Postcards from a Reader

Many thanks to Rob van der Klugt from the Netherlands for sending in these four postcards and for providing the commentary.

Rob is a regular reader of this blog and first posted a comment back in 2014. I asked him how he knew the UK so well and this is what he said.

Well, Bob, after I fell in love with your country and acquired a 1957 Wolseley 1500 (Dunstable, 1976; still here!) I kept crossing the Channel once or twice a year. That’s why!

So I asked whether he had sent home any postcards while on his travels and whether he still had any of them.

Rob again…

I went through my collection of postcards that I bought, new or second-hand, during holidays in England. All of them show nice line-ups of fifties, sixties or seventies cars, but none of them would raise eyebrows. Here are four…

Postcard 1 – Carpet Gardens, Eastbourne (bought second hand; stamped 11th September 1973).

Since 1977 I’ve left thousands of footsteps on my favourite Eastbourne seafront. The photo shows lucky guests who have parked their Rover P5 (whitewalls!) and Rolls-Royce / Bentley at the entrance of the Burlington Hotel.

Postcard 2 – Charing, Kent (bought new and sent to my parents; stamped (7p) June 30, 1976. On the card’s back: “Counted fifty-eight Wolseleys 1500 so far.” On the front: seems to be a mid-1930’s Ford Ten. Next time in England I’ll revisit this street. Of course that little car will be there.

Postcard 3 – Margate (bought new in local shop, early 80’s): Another clock tower to go with your Margate card [see Ford Transit postcard of Margate].

Magnificent lesson in change from prewar into postwar car design, visible when the models are put in correct order. (Sshh…Vauxhall halfway between both worlds). Nice puzzle, perhaps?

Postcard 4 – Tamar Bridge, Plymouth (bought second hand for the cars pictured. On the left a jolly nice Hillman Californian, and similar rear windows on Anglia and Reliant. Opposite a duotone Austin A105, with (yes!) wing mirrors.

Many thanks, Rob! A nice selection.

I remember Rob commenting on a couple of my cards of Eastbourne – Between the Wards in Eastbourne and Goings on in Eastbourne. I’ll have to find one with a Wolseley 1500 in it and send it to him.

Charing. What a delightful little town. I don’t think I’ve ever been there, but I looked it up on Google Maps Street View. Good to see the post office is still there in the same building. So many have now closed or become counters in supermarkets. Not the same thing.

Charing High Street

Margate. Yes a nice puzzle. So what are the main differences between pre-war and post-war British cars? Looking at this selection we might conclude headlights and boots. The post war cars had integral headlights and boots that hinged from the top. There are undoubtedly many more differences (and exceptions to any rules we might make) but those are the differences that leap out at me.

So, left to right – 1 post-war, 2 pre-war, 3 pre-war, 4 post war, 5 pre-war, 6 post-war.

And the cars – 1 Vauxhall Wyvern 1948, 2 ???, 3 ???, 4 Austin A40 1954, 5 Austin Ten 1939, 6 Hillman Minx 1945.

I feel like a schoolboy waiting for the teacher to mark his homework. I’m not too hot on pre-war cars.

Ah, the Tamar Bridge card. I’m sure Rob’s mention of wing mirrors harks back to my post An SL with mirrors which features the same car park, oh and bridge. A nice link.  I also like the fact that the Reliant Robin is parked next to the Ford Anglia, both, as Rob notes, with similar rear windows. I’d forgotten the Reliant when I posted Reverse Rake Windows four years ago and Reverse Rake Windows #2 last year.

Thanks again Rob van der Klugt from the Netherlands.

One thought on “Postcards from a Reader

  1. As I used to be a primary school teacher for 35 years, I’ll resume my work and have a look at your homework, Bob…
    First impression: well done, good study, neatly written down.
    To extend your knowledge: all the cars photographed can be, and probably are, postwar-manufactured. Many prewar productions were, more or less updated, continued during the first postwar years.
    Now let’s look, like you did, from left to right:
    1 (correct!) Vauxhall Wyvern / 2 Morris Ten / 3 MG Y-Type / 4 (correct!) Austin A40 or A50 (we can’t see the engine) / 5 Austin Ten / 6 (Oh yes, you did know) Morris Oxford Series II. Next time next chance. Out for your after school soccer match!

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