabinet

The Augsburg cabinet of curiosity. Image taken from Gustavianum Museum website on 1st September 2012. Click on the image to go through to the Museum’s website for a full tour of the cabinet.

The University of Aberdeen is now loaning their cabinet out to Scottish schools so that pupils can curate their own collections of objects. What a brilliant opportunity is that?

* Gussets, like toothbrushes, should never be shared.

I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein (http://CMP.LY/0/jXFZkQ).

Return to Norway – with Imogen – in 1958

Well, I didn’t feel I could go on my holidays without telling you a bit more about hers.

A second trip to Norway – she also went in 1954. This time, though, she’s with Imogen, not Shona. I’m not totally sure that the first postcard belongs to this holiday (and at the start of it), but it was definitely sent in the 1950s (based on the digits I can make out), and this seems to be the most logical fit.

Bergen postcard 1958

Bergen, Norway

[Date unclear]

Have arrived safely. Norway is beautiful. I think like Switzerland the houses are built on the side of the mountain. It was a bit rough crossing but not too bad. The shops look lovely. I am sure I will be broke. Everyone is very polite I think it will be easy to get around. Some of the words are just like ours. I shared a cabin with an Australian girl she is hitch-hiking on the continent for 10 weeks with her brother. Will write later although I may be home before it arrives.

An interesting mention of her hitch-hiking cabin mate. I guess these were the days before Busabout.

Reindeer Norway 1958

Bergen, Norway

25th May, 1958


Just had a lovely lunch and feel much better. Alls well here and Imogen’s delighted with her necklace. Going to have a look at Bergen luckily the shops are shut. We get our train in about 2 hours. Hope you are getting on all right.

Imogen also accompanied her on her trip to Bavaria the following year (1959).

Postcard Ulvik 1958

Ulvik, Hardanger, Norway

29th May, 1958


Have arrived in Ulvick. It is cool but sunny. There is no blossom out yet but plenty snow on the mountains. Quite a lot of changes here. New buildings  and such like but it looks much the same. We passed some beautiful waterfalls on the way, it is nice going over the ground we know. We move on to-morrow, I hope the next place is nice. It is very friendly at Uppheim. Will soon feel like locals. Hope you had a good time at M. Fergussons. It is almost time to go back. 

As usual, I’ve changed the names of people mentioned in the postcard. When she visited Ulvik in 1954, she stayed at the Brakanes Hotel; not clear if she is staying here again.

View over Bergen 1958

Bergen, Norway

2nd June, 1958


Our last day here. We have been shopping and sightseeing. We are having lunch and watching the world go past. We are going up the mountain next to have a look round from there. We were in the flower market and the fish market. We had a lovely sail down the fiord last night. Were up again at 5:30 to see the scenery.

I love this postcard! Fantastic colourful outfits.

Single-room living

Single-room living

Other projects have taken priority over the blog the last few weeks. I finally bit the bullet and ripped out about half of our kitchen, including an inconveniently placed island. Obviously, I don’t generally like to get rid of old stuff, but early-80s kitchen units just don’t do it for me (plus the doors were hanging off in places). It’s also been my ‘little’ sister’s thirtieth birthday, a board game convention (where my role was solely babysitter – I have no patience when it comes to learning rules), prep for a new intern at work, and a very good course on writing research proposals that was held in the lovely English village of Great Missenden. Oh, and I’ve been trying to get to grips (not totally successfully, but it’s all alright now) with self-hosted WordPress for our work blog.

So thank you to Her Royal Highness for giving us an extra bank holiday. I am choosing to honour our head of state by still being in pyjamas at eleven in the morning and writing to you about late-1950s single-room living.

My now-husband and I spent our first few years of living together in an Edinburgh flat that was under 300 square feet in size. As Miss Minimalist shows, this can have definite advantages, but given that many of our friends lived in the traditional high-ceilinged, bay-windowed tenements found in parts of Edinburgh, we did often attract questions along the lines of ‘How do you do/bear it?’. After a while, we were fairly ruthless with de-cluttering, and my dad and I did spend some time planning the kitchen area and bathroom to fit in what we needed, but otherwise it was just a case of cramming regular furniture into a small space.

