Saturday, March 17, 2012

Three postcards from Ireland for Saint Patrick's Day

On Lá Fhéile Pádraig, here are three postcards, circa 1960, of popular locations in southern Ireland. These are from my family's collection (more on that below).

Above: Bantry Bay, showing Garinish Island1, Glengarriff, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Above: Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland

Above: Vale of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

All three postcards are from the same series. They were lithographed and published by John Hinde2 at Dalkey in Co. Dublin. Each postcard also has a paragraph on the back describing the area that's pictured and touting Ireland as a tourist destination. The Garinish Island postcard even quotes William Makepeace Thackeray: "What sends tourists to the Rhine and Saxon-Switzerland? Within 5 miles of Glengarriff there is a country of the magnificence of which no pen can give and idea ... Were such a bay lying upon English shores, it would be a world's wonder."

The Vale of Glendalough and Garinish Island postcards have never been used. But the Ross Castle postcard was mailed by my great grandmother in mid-July of 1960 ... from Norway! Here's her note:
This is wonderful! Sitting on upper deck. Sun out last night 'til 11 p.m. Lose 1 hr. tonight. Not time to shop much in Ireland or Scotland. Weather nice today. Was around 70° this a.m., colder now. Loved Edinburgh. Rained, toured city in separate bus that eve. Postage 20¢ for cards, too much! Won't send many. Feel better! Go to bed late!
Love, Greta
She complained about the cost of postcard postage, and then didn't mail the postcard from Ireland until she arrived in Nordkapp, Norway. It's postmarked 14-7-60 in Nordkapp and was mailed with two stamps -- one for 65 øre and one for 25 øre. ("Norge" is the Norwegian name for Norway.)

1. This small island has several names. Per Wikipedia:
Ilnacullin, or sometimes Illaunacullin (derives from Oileán an Chulinn in Irish meaning 'island of holly') known locally as Garnish Island (properly Garinish Island or Garinis in Irish), is a very tranquil yet popular tourist attraction in Ireland, located in the small harbour of Glengarriff, County Cork which forms part of Bantry Bay. Ilnacullin is the name used by the National Parks and Monuments Service to differentiate it from Garinish Island in Co. Kerry.
2. To see another Hinde postcard and learn more about him, check out this Papergreat post from last summer.

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