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Do you have a Valentine's postcard of unknown date? Try my card dating programme to solve your mystery!

As well as being a great source of old photographs, postcards can also provide an useful insight into the opinions of visitors to our city. A few candid words will quickly betray their thoughts, giving us the objective view of a neutral observer. It is also interesting to study the handwriting, the sentiments and the humour used by folk in decades gone by.

1933: Postcard to a monk

This postcard is certainly not typical of the usual "having a great time, weather good" sort of message - perhaps the most distinguishing feature being the person it's being sent to.... someone in a monastery.

A Postcard from Coventry.
A Postcard from Coventry.
Postcard text: Here's something to remind you of Dear Old Cov. (and it is old isn't it?).

The brief message above appears to be to a person, who has at some time moved from Coventry to Douai Abbey, Woolhampton near Reading - the inititals after the recipient's name indicating that it's the Order of Saint Benedict.

Of course, if King Henry VIII hadn't had such a grudge against the monks, the Jim to whom this postcard was written might not have had to move so far to find a Benedictine monastery!

Also, I wonder if the sender would have preferred to find a postcard showing the remains of our Benedictine priory rather than Ford's Hospital, had one been on display?

15th June 2009
It seems that this postcard has more resonance than we may think. Leo Poole has informed me of the following relevant facts....

"The recipient of the post card, Dom Robert Richardson, I believe is still alive at Douia Abbey. More signficantly, the Douia Monks looked after the Catholic Parish of St Osburg's from its foundation in 1843, following the restoration of the RC Church in England, 'til relatively recently. In the Catholic community it is considered the mother church of the (modern) City."

Sadly, Jim, known to his parishioners as "Father Robert", is no longer with us, but Amanda Burrell has kindly found out that happily he lived to a grand old age - nearly reaching a century.

A comprehensive and fascinating history of St Osburg's can be found on this link.

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