TO MISS BLACK.

July 29th, 2016

Another postcard, another mystery.

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When my parents came to visit, in the beginning of the month, my dad asked me to go to Snoopers Paradise together. I surely got my interests for vintage, second hand and overall “old” items, from him. And so I was very pleased when he asked me to go there together.

Of course, we took a look at some postcards, and here is one of them. 

He bought me 3 postcards which I selected based on calligraphy and artwork. That day I had left my mom and cousin to visit the inside of The Royal Pavilion, but since my dad had seen it plenty of time before, we used those 30 minutes to shop.

Because of it, I didn’t have time to fully focus on the text of each postcard I picked up, and you might be wondering why I’m specifying this – let me explain.

First, let me show you the postcard I’ve previously wrote about here, on my blog, back in April.

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To summarise it, this was sent from Germany to a little village called Fritham, here in England. It was sent at the beginning of World War I, on Christmas Eve of 1914.

Now, let me show you the postcards I bought. One of them in particular.

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What at first seemed to read “Zulham” to me, turns out to be Fritham. It took me a while to fully be able to read and recognise the way the person writing this wrote down each letter – if you look at the word “Hants” the “T” is just a tall line. So with a bit of patience, I managed to read the text and suddenly felt like I knew the place this postcard was sent to.

Fritham, North Lyndhurst, Hampshire (I couldn’t understand why both addresses wrote Hants, but with a quick research, I found out that’s how the county is shortened as).

What a coincidence. 

So of course, out of the 3 postcards I have now, I’ve started to research this one first.

The first thing I needed to know was the date. As usual, the day and month have been stamped on in the corner, but the year almost never appears. What I could see was that it was sent the 22nd of April.

Like I did last time, I wanted to get an idea of when this postcard was made, so that I could figure out the exact year it was sent: unlike the other one, part of the Divided Back Era, this one was made right after that period, the White Border Era (you can see it from the white frame around the art work). Postcards like this one were cheaper to produce, of a lower quality (in fact, even just holding it I can tell it’s much thinner compared to the other I have) but because they were made from 1915-1930 I still couldn’t figure out the exact year.

So the last resource I had was the stamp itself. Sure, it didn’t have a year written on it, but the colour and illustration could point me in the right direction.

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Turns out that England produced a ton of different stamps (above are only a few), and some almost identical if not changing shades slightly, or prices.

It took me some time to go through the pale orange ones, and eventually I found one that matched both colour and price.

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This is exactly how mine looks like. It started being made in June 10th, 1941 – due to the fact that the postcard was sent in April, I suppose the year was 1942.

The one thing that doesn’t fully match is how a White Border Era postcard was used years after it was produced, but I guess they might not have sold out very fast and were still available to buy many years later.

But now that we know the date, we can start focusing on who this was addressed to and the message.

I believe this was sent as a Happy Easter note, during World War II.

The sender expresses both religious and peace wishes. And the fact that it was received in April, the month Easter is usually celebrated in, would make it clear that this was the occasion. Plus, the use of “soon” indicates the state of war the country was in.

I searched for the address, finding out that Fritham is even smaller than I thought: if you google search it, you will see that it’s a very tiny village with a few cottages, Moor Cottage being one of them.

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I think this is the one. Although you can’t see it well, I’m okay with just being able to locate it somewhere in the world.

So to this point we know the full date, the reason why the postcard was sent, and where to.

What we don’t know, is who Miss Black is, and who the sender was. He, or she, did not sign their name, so it’s simply impossible to trace back, and unfortunately I’ve spent way too much time looking at censuses in the area to find anything specific enough: there are more than 6000 results in the Hampshire for people whose surname is Black.

So both Miss Black and the sender will remain a mystery, but I’m still happy with having learned more, once again, from and about a message that was exchanged in the past.

If you have any theories, or information to share, let me know! I would love to hear your ideas. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed reading about this.

Marzia.

 

69 thoughts on “TO MISS BLACK.

    1. lonelywriting

      Tottaly agree with you! Some time ago I found lots and lots of letters and postcards that my grandma sent to my grandpa when he was away. Also a ton of letters from my mother and uncles to him aswell. I just love sitting with them and listening their stories about certain photo orletter or note. Then I realized the same as you did, in one future we won´t have any of these. Nowadays everything is just express. This makes me a little sad

      Like

      1. handwrittenwords28

        Awww. That’s so adorable ❤ I love those kind of stories. It's so weird how technology has changed life so completely in just a few years. It's all so exciting. And at the same time so scary and sad. 🙃
        I don't even mail greeting cards anymore. It's just bizarre

        Like

  1. ansia

    Wow, I’m impressed by your skills Marzia, you’re pretty good at searching! 😛 Really interesting post, making theories and discovering things about the story behind these postcards is so amazing! Thanks for sharing, I’m always inspired, reading your blog, continue the great job! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hannah Challinor

    wow thats a good mystery, great work and the only thing i can suggest is asking ppl who live there. this is impossible obviously bcuz u dont live there so nevermind! very interesting, thx

    Like

  3. paperdeers

    Just an idea for a nostalgic blog post in the future: try to find a vintage photo (or multiple photos) of a local place you live by or will be visiting and take a photo of the vintage picture in the same place as it is today! Hopefully I made sense… I always wanted to do this but maybe you have better resources!

    Like

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