News from around the fairs

There’s plenty of activity around the fairs scene at present – as the build-up starts to the two-day postcard fest at Shepton Mallet next year.

Festival of Cards ’17 organiser Barrie Rollinson has a full house for the massive hall at the Bath & West Showground in Somerset for the country’s biggest fair on February 24/25.

But there’s plenty of action to come before then.

It was Clive Baker’s Canterbury fair today and there’s another big event at Kempton Park next Saturday (Dec 17), with the Royal National Hotel, London, the following day.

There’s no shortage of big fairs after Christmas either – with Wickham (near, Fareham, Hampshire) on December 27 and both Tolworth and Gloucester on December 28.

The Wickham and Kempton fairs will be the last to be organised by David Mouser, who has been putting on events for 42 years. David will still be on the postcard scene, but is handing over the reigns of his two shows to Tristan Brittain.

Postcard award to Bernard

Donald McGill guru Bernard Crossley has become the first winner of the Conrad Graham award for postcard research and writing.

Bernard was presented with his trophy and cheque at the most-recent Bloomsbury Fair in London by ex-PPM editor Brian Lund, who is administering the award with his wife Mary.

Brian said: “Bernard’s excellent biography of McGill, coupled with his work in helping to set up the Isle of Wight museum dedicated to the comic artist, and his assistance to the University of Kent in a McGill project, made him a worthy recipient.”

Two other winners – Mark Routh and Antony Edmonds – have also been chosen for awards by Brian and Mary, who were tasked by Conrad Graham’s executors with selecting ten trophy recipients after the book and postcard enthusiast left £1,000 in his will for the purpose.

The Lunds would welcome your nominations for the remaining seven recipients. Email

In the meantime, PPM readers are also invited to make their suggestions for Best Article of the Year for 2016. Editor Mark Wingham has asked Brian and Mary Lund to administer the award to ensure independence. John Claydon won the 2015 trophy for his ‘Warhorse’ feature.

Postcards for Pudsey

Reflections of a Bygone Age is again supporting the BBC’s annual ‘Children in Need’ appeal – continuing charity work it began in 1988.

Brian and Mary Lund are raising money from the publication of special souvenir postcards as well as admission money to the major far in Nottingham which they are organising on November 5, and a raffle at that event.

Many of the postcards have been designed by noted artists, including Rosalind Wicks, Brian Partridge, former Beano illustrator Duncan Scott, Terry Irvine and Michael O’Brien and Robert Besley – who has designed this year’s card. Two cards also featured the work of renowned photographer Martin Parr. Other designs have been adapted from old postcards, after the work of McGill, Nash and Attwell.

The 2016 postcard (which is being featured in the November PPM) is based on a 1916 design by Adrienne Nash and costs 50p (plus postage) or is available at fairs. Cards from some previous years are still available, also at 50p, and a pack of 18 different costs £7.50 inc. postage.

If you can’t buy the cards at a postcard fair, you can obtain them direct from Reflections of a Bygone Age, 15 Debdale Lane, Keyworth, Nottingham, 0115 937 4079 or email

Brian and Mary have already raised more than £26,000 for Children in Need. Reflections of a Bygone Age produce the Picture Postcard Annual, which is being published later this month.

Sammy Duckegg – ex-soldier’s tribute to his late daughter Sarah

A soldier seriously injured in the Middle East has created a postcard tribute in memory of his beloved daughter Sarah, who died aged five.

Barrington Strawbridge (64) came up with the idea for the ‘Sammy Duckegg’ (SD) collection of postcards years ago while bed-ridden with injuries from battle wounds.

His work has been published for the first time in the October issue of PPM, which is available now.

Sarah died in 1985. She had suffered from hydracephalus since birth.

Barrington, who lives in Huddersfield, and has six other children, said: “I have always made up nonsensical stories and quips to entertain my children. Sarah, who was my third daughter, always favoured tales of Sammy Duckegg and his dog Snicket over all the other stories in my muddled head, so after losing her at a young age I like to think that I was in a way spreading her humour and innocence vicariously by creating the SD cartoons.”

Barrington was a ‘soldier of fortune’ from 1977-91, and was critically injured in a suspected rocket propelled grenade which killed three men he was serving with. He suffered permanent spine damage, lost an eye and needed facial reconstruction.

You can see Barrington’s work and read the full story in October’s PPM. Why not order your copy now.

See you at Norwich this Saturday

PPM will be at Lee Marchant’s Norwich Fair this Saturday (October 8). Public entry costs £1, the doors open at 10am and the fair runs until 4.30pm.

We will be at Stall 21 so please do come and say hello.

The venue is the beautiful St Andrews Hall, near the city centre. Around 35 local and national dealers will be attending.

