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    ThrowBack Thursday – Return to Sender

    Whether you are out and about holidaying or working the 9-5, we can all agree that postcards have become an important part of our travel culture. We all like to tell our friends and family about our holidays but how did the postcard actually come about?

    Well we’ve asked Johnny to shed some light on this classic holiday necessity.
    So where do we begin? First of all, it’s an English invention!
    It has been documented that cards with messages have been in circulation since the creation of postal service. Although nowhere near in the quantities we see nowadays. The earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted design on card. It was posted in London to the writer Theodore Hook in 1840 bearing a penny black stamp. It is said the he created and posted the card to himself as a practical joke on the postal service. This is because the picture on the card is a cartoon of workers in the post office!

    Postcard white frame

    After a long wait plain postcards were introduced in 1870.

    Some were illustrated and others used as a means of advertising but their use and popularity was limited. However the turn of the century saw postcards really come into their prime. They began to include more pictures, for example royal events were especially popular.
    In 1902 the Post Office allowed both address and message to be written on one side of the card, which meant you could have a wonderful picture on the other side.
    After this postcards continued to explode in popularity and they quickly became the standard way of sending short messages. Even better was that they were cheap and reliable, with up to seven postal deliveries a day. People then started to buy them, like we do today, as souvenirs as well as to send to friends.

    We really enjoy a good postcard here at Haven! So we decided that for 2014 we would introduce a new free activity called Holiday Pen Pals, here we help your kids design and write out nice little post cards they can send to each other. It’s running at every park (except Lydstep) and suitable for ages 5-8! Let’s help continue this fantastic British invention for many years to come.

    Plus we also have our Virtual Postcards – read more about them here!

    To offer some inspiration we thought it only right to share a range of Haven postcards we found in the archive!

    Postcards 2Postcards 3

    We hope you enjoyed this journey into our postcard post and finding out why we use postcards so much! Don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this post letting us know what you think!