Adventures in Deltiology

Do people still send postcards these days…?


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Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh (1853-90)

The National Gallery, London / Bridgeman Art Gallery | Published by Pavilion Books

Postmarked Exeter District 199?, from Phil

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One taken from my scrapbook here, going back 25 years to my adventures as a member of Cumbria Youth Theatre in 1990. This is from Phil who would send me the occasional postcard in a similar vein over the ensuing years. I never had his address once he left Cumbria and am ashamed to say I don’t think I ever reciprocated. The cards died out after a few years, possibly when I moved house.

During the summer of 1990 I took part in Cumbria Youth Theatre and spent a memorable month at the youth hostel in Kendal with a gang of theatrically enthused teenagers. The production was Peer Gynt, directed by Laurence Boswell and although I hardly remember the play I do remember with great fondness the time I spent on it. It was the first time I’d been away from home on anything other than a school trip and I remember feeling like I finally belonged somewhere; the whole experience was life-changing for me (although I don’t think I realised at the time). One of my over-riding memories is of bawling my eyes out at the last night party, knowing that I might not ever see some of these new pals again. How true that was. Despite my penchant for postcards I failed to keep in touch with anyone from this time and have no idea what became of them, Phil included. Quite randomly I did bump into Laurence Boswell again in 2002 when he was directing Madonna in the West End… I reminded him of his CYT days and he smiled politely and moved on.

The postmark is indistinct but it’s certainly after 1990; I’d love to reconnect with some of those I met during that summer. For me, it was genuine ‘coming-of-age’ experience (although not in that way).

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