Boring Postcards

My daughter works for a book company and from time to time she is able to find peculiar books going very cheaply. She obviously decides, ‘that’ll do nicely for a happy nerd’, and they become a gift for me.

One such book is called ‘Boring Postcards’ and from the outside it certainly looks as though it’s an uninteresting publication.

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And now I’m going to disagree with the compiler and what he considers to be boring. Nearly all of the selections are from the 1950s and 60s. They feature things we wouldn’t think would make a postcard in the 21st century. There’s a section devoted to motorways and service stations. Another group focuses on nuclear power stations. These were part of that brave new world; part of the white heat of the revolution which Prime Minister Harold Wilson spoke of. Back in the 60s motorways, nuclear power stations – even modern bus stations and modern shopping centres were exciting, modern innovations. They weren’t boring at all.

Let’s look at a couple of places shown which I know. The first is my old home town, the new town of Crawley in Sussex.

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Crawley’s new shopping centre was seen as a fantastic place when it opened in the fties. I recall that our branch of Woolworth’s store was the largest self-service store in Europe at the time. It was the queen herself who came to declare Queen’s Square and the road through it (Queensway) officially open in 1957, I think. Crawley had the wow factor. When we had visitors they all wanted to see this new town with all of its wonderful facilities. We became adept at doing tours.

It has to be said that, like much of the architecture of the fifties and sixties it looks tired now. But boring, it wasn’t.

The other postcard I am picking on is of Porlock Hill in Somerset.

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This hill, with stretches at 1 in 4 (25%) was and is one of the steepest stretches on an A road in England. It was notorious as a place where cars failed and was always rather fraught with interest. Now it happens that my brother in law had a collection of photos, taken over all the years of motoring, of cars rounding this hairpin bend on Porlock Hill. As a sequence, showing how motoring changed, it was an interesting collection.

So I think the book is quite interesting!

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2 Responses to “Boring Postcards”

  1. Thom Hickey Says:

    Quite right! No way boring! Thom

  2. Mom Says:

    I collect books with goofy titles. I rarely read them. I just get a smile out of the nutty covers!

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