Looking back over the last twelve months I realised that we didn’t receive a single postcard during the whole of 2020. As outlined in the ‘About’ page, the sending and receiving of postcards has been in steep decline for a number of years and the pandemic has accelerated the decline. We were down to receiving just two or three a year and those people who could be relied upon to send us an obligatory ‘Wish you were here…’ rarely left their homes in 2020, let alone travelled to a destination worthy of a postcard. It’s not that long ago that we would enjoy receiving postcards from near and far, and pin them to our notice board where they would remain for several months until eventually being despatched to the recycling bin.
A few years ago, a duty which made me think more about postcards was that of clearing out mum’s apartment. In so doing, we found an old biscuit tin containing a good selection of the postcards she and dad had received over the years. They dated back to the 1950s and were from a wide range of family, friends and neighbours. Looking through them was a welcome trip down Memory Lane.
The limited space available forced the sender to be succinct but each one told it own short story – of seaside holidays in Skegness, Blackpool or Great Yarmouth or further afield of fishing villages in Cornwall, walks in the Lake District or of visits to Scottish lochs and castles. Later, with the availability of package holidays, the more adventurous folk would send postcards from Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland or Austria. I remember those latter ones were my first encounter with foreign stamps.
Now, with texts, emails, FaceTime and mobile phones readily available, it is understandable that people prefer the wonder of instant communication rather than rely on the snail-mail pace of traditional postcards. Sadly the switch to modern communications does mean that old biscuit tins are no longer being filled with postcards for someone to discover in years to come.
I can’t remember the last time we bought, wrote, stamped and posted a postcard. I sometimes use an online service to upload my own photo whilst on holiday and send it as an actual postcard – usually printed and posted in the UK and delivered the following day so the best of both worlds.
Questions…. Did you receive any postcards in 2020? When did you last send a postcard?