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News > Haileybury Memories > Old Postcards open a window to past lives

Old Postcards open a window to past lives

Two postcards, one sent at Ware and the other at Hertford some ten years apart, give a glimpse into every day lives 100 years ago...

The old Sanatorium - now Albans
The old Sanatorium - now Albans
Two postcards, discovered by Jane Everard (L76 & Alb), and dating from the early years of the Twentieth Century, have allowed a glimpse of the day-to-day lives of folk at Haileybury in those far off days.

The first card, featuring a picture of the Sanatorium, or "San", now Albans, is addressed to a Miss Wilson, care of Lady Buchanan Riddell of Hepple in the county of Northumberland. In it, the correspondent, a certain Jennie or Gennie, writes,

"Dear E,  thank you so much for your Post Card. I have not heard from Canada for a long time. I think it is my turn to write . So glad you are enjoying yourself but you are sure to - you look very happy. With love..."

The card was posted at Ware on 17th September, 1906 in what must have seemed like halcyon days before the outbreak of the Great War. Lady Buchanan Riddell, to whose care the card was entrusted, was the wife of Sir John Buchanan Riddell of Hepple, 11th Baronet of Riddell. A Barrister of the Inner Temple, he was educated at Eton and Oxford and served a year as High Sheriff of Northumberland.

The second card, posted at Hertford on 26th July, 1916, is addressed to a Miss Mable Rainbird, and is written on a card featuring the embossed crest of Haileybury College, which was still describing itself back then as "formerly East India College", despite the fact that that title had ceased to exist when the EIC offically closed on 31st January 1858.

In the card, Frank Rainbird, describing himself as "Staff", writes,

"Dear Mable, just a card to wish you many happy returns of the Day with good wishes from your loving brother Frank xxx"

Sadly, though Haileybury and both original post offices remain (albeit no longer as post offices), we know no more of any of the correspondents. Their words, in ink on fading card, are all that now survive to say that once they knew of Haileybury atop its blowy heath.



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