From the Thorley Archives


Thorley Postal History


The heyday for picture postcards had a comparatively short lifespan of 25 years between 1895 and 1920. The Post Office had relaxed the rules by allowing an illustration on one side and the address with a message on the other of a postcard. There had to be several deliveries a day to cope with the demand. Some places in London had five or six deliveries a day. With the doubling of the postcard rate from 1/2d to 1d in 1918 and the growing popularity of the telephone the universal habit of sending postcards faded. They had provided a cheap written form of communication being the e-mails of their time. Most messages were short such as 'Happy Birthday', 'Having a lovely time here', 'Get better soon', etc. Some of the messages of the time however do provide fascinating social insights into the lives of ordinary people not dissimilar to our use of e-mails and texts today. The happenings detailed in these Thorley postcards relate to peoples' experiences of family events at the beginning of the 20th century.

Over the years a few early 20th century postcards with Thorley village connections have been added to form an archive collection, which includes the following individual postcards with single family connections.

Edith Marie Bird 1910 Hartigan 1914 Hugh Harris 1918

In more recent years five postcards dated 1906 - 1908 belonging to the extended Clark family at Moor Hall Cottages and the Day family at 7, Thorley Street have been added to the collection. Interesting biographical and family tree history has been gleaned from the information written on these five cards.

Tom Clark 2 1907

In January 2015 a relation of the Clark / Day families made contact with his collection of 22 Edwardian postcards! He had seen our Clark / Day archive collection and wished the messages of his cards to be added to our website. With one exception, the picture sides of the cards were common views of Cambridge, London and local churches. It would appear that this Edwardian collection had originally belonged to Tom Clark, the recipient of two of the above cards, who was born in 1901. Further postcards from Tom's collection to add to the archives are eagerly sought!

Clark / Day

Bill Hardy

From the Archives