Sunday, 15 January 2017

The story behind the story of an Eltham postcard

Now as everyone knows there can always be more than one story behind a picture postcard.

The first is the image on the front which in an instant tells you so much about a place in the past.

And then there is the name, address and message on the back which can be equally revealing.

The skill of the historian is to marry the two sides and tell a story, but just sometimes that story cannot be told and that is what happened to my friend Tricia who found this postcard on eBay back in September.

She told me that having found it “I did a little research on the information on the back and managed to trace the family history of the person it was sent to.”

The research led to a connection with the garage beside the church and a family who had lived in Eltham.

Tricia managed to trace the family, met up with one of them and handed over the postcard.

It would have made a compelling story but given that one of the familiy did not want the details made public Tricia quite rightly chose not to publish it.

But there is always a story in a story and for me the story is less aboutt the family and more about how one postcard in the hands of a skilled researcher can reveal much that might otherwise have been ignored or lost.

It involved Tricia's leap of imagination to use the name and search through social networking sites and then the diligence to match these against people and those listed and  then try and make contact.

And I like the final touch of Tricia's in  choosing to reunite the card with the family a full seventy seventy years after it was sent.

Location; Eltham

Picture; Eltham Church circa 1940s from the collection of Tricia Leslie

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