5 posts categorised "Postcard Collection"

Answers on a Postcard

My postcard blog has proved very popular with readers recently, and if you enjoyed looking at them then this just might be right up your alley.


One of the postcards from my local collection.

I met this week with the lovely Agatha O'Neill, an artist, actress, and general creative extraordinaire, after discovering her latest artistic project.

The project, called "Echoes of the Past", is an interactive art piece for her second year of fine art at Kent College. It will show a collection of postcards that have been sent to Agatha with messages of what things people find valuable.

Agatha started the project after shopping for postcards and discovering a box of over 200 cards from the same family in a charity shop. She was so intrigued by the little stories between the family that she actually began writing a postcard diary to herself. Yep, that's right, she sent postcards to herself.

The pleasure of having a message on the back of a pretty picture landing on the doormat in the morning lead to the desire to want to receive postcards from other people, and the best way to do this, apart from sending your friends on lots of holidays, is to turn it into an art project.

The best bit...is that you and I can take part.

The best bit of all, because it's an interactive art piece, is that you and I can take part. All you have to do is send Agatha a postcard with some answers to the following questions:

(answer one, or answer them all)
1. What do you own that you would love to put in display in a museum?
2. If you could take anything from a museum home, what would it be?
3. What would you replace it with?
4. What wouldn’t you want to take home?
5. Which of your possessions most represent you?
6. What's the most valuable thing you would give?
7. What's the one thing you would never give away?
8. What do you want more than anything in the world?
9. What is your most precious memory?

These days, with the new communication technologies we have, we don't send postcards anymore, so let's change that. Let's send some postcards! Come on, pop down to the Tourist Information Centre, or do what I did and pop into King Charles the Martyr Church, for their excellent range and help Agatha out and be part of the artwork. Even if you don't live in Tunbridge Wells you can take part, I bet Agatha would love to receive cards from all over the world. Come on readers, get sending!

Send your postcards, by the 11th of February, to: Flat 5 Cambridge House, Camden Hill, Tunbridge Wells TN2 4TB.

Greetings Card

One of Agatha's greetings cards, available throughout town. You could even buy one of these to send.

Her project will be on display at Maidstone Museum from the 16th of February until the 23rd of March, and I really hope that one of our fine exhibition spaces will be able to bring it to Tunbridge Wells so that everyone can see it. If you can't get to the display, or just want to see other cards Agatha has received so far, then you can keep up with Agatha's project on her Twitter and Facebook.

I've chosen my postcard, I wonder if yours will be as bizarre as mine. There's only one way to find out.

Tunbridge Wells Through Time

A new delivery from the postman this morning gave me the idea to pop out and take some photos, and risk my life in the process.

Tunbridge Wells Through Time

There I was browsing Amazon after a sleep-deprived night, like you do, when I happened upon a brand new book about Tunbridge Wells. My fingers couldn't reach for that Buy Button fast enough. By now you are no doubt wondering what the photograph above and below have to do with that, well my dear reader, read on.

Tunbridge Wells Through Time

Tunbridge Wells Through Time book. Click to buy!

The book in question (pictured right) is called Tunbridge Wells Through Time by Robert Turcan and is basically 90-odd pages of old postcards with matching photographs taken from roughly the same angle, and when I say roughly I mean really roughly.

So, instead of filling this blog post with a postcard from my Tunbridge Wells Postcards blog with a matching photo today, I decided to get a bit arty about it and mush them together.

I chose a few photos from my postcard collection, the High Street seeming the nicest, and easiest, examples and ventured out with my camera. My choice of postcard was rather annoying when I arrived at my first spot as it seemed only possible to recreate it by standing in the middle of the road. Well I'd come too far to turn back now so I waited for innocent passers-by to press the Wait button on the Pelican crossing then dashed out into the traffic to click a few frames. It got me a few stares I can tell you but after about ten attempts I managed a pretty decent match.

