This week, I’m offering a postcard for Sepia Saturday. It’s no ordinary postcard though. At least, to me, it isn’t. It pictures my great, great grandmother, ‘Jinny’, feeding the swans at Fishers Pond. She and her husband, Wellington, had a smallholding and lived in a cottage at the water’s edge.
But it’s the reverse side of the postcard that holds a special fascination for me. The card is addressed to my grandmother, Hilda, at Yule Cottage, the place of my birth.
Posted on 17th November, 1948, long before there was a telephone in the house, it carries two messages. The first, cancelling a trip to ‘small town’ Eastleigh in favour of a day out in the capital. The second, an enquiry as to whether or not Hilda is already in possession of this postcard with the picture of her grandmother on it.
The message was sent by Doris Hall, a lifelong friend of Hilda. I remember, when I was a child, Doris visited once a week, cycling the mile or so from Fishers Pond. There was a little ritual that followed her arrival. Doris would always produce a bone for the dog, before she and Hilda shared a pot of tea and caught up with the latest against the hollowed ticking of the grandfather clock. After tea, another ritual. A slow tour of the garden, still in conversation, their words steadily lost among the blooms.
© 2010, copyright Martin T. Hodges