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Document of the month

July 2015: Postcards of Skegness in 1935

User AvatarPosted by Josanne Peet at 08/07/2015 07:54:09
Postcards of Skegness, 1935
Reference: DD/2243/4-7


These three postcards were sent by various members of the Gandy family back home to West Bridgford during a short stay at the seaside resort of Skegness in Lincolnshire in 1935. The postcards are all undated and unfranked as they were grouped together in an envelope to be posted. The reverse gives only a little news; the weather is excellent and at the time of writing the family were ‘sitting in front of the sea, glorious sunshine and the beach full of people’. The idyllic scene is completed by one of the children in the family adding ‘You ought to see us all having a cornet on the sands’. The views on the front of the cards are evocatively titled ‘By the Edge of the Tide’ and ‘By the Side of the Sea’; a more informal style than usual for the period. This may have been because their publisher was not a card company but a local shop; C F May, Tobacconist and Fancy Goods Dealer based on North Parade, an address close to the seafront. The pictures themselves seem very immediate and with more of a ‘snapshot’ element than was customary whilst still showing typical seasonal activity, with boat hire, pleasure trips and a good view of the pier. 


Little more than a mile away from where the photographs were taken however, Billy Butlin was just beginning construction of the first ever holiday camp which was to change the face of the traditional seaside holiday for millions of holidaymakers.


The postcards are part of the Gandy papers (ref no: DD/2243), a large collection which provides a fascinating and detailed  view  of  an ordinary family and their experiences throughout the twentieth century. It begins with the marriage of Edwin Gandy to Caroline Gamble in 1901 and follows, through correspondence, memorabilia and official paperwork, their married life and that of their five children. Habitual hoarders, they kept everything from receipts for household appliances to menus and tickets from their various cruises and excursions. Letters and postcards fill out the details of their travels and concerns as the family passed through various domestic and national landmarks and occasions during a turbulent and eventful century.  A full catalogue is available in our public search room.


For similar family papers see our online catalogue.

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