Clerk amazed by century-old cards

A postcards montage and Cramlington Town Council clerk Bob Baker, top right.
A postcards montage and Cramlington Town Council clerk Bob Baker, top right.

A series of coincidences has led to the clerk of Cramlington Town Council connecting with his counterpart in the run-up to Armistice Day.

Bob Baker’s wife Laine works at Station Antiques in Alnwick and when he called in one day, he had a quick look around and came across a collection of postcards.

Amazingly, they had been sent to his work address – Surveyors House in Cramlington.

The recipients were Mr and Mrs W J Coulson. It is thought that Mr Coulson was the surveyor of the then Seaton Delaval Urban District Council.

One of the postcards had been sent from Southampton on November 11, 1918, the day of the Armistice ending the First World War.

The message from Bella includes the following: ‘We arrived here at 10 o’clock on Saturday night after a long journey. There are great rejoicings today. The shop is closed and we are going down town to celebrate.’

Another postcard dated February 18, 1920, sent from Gloucester Lodge in Blyth, states: ‘Dear Uncle, Wishing you may Happy Returns of the 19th. From Madge.’

So Mr Coulson celebrated his birthday on February 19, the same date that the present clerk celebrates his birthday.

Mr Baker said: “The number of co-incidences that have come to light since these postcards came to my attention is uncanny.

“They were found in a shop where my wife works, they were addressed to the person that had my job 100 years ago and we are both connected to the same building. And then I discovered that we share the same birthday – amazing.

“Seeing the correspondence to the occupier of Surveyors House on November 11, 1918, is quite touching. I wonder what the emotions were of the people in Cramlington back then?”

Other postcards included a recollection about a visit to London, including Hampton Court Palace and St Paul’s, and a message from someone who had ‘a nice time at Choppington’.

On Sunday, there will be a service in St Nicholas’ Church at 10am, followed by a service at the Cenotaph from 10.45am, with a two-minute silence at 11am. There will then be a parade along Dudley Lane, finishing at The Village Surgery.