Posts Tagged ‘Buxted’

A Mystery Post Card

August 5, 2013

I do love the fact that we have so many post cards from the Edwardian era that link to the family. Some give little bits of family information. Others cry out for more so that we can know who they were from. This is one of the mystery cards – from an unknown sender.

The picture is cute.


The card was sent to my grandmother, whilst she was in service in Saxon Court in Buxted in Sussex.


As is often the case, a stamp collector has been at work so we can’t get an actual posting date, but we know that Gran was in service at Saxon Court from about 1906 to 1912. The card was posted in Steyning which may have been Hove, actually. Many girls from Sussex ended up in service in Brighton and Hove.

Our sender has written most of the message at right angles to the address.


My Dear E

Many thanks for your nice letter, I will try and write one to you in a day or so. What lovely showers of rain we have had. Have you started haymaking around Buxted yet.

And then we have to turn the card again.


Kind love to you from all at home. May XXXXX.

So, we can judge that the card was sent in May/June time for the start of haymaking and that having asked that question, we can guess that May was a country girl. But we are not certain at all as to who she was.

A possible card sender was Mary Elizabeth Allen who was Granny’s cousin. Like Granny, Mary was born an Isfield girl and she was in the environs of Brighton for the 1911 census – actually registered in the Steyning district. I never met her, and do not know if she called herself May but the ‘from all at home’ part of the message implies to me that she meant the Isfield area. Maybe she had recently visited her mum who was a widow by that time.

I suspect it will remain a mystery and I’ll never be certain who sent the card

A postcard from Great Granny

January 24, 2013

I learn much from the Edwardian post cards that my Gran saved. In terms of family history it may be trivial stuff, but somehow the pet names they used add a little something to people I never knew. We get confirmation of addresses lived at, for unlike the popular idea that ‘people didn’t move’ all I can say is that they jolly well did. Maybe not far from some home village, but some of them moved frequently.

Today we are looking at a card that was sent to my Granny, by her mother. Great Gran’s writing is near illegible, but we’ll do our best.image002


This is the front of the card and the message is clear. Actually, I rather imagine Great Gran was really saying, ‘I want my baby’ for my gran was the youngest of her children and the last to leave home.

Gran was in service in Buxted at the time.


Saxon Court was a minor country house and still exists. I believe it is now a nursing home. In 1907, when this card was sent, Gran would have been 15. I wonder if she had already met Obed, her future husband. We have shown a coded card he sent to Ethel. Click here to be reminded.

Now we come to the message.


Before attempting a full transcription I must comment on the salutation – my own china chicks’. There are several cards sent to my Gran which call her China Chicks. It must have been her mum’s affectionate name for her.

OK. A best I can do transcription!

My Own china chicks

There you are still want your ma poor little ch. Did they feed you with a shuvle and give you cold cabbage and lard and make your tum tum ache. Kit says little Mary sends her love. She looking for a letter. I am longing to see you again for it seems such a long time since I saw you last. Mr S wishes to be remembered with love from mater

In cards sent from great gran to gran, she always calls herself ‘mater’. This one looks less like mater than the others do, but I have transcribed it as such,

The unanswered questions – who was Kit, who was Mary and who was Mr S.

Also unanswered is just where was Great Gran living? In 1911 she and husband George were at the delightfully named Pest House Cottage on the outskirts of Ringmer but in 1901 they had been in the Rose Hill area of Isfield.


A Card to Granny

December 22, 2012

Granny was born in 1892 – actually on January 1st. She was a Sussex girl and regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to know that her dad was an ‘ag lab’ – a farm worker.

Sixteen years later, Granny was in service at a house called Saxon Court in Buxted, Sussex.  Grandad lived in Buxted and they must have met

I suspect this was quite an early message sent by postcard from Grandad to Granny.

The picture is of lilac.


I cannot be certain if this is white lilac – in which case it symbolised purity. I think it was purple which signified the first emotions of love. Certainly it seems that Grandad didn’t want a casual reader like a postman to read his message.


Was there any significance in the stamp being at that angle?

The writing is mirror writing – so easy to turn in today’s digital age.


Actually, Grandad was not brilliant at doing it. It reads

Dearest E

I was very pleased with letter. Hope your cold will soon be better. This leaves me quite well.

With fondest love from ___________ SWAK

It hardly seems a very incriminating message. But it must have had an effect, for the couple did eventually marry and, as we have seen already, they went on to celebrate a Golden Wedding in 1966.