Allan Blackburn column

Allan Blackburn.
Allan Blackburn.

Well with the start of some better weather at last and yet another bank holiday upon us, I thought I’d talk this week about postcards.

Nothing can be more associated with holidays than the postcard.

We seem to have lots of long weekends close together this year: Easter, May Day and now Spring Bank and I’m thinking about finally booking a holiday away.

Every time I pass a certain stand at GB Antiques Centre that sells antique and collectable postcards, it reminds me I haven’t booked anything yet.

Postcard collecting is now one of the world’s most popular hobbies in third place behind coin and stamp collecting.

Nostalgia is often the main motivation for entering into postcard collecting, but price is one of the reasons it is such a popular field.

Most postcards are inexpensive.

There are also space considerations with any growing hobby.

Fortunately, even a huge collection of postcards is easy to store.

The first commercial postcards appeared in Europe in 1869; however they didn’t appear in Britain until 1894 as they did not conform to the standard sized cards the post office used.

The first few years of the 20th century saw the postcard industry develop into a highly profitable business, known as ‘The Golden Age’ of picture postcards.

Everybody used them as a cheap and easy way to send messages before the telephone. Also as the railway network grew, seaside holidays became within reach of the masses.

Today, as then, sending postcards home whilst on holiday is something everyone did.

There were many different subjects of postcards and it was not uncommon for people to have their own collection of cards.

These picture postcards of events, new buildings and political images are important because they give us an idea of how significant moments in history affected people at that time.

Comedy postcards are often the most popular and expensive at up to £5 each.

Postcards from the past 100 years or more are now appreciated once again by tens of thousands of collectors as they not only allow us to reminisce, but most are inexpensive too – we’ve loads of sale from between 10p and 50p.