From reading Beryl Conway Cross’ Better Home Making (George Newnes Limited,  London, c. 1960), it looks like modest living spaces were common in post-war Britain: there’s a whole section on single-room living (plus another on making a caravan your permanent home). Low housing stocks seem to have bred a pragmatic, imaginative approach, and I love this two-page spread on the Bachelor (“girl or man!”) Flat:

A one-room house

1950s bachelor (or bachelorette) flat

I particularly like the desk-stroke-dressing table, and the linen shelf that slides under the bed (not shown but described).

I also like this use of a room divider:

Room divider

Making use of room dividers

I have no idea whether anyone actually put plans like this into practice or whether, like IKEA’s storage innovations, it was a nice idea that required a little too much commitment to realise. Still, it’s a living situation many young married couples would have managed. (I remember someone once telling me that her parents thought themselves very lucky to have two rooms to live in when they started their married life in the UK in the 1950s.)

I suspect I wasn’t the only kid who had a bit of a thing for concealed beds, day beds and bed settees, so I’ve enjoyed these pictures of space-saving sleeping areas too:

Cupboard for concealed bed

It looks just like a cupboard…

Concealed bed

…but look what’s inside!

Norwegian day-bed

Norwegian day-bed arrangement


Fold-up divan

Sofa bed

Sofa bed

Day bed

Day bed arrangement

I started this post talking about ripping out part of our kitchen. In terms of a replacement, we’ve gone for some freestanding IKEA units which are sturdy, easy to install (no installation) and which blend with the rest of the existing units until we’ve time and money to finish the job. However, I did explore how realistic and affordable it would be to install something like the English Rose fitted kitchen. I decided that we’ve neither the time nor the money right now for the metal restoration that would be required, but it still seems like a good reason for a picture of what looks decidedly like an English Rose kitchen:

English Rose kitchen

English Rose-esque kitchen

Enjoy the rest of your Jubilee Tuesday! I’ll try and return to the postcard series soon.

The ‘respectable part’, Bavaria, 1959

Here’s the latest in a series of posts on the postcard collection I found at a car boot sale a few months ago. Once again, our writer is off on early-summer travels in Europe, this time in Bavaria, Germany.

This seems to be the complete set of postcards from this vacation, and she has written frequently – often twice a day. I don’t know if this frequency was standard for the time, or whether her recipient was an anxious mother or sister waiting at home in Edinburgh who required reassurance from frequent news. Maybe author and recipient were just very close and enjoyed writing.

London, SW1

30th May, 1959

I suppose you know what my message was last night. Have arrived in London and feel better now that I have eaten. The boys gradually dropped off but the train was packed again at Newcastle. It wasn’t a bad journey, the game and the primroses were lovely at some parts. I saw a fox in the field outside Berwick. I am sitting on a seat at the station and my next door neighbour seems to be a bit off. It is dull but very calm just now, hope it lasts. Hope you got home alright. Sorry I didn’t get out again to wave to you.

She has taken a train down the east coast of the UK, from Edinburgh to London. The Berwick she refers to is probably Berwick-upon-Tweed, through which the Edinburgh-London train still passes today. I’m not sure of the meaning of ‘off’ – just ‘grumpy’, as today (at least in my idiolect), or ‘strange’?

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

1st June, 1959


We have had a lazy day. We talked for ages with the German visitors in the house. The clunky [?] alphabet wasn’t in it. We finally wandered into the town and had a look around. We were in the church and it is beautifully decorated with flowers just now and then we were round the shops of course. We had tea and cream cakes in a cafe this afternoon. Have booked for a tour to-morrow. The weather is still dull but a little warmer. Wish it would clear up. Are going to dinner and then a Bavarian concert.