Anyway, enough of the photos, back to the book. Well, errrr, it's probably not a book you'd spend hours reading again and again as it's sparse of interesting text and the photos are decidedly amateur. It's probably worth popping into the Christmas stocking for the Tunbridge Wells book collector in your life that has everything else but that's about all I can say, I'll leave you with the book's description and click the picture right if you want to buy it.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' is a well worn cliche, however, it does encapsulate the genteel character of this Kentish spa. Before the popularity of sea bathing, holidaymakers gathered here to drink the waters for medicinal purposes.
The town grew to accommodate visitors with smart hotels and attractive terraces of Georgian and Victorian houses. The area's sandstone geology is revealed at Wellington and High Rocks and there is also evidence of Roman occupation in the town's roots.
Today a low crime rate, relatively full employment, attractive open spaces, good transport links to London and a vibrant retail sector have created a contented community. Changes to the townscape over the past century have been mostly sympathetic, but still very important.
The photographs in this book provide a fleeting view of Tunbridge Wells through time, and provide the reader with a fascinating tour of this Kentish spa's eclectic past and present.

At least it got me out taking photos, what do you think of them?

The Dogter Will See You Now

How about this for a picture, a baby eating dog food whilst the dog looks on ready to give some first aid.

Ranger, the Royal Tunbridge Wells Hospital Dog

The ever helpful John Weeks from the NHS tells me:

"Before the NHS the hospital had to raise all its own funds to stay open it was not funded by the state. As well as subscribers, donations, and charges they had regular fund raising including collection boxes door to door and Hospital Sunday each year when a big carnival would snake through the town with floats etc., also pound days when a stall would be set up in front of the hospital when people would donate a pound of flour or sugar etc., in 1934 they had over 500 eggs donated too".

I thought I'd post it up to give you a reminder about my Postcard Blog and also the post below this one to ask what you would like to put into the time capsule at the new hospital.

Remember kids, don't eat dog food. Unless your dog is a trained medical professional.

Wish You Were Over There

Today, thanks to the huge generosity of John Barber, Chairman of the Friends of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons, we are launching a new and very interesting section to the blog.

This new section is hoping, that's hoping with a large emphasis as it is you who will be helping to make it grow, to one day be the largest resource of postcards of Tunbridge Wells.

This is just the back, click and you might see what's on the other side.

Why postcards? Well they are a wonderful record of the past, the way the town used to be, the way it used to look, and from the stories on the back, how it used to appear to common ordinary people.

So, hesitate no longer and click to visit the Tunbridge Wells Postcards blog or just click on the postcard above.

If there is anyone out there who can donate, and when I say donate I only mean donate for a few days, to the archive then please get in touch. Enjoy!

Wish You Were Here...I Think

I have been very kindly lent a huge collection of postcards to digitise for the Friends of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons and for the good of the town by the Chairman of the Friends, John Barber. I am hoping to share the entire collection with you with some surrounding history too at some point in the future.

To whet your whistle in the meantime I give you one of the collection I have scanned so far, an unstamped but rather heavily used postcard of St. Mark's Church on Broadwater Down.

Can you decipher any of the myriad of messages? Why not leave anything you can read in the comments below and together perhaps we can read the whole thing.

St. Marks Church Broadwater Down postcard

Front of the postcard.

St. Marks Church Broadwater Down postcard

Back of the postcard.

Also, if you have any Tunbridge Wells postcards and would like to contribute to an archive of them I am creating then please drop me an email.


  • I am a spritely 30-something living with my beautiful wife in the most fabulous town in the entire world, Royal Tunbridge Wells.

    We love to soak up the culture, the lifestyle, the nature, the history, the people, the art, the architecture, and the countryside in this idyllic part of the Weald, and because we love our town so much we made our blogs to share it with the rest of you.

    If you have any questions, comments or suggestions then please get in touch by sending us an email or if you are on Twitter then you can tweet me at @ankertw.

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