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How your £28,000 postcards helped the Norfolk Deaf Children’s Society

PUBLISHED: 23:27 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 23:27 10 August 2018

A postcard sent from Lowestoft in the early 1950s.The message on the back says: “We have had a good time so far but it has been raining for several hours.”

A postcard sent from Lowestoft in the early 1950s.The message on the back says: “We have had a good time so far but it has been raining for several hours.”

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A picture postcard can and are making a real difference to the lives of deaf children across our region. So many have been helped thanks to YOU, our readers. Derek James takes up the story.

Some things never change – Happy Days at Gt Yarmouth – where the donkeys still delight the children.Some things never change – Happy Days at Gt Yarmouth – where the donkeys still delight the children.

It was Clement Court of the Eastern Daily Press who started the ball rolling, then it was taken up by Whiffler (that was me) of the Eastern Evening News, along with the late Roy Waller of Radio Norfolk.

We all asked the same question. Please send us your postcards...and we passed them on to the Porters, the prince and princess of the postcard world.

They would sort and sell them to collectors across the land and abroad and today the amount of money they have raised for the Norfolk Deaf Children’s Society stands at almost £120,000.

The postcards our readers alone have sent have now made nearly £28,000...an extraordinary achievement and that has been made possible thanks to your kindness and generosity.

A postcard sent in 1963 from Caister-on-Sea which says on the back: “It is still raining.”A postcard sent in 1963 from Caister-on-Sea which says on the back: “It is still raining.”

Sadly Michael Porter, now in his 80s, who lives at Worlingham, near Beccles, lost his dear wife Sylvia two years ago, but he has vowed to continue collecting and selling cards for as long as he can.

In 2016 he was named an Unsung Hero at the EDP’s Stars of Lowestoft and Waveney Awards and more recently he received a Points of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May who told him: “The money has had a transformational impact on thousands of children, providing resources that would not have been possible without your extraordinary commitment.”

It certainly has...the money the Porters have handed over since they started collecting for the society in 1981 has helped the young members in so many different ways.

“When we started raising money for the society it was to buy phonic ears. Times have changed. There is so much more fantastic technology around now...but it comes at a price,” said Michael.

Greetings from Gorleston on Sea.Greetings from Gorleston on Sea.

The money raised goes into the equipment fund.

Yes, so much has changed in recent years with all this new-technology with mobile phones, selfies and the like but there is still a place for the humble old postcard....and now they are more collectable than ever.

Think of a subject – from aircraft to windmills – and Michael knows of someone, somewhere you wants them.

Sylvia and Michael met while on holiday at a place where many postcards were bought and sent – Butlins.

Michael Porter has been collecting postcards for charity for 35 years.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherMichael Porter has been collecting postcards for charity for 35 years. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

They both worked at Clowes, the much-loved Beccles printing firm, and got married...buying a bungalow in Worlingham in the 1960s for £2,600 where Michael still lives.

Sylvia was left a collection of cards by her father Edgar Suckling and then was the starting point. They produced a book called Beccles & Bungay: A Portrait in Old Picture Postcards and money raised when to the Friends of Beccles and District War Memorial Hospital and All Hallows, Ditchingham.

It sold out along with a second volume which was in aid of the May Centre at Beccles.

When they heard and saw the work of the Norfolk Deaf Children’s Society – they were determined to help them and that’s just what they did.

“I have a lot of people to thank including Stamps at Bagleys in Norwich and Ian and Lynne Hurst at Sheringham and so many others,” said Michael.

Today Matthew Gudgin at Radio Norfolk is collecting the cards the listeners sent in and I am collecting them from readers of the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and Let’s Talk magazine.

So please, if you have any cards, old or new, please send them our way...at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or call Michael on 01502 714352 and he may be able to collect them.

And...thank you.

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