I was looking on eBay for something completely unrelated and noticed a small job-lot of vintage sepia and black-and-white postcards of Aberdovey for a bargain price, so I bought them. It is fascinating to see past views of the village. Some of the buildings look so crisp and fresh and it is truly interesting on the one hand to see the changes and, on the other, to be surprised at how much remains the same. The subject matters that were offered by the postcard companies, and which people chose to buy, are often quite different from those that one can buy in the village today. It feels like invading the privacy of past visitors to read the messages that they wrote to friends and family, but it is also a rather nice way of connecting with the past. Separately, I bought a page from a book dating to 1895, which is a real treasure. I thought that others might be interested in this little haul, so as I scan them I’ll post them here. You can click on the images to see a bigger version.
The picture on the card shows Trefri, the area just outside Aberdovey which includes the mid 19th Century Trefri Hall right on the edge of the estuary with its own island, currently painted English-mustard yellow. I don’t know the house on the hill, but I am sure that other residents will recognize it. If it still stands, it is no longer in splendid isolation. Aberdovey has spread both out and up. The 1864 railway is clearly visible and telegraph polls indicate that Aberdovey had been connected to the rest of Britain in more ways than one. Today one wouldn’t take one’s life in one’s hands by walking down the middle of that stretch of road, and it is difficult to visualize an Aberdovey where bicycles were more numerous than cars.
The postmark says that the postcard was sent from Pennal on May 22nd 1910, and the address indicates that it was going to Birmingham, then as now the main source of tourists for the mid-Welsh coast. The green half penny stamp, which was issued between 1902 and 1910, shows Edward VII, who died on 6th May 1910, and was succeeded by George V.
Amazing find. Your comment about reading people’s messages really made me pause. B.