I am not sure what she means by her third sentence. My interpretation, if my transcription is correct, is that she can speak some German but struggles with the written form.

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

2nd June, 1959

Forgot to post this, this morning.

Monday night

We have had a very nice evening after dinner we saw the Bavarian concert. There was a brass band dancers and singers all very good, much the same as we saw in the Usher Hall once. Marjorie, the other girl has got a boyfriend. I don’t know if  Imogen is interested but she was doing all right I hope they don’t fight over him. We can’t get to Innsbruck it is too far but we are going to Munich and Salzburgh [sp. – ‘Salzburg’].

Her companions also seemed pretty keen on the local men in her 1954 holiday in Norway, too! These do not seem to be the same women; as usual, names have been changed. No mention of our author getting up to anything, of course. The Usher Hall is a music venue in Edinburgh that still exists today.

Königssee, Bavaria, Germany

2nd June, 1959


We have just sailed down the Königssee and have been in the Chapel. The scenery would be beautiful if you could see it but there is mist on the mountains and it is raining. This is near Hitlers hide-out, but we don’t go so high. We go over the Alpen road, it was built before the war and goes high over the mountains. There is a little snow but nothing like Norway.

Strange to hear her talking about Hitler at a time when the Second World War must still have been fresh in people’s memories.

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

2nd June, 1959


We have just got back from our tour and are going off to dinner. It was very good, the sun came out when we were in this place [possibly Bad Reichenhall, which is shown on the front of the postcard] and the scenery was beautiful. We could have taken dozens of photos of the mountains but the bus did not stop maybe just as well. We are having a great time, some of the people are very nice, some are ___. Going to Munich to-morrow. Got your note when we got in just now. Glad you were O.K.

I love that she simply writes a dash instead of lowering herself to write an insulting word.

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

3rd June, 1959


We are now having lunch in a beer garden but the respectable part upstairs. We are in Munich, it is a day lovely day and we have had a tour round the town it is just as well we don’t have long to shop, we could spend a fortune.  We came along the Auto-Bahn, it is a marvellous road, no stopping. Had a good time last night, it was a variety concert. We go back by a lake it should be lovely.

The first motorway was only opened in the UK in 1958, and in England, so it’s understandable that the German equivalent would be a novelty to her.

Bad Wiessee, Bavaria, Germany

3rd June, 1959


Since we arrived here on Sunday we have done nothing but eat, and we’re at it again. This time a lakeside café, we have had lovely cream cakes. We are on our way back from Munich. It is a very busy town with some huge castles and buildings but not so pretty as some. We heard the clarion playing in the tower on this card and some figures dance at the same time. I will soon be into a greasy spot [?]. Quite a change. 

A clarion could be a type of trumpet. Not sure what she means by a ‘greasy spot’ – maybe she thinks she could get fat from all the eating?

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

4th June, 1959


We are having a lazy day. This is our house, nice isn’t it. The Right now I am sitting on the verandah outside our room writing postcards got your letter this morning, was surprised about William Watson. Hope he is all right. We enjoyed our tour yesterday and had a very good Bavarian concert at night. We are almost locals by now. It is beautiful with the sun shining. Hope to go for a walk this afternoon, the woods seem to be lovely. [illegible word – ‘hope’ intended?] you are getting on all right.

I am a gossip, and so would love to know what had happened to William Watson (but hope it was nothing too terrible); as usual, names have been changed. Strange to think of her sat on one the very balconies shown here.

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

4th June, 1959


Have come a walk to the foot of the ski lift but have not gone up. The scenery is beautiful right at the foot of the mountain. We are stewed [?] as usual, a nice gentil [sp. – ‘gentle’] red. There is a concert to-night with [illegible] T.V. Stars. I hope it is good. I’ll soon be able to understand the jokes but maybe it is just as well I can’t.

