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Take a look back at Norfolk’s postcard past thanks to a new charity appeal

PUBLISHED: 13:30 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:30 26 March 2018

An early colour postcard of life at North Walsham in times gone by. Picture: Archant Library

An early colour postcard of life at North Walsham in times gone by. Picture: Archant Library

Archant Library

It was in 1894 when the first pictures on postcards were published in this country, and ever since they have been a fascinating look at an ever-changing world.

The days when Long Stratton didn’t have a traffic problem...in 1929. Picture: Archant LibraryThe days when Long Stratton didn’t have a traffic problem...in 1929. Picture: Archant Library

There was a time when an event or happening of any note was snapped and turned into a postcard within a day or so for people to buy and send to friends and relatives.

A century ago millions of cards were posted every year. They were cheap and it cost just half a penny for a stamp. Collecting them became a national craze and of course the cards sent back from loved ones during the First World War were so precious.

Most families had an album or two of postcards and some would take themselves off to photographic studies to have their picture taken in all their finery and then turn it into a card to send to family and friends.

How times have changed and so has our city and county.

Now that’s what you call a beard! A magnificent old postcard highlighting the people of Gissing in South Norfolk. Picture: Archant LibraryNow that’s what you call a beard! A magnificent old postcard highlighting the people of Gissing in South Norfolk. Picture: Archant Library

In our high-tech 21st century world these postcards are a window on a lost world and are to be treasured.

Over the last 25 or more years our readers have helped hundreds of deaf children in Norwich and across Norfolk in a whole range of different ways by sending us your old postcards.

I have been passing them to Michael Porter and his late wife Sylvia who have devoted much of their lives to supporting this wonderful organisation.

Sylvia died two years ago but Michael, who received a Points of Lights award from Prime Minister Theresa May a few months ago, has pledged to carry on collecting your picture postcards.

Just the one gentleman, standing in the High Street at Dereham, passing the time of day. Picture: Archant LibraryJust the one gentleman, standing in the High Street at Dereham, passing the time of day. Picture: Archant Library

“Your readers have been so generous over the years,” said Michael, who lives at Worlingham near Beccles.

Cards sent in by readers have raised the grand sum of £26,905.56p for the Norfolk Deaf Children’s Society, and the total the Porters have raised since 1981 is an amazing £117.671.61p.

What began as an appeal to collect money for phonic ear implants has been expanded. New technology helps so much - but it comes at a cost.

As the Prime Minister said in her letter to Michael: “The money you have raised has had a transformational impact on thousands of children, providing resources that would not have been possible without your extraordinary commitment.”

Members of the Norfolk Deaf Childrens Society along with Michael and the late Sylvia Porter. Picture: Archant LibraryMembers of the Norfolk Deaf Childrens Society along with Michael and the late Sylvia Porter. Picture: Archant Library

Apart from your kindness, listeners of Radio Norfolk, Stamps at Bagleys in Norwich, and Ian and Lynne Hurst of Sheringham also help Michael.

The appeal carries on so, if you are having a spring clean and want to help the work of the Norfolk Deaf Children’s 
Society, please pass your cards on to Michael.

You can drop them off addressed to Derek James at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or call Michael on 01502 714352.

Oh, and one more thing. 
Thank you.


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