*As advertised in PPM, the West London Postcard Fair is also this Saturday (October 8) – despite a local press advert stating that the event was last week. It runs from 10.15am-4pm at Teddington Baptist Church in Church Road, TW11 8PF.

Is new Prime Minister Theresa May a postcard fan?

The postcard world may just have gained a new ambassador on the world stage – new Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mrs May is captured on camera admiring postcard images of her Berkshire constituency of Maidenhead.

And she was more than an interested passer-by, according to Reading & District Cigarette Card & Postcard Club spokesman Roy Sheppard.

Before her move to Number 10, Mrs May lived in Sonning – three miles from Charvil where the active Reading club holds its meetings.

Roy said: “Every summer Charvil village holds its annual summer fete, and for many years we had a publicity display stall to promote postcards, cigarette cards and the club.

“Most years Theresa May opened the fete and presented the raffle prizes. The photos in the September edition of Picture Postcard Monthly were taken with her permission on July 9, 2006, and she is seen studying the postcard board titled ‘Maidenhead as it was.’

“The next year we displayed ‘Sonning as it was’ which she was genuinely fascinated with, and called her husband over to look at.”

The Edwardian Postcard Project

A team at Lancaster University has launched the next stage of its Edwardian Postcard Project.

Julia Gillen, Dr Amanda Pullen and Nigel Hall from Manchester Metropolitan University are involved in a project to put online a collection of 1,000 postcards, their transcribed messages and, where available, historical information about the postcard users.

You can find out more in the September issue of PPM – out now – or by visiting

Other stories in our latest edition include a look at the 950th anniversary of The Great Fire of London, one heroic pilot’s fight against the zeppelin in World War One, Spanish PPM reader Alan Spree seeking postcards published by his great grandfather Jack, life in the pretty Devon village of Littleham and the Kolar gold fields of India.

Order your issue. Available now!

Britain clinches 13th gold in Rio – as PPM strikes gold with its Olympic coverage

At the time of writing, gymnast Max Whitlock has just claimed Great Britain’s 13th gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio – why not read our special games coverage in our August issue?

It includes a postcard-laden six-page feature which looks back at the modern games – and there’s an interview with PPM reader Peter Kilford, a former England and GB 800 metre runner who missed out on selection for Rome in 1960, and was then robbed of the chance of going to Tokyo four years later because of injury.

On September 7, 1961, Peter ran a personal best time of one minute 47.9 seconds – at the time the fifth fastest ever by a British athlete, and 55 years later, despite huge improvements to the technology of the track and footgear, it’s still the 123rd best time by an Englishman.

Why not order your August issue online – or take out a one-year subscription for just £36.

Other stories include Turning Turtle – the sea monsters fighting for survival; Neil Goulding looks on film cards from Holland; Dawn Rooney reports on early travellers in Cambodia; we look at a book about the Four Heatons (residential suburbs near Manchester); Antony Edmonds makes a surprising discovery about Francis Frith; and Roy Lewis reports on the tragic story of Dorothy Notley.

A Postcard from Bedhampton (Hampshire)

PPM will be supporting a Hampshire group which aims to preserve “all things” Bedhampton next month.

We will be attending a Heritage Open Days event put on by the Bedhampton Historical Collection from 11am to 4pm on Sunday September 11 at The Elms, 2 Lower Road, Bedhampton, PO9 3LH.

‘A Postcard from Bedhampton’ will include a fine display of old postcard views of the former village, which lies between Portsmouth and Havant – and is the place where poet John Keats spent his last night on home soil.

PPM editor Mark Wingham will attend to promote the hobby of postcard collecting, and offering postcards for sale from a stock of around 40,000 cards, including a large selection of Portsmouth and south east Hampshire postcards, with separate sections for nearby Havant and Hayling Island.

There’s free parking and free entry to the event, which includes the chance to visit the Adam’s influenced Waterloo Room built by Sir John Theophilus Lee in the 1820s. Refreshments are available.

New date for York Card Expo 2017

Next year’s York International Postcard Expo has been put back from April to September – and will remain an autumn fixture in future.

Organiser Jack Stasiak has announced that the 2017 date will change from the previously announced April 7/8 to Friday September 1 and Saturday September 2. The venue remains the York Racecourse.

The move allows breathing space between York and Shepton Mallet, Britain’s biggest postcard fair.

This will clearly benefit both the dealers who stand at both fairs – and have only a few weeks to find fresh stock – and those buyers able to attend both events.

Jack said: “The racecourse has allotted the dates we thought we had for 2017 to another event, so some date change became unavoidable. ”

The full story is in the August issue of PPM, which will be available for sale from July 22/23.