One very early memory that stands out for me would have been when I was about 3 or 4 years old.
My great grandfather had a sweet and tobacconist shop in a little picturesque village in Essex called Finchingfield.
This is the only occasion that I can think of that we actually went to visit him while he lived there. Although only 20 miles or so away from the village we lived in, having no car, it would have been a major day out.
The reason it sticks out in my mind though is because peering through the metal gate at the back of the house next door were three little faces, two boys with crew cuts and a girl, and they kept calling to me ‘what’s your name, little girl’. I was totally entranced – I had never heard voices like they had! I found out later they were American. We didn’t have television or a radio at that time and the only accents I had ever heard before were good old Essex ones!
I can still see their faces and hear their voices even now.
Anyway, thinking of great-granddad Ben reminded me of the two postcards I have which he had sent to my great-grandmother, whom I never got to meet, during World War 1.
These postcards were known as ‘WW1 Silks’ and were generally hand embroidered on strips of silk mesh with as many as 25 on a strip. They were mostly produced by French and Belgian women refugees who worked in their homes and refugee camps and then sent the finished strips to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards.
They were very popular with the British and American servicemen on duty in France and were usually mailed home at no charge to the sender in Military Mail pouches.
Both of these postcards have little flaps, which have message cards inside.
The first postcard was written in March 1916 and he says that he is still waiting for a letter from her, the post is irregular, the weather is changeable and he hopes she has recovered from her cough and cold.
The second one written in October 1917 just says ‘to my dear wife, with love’
Here's a close up because you know how much I love close ups :)
So my idea for the TIF challenge for February is to use the colour scheme to recreate a ‘WW1 Silk’.
I know this is pushing the goalposts out a bit further, contrary to popular opinion I am not that old that I actually remember these cards being sent and received, but I do remember great-grandad Ben :)
Not sure yet if I am going to make a replica of one of the old postcards or create a contemporary version.
It got me thinking though, our textile and fibre postcards which wing their way around the world and bring a lot of happiness to so many people are nothing new are they?
Here are the links for Sharon B's 'Take it Further Challenge'