Friday, 9 September 2011

Sepia Saturday 91 - Yours Sincerely, Frank

I've decided not to theme again for this week's Sepia Saturday, but hopefully what I have to offer will be of interest. I picked up a whole batch of vintage postcards last week, so now have a pile of 200+ to sort through. These will make their way on to my various blogs and websites over the next few weeks, but for now here are the first couple, with perhaps a mystery to be solved.

The postcard itself is of a cottage in Brading on the Isle of Wight, c.1902. It was published by Raphael Tuck in the "Rural England" series and is postcard number 1469. It's a vignette style postcard as, at that time, senders were only allowed to write on the front of the card, so the white space around the picture is used for the greeting. As you can see the sender of the card has squeezed in about as much as is possible.

Cottage at Brading, Sile of Wight, c.1902

I don't normally share the other side of the card, but the back of this postcard is a great example of an undivided back, allowing the sender to write only the address.

Undivided back of cottage postcard, c.1902

And now for the mystery. I picked up the postcard below in the same batch as the one above. Both seem to be signed by Frank. There is some similarity in the signatures, but also some differences. I can imagine that the signature on the picture of Frank was written very deliberately and carefully, whereas the postcard has been written a bit more impulsively. So, the mystery is, is Frank in the picture the same Frank who wrote the postcard. The postcard of Frank was published by Heyworth's Studios, St. Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire. So if it's the same Frank he must have gone to the Isle of Wight, bought the postcard, and posted it on his way home to Lancashire as the postmark on the cottage postcard is Manchester.

Yours sincerely, Frank

As usual 100's more vintage postcards on my web site, which should be updated over the next few weeks



  1. An interesting post. Frank had beautiful handwriting, and a good looking young man as well. I wonder who he was writing to. The message is a bit difficult to decipher.

  2. Have you deciphered the whole message? Maybe there are some clues there.

  3. Another undivided back postcard - the second this week. William P Pearson, then aged 17, is shown visiting the house of Anglican clergyman John Broad at 4 Church Avenue, Walton-on-the-Hill in 1901. Originally from Rock Ferry, Cheshire, he was working as an accountant's clerk.

    I like the reference to cycling, it was a new fad then. It's obvious from the message that Frank is returning to Lancashire, so it seems quite possible that it's the same person. He and William Pearson seem to be friends, rather than relatives though, so that's not much help.

    Thanks for sharing the postcards and story.

  4. Frank looks like a man on a mission. You may have the germ of a thriller here.

  5. Interesting connection. Maybe some of the other postcards you picked up will fill in the blanks. Great penmanship!

  6. Doesn't matter that it's not on theme, it raises an interesting speculation. More to wonder about than not.

  7. The thing I love most of all about those undivided back cards is how on one side as much writing as possible is crammed into such a small space, whilst on the reverse the name and address is almost lost in the mass of white space. Great cards.

  8. I also love the undivided backs. I am guessing it is indeed the same frank.

  9. Frank looks like an accountant who probably liked a pint or two in the evening, but whose signature always looked lovely. The handwriting for the address is so lovely.

  10. A nice mystery. The "Yours" and "Your" and "Sincerely" and "Sunday" are a key. Looks like the same writer, but...?


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