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Hear Our Talk About The Golden Age of Guildford’s Picture Postcards

Published on: 4 Apr, 2013
Updated on: 4 Apr, 2013

Come and hear David Rose and Martin Giles of The Guildford Dragon NEWS give their illustrated talk History of the Picture Postcard Featuring Vintage Views of Guildford, at Guildford YMCA on Friday, April 12, at 2pm.

Picture postcard of St Catherine's Chapel postmarked with the date 1902.

Picture postcard of St Catherine’s Chapel postmarked with the date 1902.

It promises to be a fascinating afternoon taking a look at the history of the humble picture postcard and featuring many images of Guildford, from the 1900s, on through the 20th century and up to today.

The majority of the images you will see are from David’s own collection. He said: “We’re lucky, as in Guildford and the surrounding villages examples from the whole of the UK’s picture postcard history can found found. My earliest postmarked picture postcard is from 1902. It was published by a fantastic local photographer, Percy Lloyd of Albury.”

As soon as aircraft took to the skies, up went photographers to take aerial views. Some were published as picture postcards. Here's one of Guildford.

As soon as aircraft took to the skies, up went photographers to take aerial views. Some were published as picture postcards. Here’s one of Guildford.

All the big postcard firms produced street views of Guildford during what is known as the golden age of picture postcards – from 1900 to about the time of the First World War. It was a time when literally millions and millions of cards were sent by people all over the UK. Sending and receiving postcards became a real trend. It was the email and texting of the time, and people were caught up in the craze of collecting postcards.

It’s for that reason why so many have survived. David has been collecting them since about 198o and has a comprehensive collection of local street scenes and village views.

Picture postcards were produced featuring the news of the day as in this one of Guildford's Great Storm of 1906. It is a view of Woodbridge Road near the site where two people died when a tree fell on them.

Picture postcards were produced featuring the news of the day as in this one of Guildford’s Great Storm of 1906. It is a view of Woodbridge Road near the site where two people died when a tree fell on them.

He adds: “For local historians such as Martin and I, topographical picture postcards are fantastic things to study. One side of each card gives a wonderful insight into how a town or village looked decades ago. And if a card has been postally used, then there is often an interesting message to be read and wondered at!”

Lovely scene of Gomshall photographed by Percy Lloyd of Albury.

Lovely scene of Gomshall photographed by Percy Lloyd of Albury.

Martin will be narrating the messages on the backs of a number of Guildford postcards – some of them are very humorous and some even a bit risque!

The writing on the backs of some cards as just as fascinating as the images on the opposite side!

The writing on the backs of some cards is just as fascinating as the image on the opposite side!

Several postcards will feature St Catherine’s Village, and Martin will focus on a particular card that was sent by a solder during the First World War to his true love in the village.

Did he survive the war and was there’s a happy ending? You will have to come along and find out.

Guidford's firemen pose for a photograph in the early 1900s.

Guidford’s firemen pose for a photograph in the early 1900s.

Their talk and picture show is in aid of Guildford YMCA’s Sleep £asy fund. Martin and David took part in its sleep out back in February. They hope that this event will raise some more money, which will be added the overall total that has now passed £9,000.

Tickets are a modest £5 per person for what is guaranteed to be a great afternoon of local history and nostalgia.

To book tickets call Guildford YMCA on 01483 448784. Guildford YMCA is in Bridge Street. There will be an interval at which refreshments will be available.

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test 5 Responses to Hear Our Talk About The Golden Age of Guildford’s Picture Postcards

  1. Chris McSween Reply

    April 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    So looking forward to this!

  2. Pete Brayne Reply

    April 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I was fascinated to get a preview of this a few weeks ago when David and Martin came to see me and am delighted to be hosting what I know will be a very interesting and entertaining event at Guildford’s YMCA.

  3. Barbara Howarth Reply

    April 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Me too! See you there.

  4. Shirley and Brian West Reply

    April 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    What a great afternoon. Your knowledge of Guildford is amazing David and Martin’s input was so good too. Glad you had a house full. Brian and I are so glad we came.

  5. Brian Holt Reply

    April 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I agree it was great afternoon, and my brother said it was worth coming up from Eastbourne for. We are looking forward to your next one.

    You both made it so interesting with your knowledge of Guildford.

    It was nice to chat to other people we didn’t even know about the good old days, and I think we left knowing where everyone lived when they was children and what school they went to in Guildford.

    I would like to add what a excellent lunch the YMCA served.

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