Sunday, 25 September 2016

More on social history - South African Picture Postcards

As a former stamp collector the idea of conducting my hobby without the use of a full-colour priced catalogue would have seemed ridiculous. Many such catalogues are produced each year - ranging in scope from those covering the whole world in a highly simplified format to others covering the issues of a single country in great detail. It therefore came as a great surprise to me to discover that no catalogue had been produced covering the activities of the many postcard publishers who had been in business in South Africa in the early part of the twentieth century. Starting in the 1980's the now defunct Southern Africa Postcard Research Group (SAPRG) under the leadership of Aston (Archie) Atkinson published a number of preliminary checklists of publishers and the cards they had produced. It soon became clear that these lists, although admirable starting points, were far from complete and it was for this reason that I proposed the compilation and subsequent publication of the South African Picture Postcard Catalogue.
Both of these books are available from Amazon

Friday, 16 September 2016

Sutton Bonington Campus - University of Nottingham

The weekend of September 10/11 2016 was a special time for Claire and I as we had decided to attend the 40th anniversary event for Sutton Bonington campus graduates from 1976. Yes, amazingly, it is 40 years since we graduated from Nottingham University!

We had a couple of days staying in Ashby-de-la-Zouch before the event. We visited assorted churches and cemeteries and made some good finds. Ashby seems busier than it used to be and our first house seemed smaller than we remembered it to be.

It rained quite hard on the Saturday morning but luckily the afternoon turned dry.  There were about 30 of us, almost the same faces as 10 years ago.  Even DK turned up in his wheelchair - "I fell off a ladder", he said.  He seemed very good and it was nice to see him.  We stayed in one of the newer hostels beyond the old Hostel 5: goodness me the rooms seemed small although comfortable enough with those little bathroom "pods". The number of aircraft flying over seems to have gone up and some planes seem to arrive in the middle of the night. 

I am second from the left

We were amazed at all the new buildings, and extremely impressed with the quality of the facilities for modern students.  There must have been many tens of millions of pounds spent on the site. Our jaws dropped at the (current) devastation where the JCR used to be.  It is gone!  A new mid-campus "Plaza" is being created: doubtless it will be wonderful when it is finished.  The old Hostel 5 pond was long since filled in on safety grounds, only for modern designers/architects to add multiple new "designer" ponds elsewhere!

We had a meal together in the new facility (The Barn), but Martin and I didn't really think it was £30-worth.  Sloppy pate starter with inadequate bread, and just carrots and mashed potato with the main course.  Not very imaginative. But Sunday was sunny, and after a snacky breakfast in a cafĂ© in the Costcutter shop on campus we went a walk down to the River Soar.  Altogether a very enjoyable weekend.  We will certainly like to attend the 50th and final reunion event in 2026.