St Wolfgang, Austria

5th June, 1959

We have just stopped for lunch here . We weren’t in the White Horse Inn it is too expensive but we saw it. It is a beautiful place but costly. It is on the other shore of the lake and looks on to a range of mountains. We have come through mountains all the way. I’ve never seen anything like it. The villages are so narrow the buses can hardly get through.

St Wolfgang’s White Horse Inn is the subject of a musical comedy that was successfully revived in the post-War period.

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

6th June, 1959


We are at the end of the holiday almost. This morning we did our shopping, now we are sitting up at the church in the shade it is so warm. We saw a christening in the church, the baby was tiny. I think this is a birthday card but it is a change from a view. Last night was an amateur night at the Kurhaus but we didn’t do an act. To-night is another Bavarian night they are the best of the lot. Everyone is such a nice brown and we are red as usual.

The Kurhaus in Ruhpolding still seems to be an events venue today.

Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany

7th June, 1959


Here we are on our last day. It has been lovely we are sorry to leave. I haven’t got my Bubbly yet. I don’t think I will get it now. We are all packed and have had a walk but it is very warm. We would love to have put our feet in the river. Our luggage will be put on the train and we have to collect our coats and leave at 4.30. We have a stop at Cologne in the morning. The tourists are just pouring into the place to-day, it will be murder next week.

Cologne, north-west Germany

8th June, 1959

We are now in Cologne at 6.30 in the morning. We had a good journey and are dressed [?] ready to start of [sp. – ‘off’] again. We all look quite sunburnt. We have been in the Cathedral and it is beautiful, lovely windows but haven’t time to see much more. It is very busy already they must start early at work.

Sightseeing at 6:30 in the morning – good on her!

As with all of the postcard posts, please don’t publicly speculate about the identity of the author or recipient. 

Shona and the locals, 1954

Just two cards from her 1954 holiday in Norway, but the first is rather entertaining.

En route to Haugesund, Norway

30th May, 1954

We are on our way to Haugesund on a ship of the same name. There isn’t a cloud in the sky, it is airy [?] on the water but there is a barge over the land which spoils the view. Shona is just getting off with 3 rather slimy [?] locals, I don’t know if they understand each other or not. We were taken from the hotel to the boat by bus so the luggage was no bother.

I’ve changed the name of her female companion here, as the more names that appear, the easier it might be to identify our tourist. I’m assuming that ‘getting off’ didn’t mean the same in the 1950s as it does in current UK slang, or else Shona would have been pretty busy!

Brakanes Hotel, Ulvik, Hardanger, Norway

31st May, 1954

Have arrived at Ulvik. The journey was wonderful, the road twisted round the fiords and through tunnels. We stopped at a large waterfall and got soaked with spray looking at it. We stopped at Odda as well and saw a lot in their national costumes, the children were lovely. The scenery is just like the postcards, blossoms, blue skies and the water. To-morrow we go shopping and must see about sight-seeing.

Brakanes Hotel in Ulvik, Hardanger is still on the go today. It looks rather nice.

As with all of the postcard posts, please don’t publicly speculate about the identity of the author or recipient. 

Lobster-tan in Amsterdam, 1953

This is the only postcard I have from her 1953 vacation. It shows a Dutch street organ (want to know what one sounds like?)  in Amsterdam. It made me grin when I looked closely and spotted the boy sat down in the background who is looking straight at the camera. I’m not sure what the ‘Iris’ branding in the bottom-right refers to as this is a common business name in the Netherlands.


1st June, 1953

It is after 5 now so we only have an hour to go. If I get no more sun I will have a tan to bring back. I am like a lobster already. It has been a glorious day and cabin [?], I hope the return journey is as good. There is a shortage of couchettes [sleeper-train cars] so I think the men will have to sit up, I hope it isn’t us anyway. We still have our escort and doing well. Hope you four [?] O.K. M.T.M. [‘more tomorrow’]

As with all of the postcard posts, please don’t publicly speculate about the identity of the author or recipient. 

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