Edwardian postcard – The Lovers Seat, Hastings, Sussex

I recently bought this postcard to add to my ever growing Edwardian postcard collection because of the amusing message on the back and the intriguing picture on the front. All those prim and proper ladies!

When it arrived I felt drawn to investigate the writer and subject matter further.

The writer, Harold describes the ladies sitting on the ‘lovers seat’ as being ‘Giddy Old Kippers’ which made me laugh. I immediately liked Harold’s sense of humour so had to know more about him.

But first, the ‘lovers seat’ mentioned was on a cliffside in Hastings, Sussex UK. I found two websites with lots of information about it.

My postcard was posted in 1905 but in 1910 there was a landslide and the sloping rock and a lot of ground disappeared down to the sea below.

A fence was then erected for safety but over the years that too fell down and later photos show it without any protection once again.

Its interesting to see it from a different perspective and appreciate the view and why they liked to sit there.

I’m borrowing this from a post on the 1066online forum for Hastings.

1851 – Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt painted his greatest landscape, Our English Coasts, later known as Strayed Sheep, looking west across Fairlight Glen from ‘Lovers Seat’.

1910 – A land slip took away a large section of cliff including the large reclining rock shown in many images. After this the edge was mostly fenced off.

1932 February – Lovers Seat (wooden) was heavily vandalised and had to be replaced.

18 December 1960 – A landslip carried away the terrace on which the Lovers Seat (wooden) stood.

1961 February – The actual seat finally also slipped over the edge.

1961 Feb – The Lovers Seat ‘stone’ fell down the cliff in a landslide. A crane pulled it back up.

1980/81 – A major landslide completely destroyed the famous sandstone Crag at ‘Lovers Seat’.

Anyway, back to the writer and recipient.  It was sent to a Miss Fricker in Hornsey, Middlesex by someone called Harold.

After some digging I discovered that Miss Fricker was Lucy Fricker, born 1885 in Brentford, Middlesex to Arthur Fricker and Annie Baggallay.  Harold was Harold Burnett Smith born 1885 in Crouch End.

He begins the postcard Dear Sis, which led to me to think that he was Lucy’s brother but I found that Lucy brothers were both younger than her and called William and Arthur. It may have been a nickname of sorts i’m guessing.

The address on the card is 97 Turnpike Lane, Hornsey. Lucy and her family are listed as living there in 1901 & 1911 census.

I then searched for Lucy in the BMD records and found a marriage record in 1911 alongside a Harold B Smith. Could this be our Harold?

After some searching for Harold I found his occupation (stationers assistant) and parents details.

I later found a Church of England Marriages and Banns record which showed that Harold’s middle name was Burnett. The parents details matched up with what i’d found for them. They did indeed get married on 24th April 1911 in Hornsey.

They went on to have two children, at least thats all I could find.

Joan Kathleen Smith in March 1912 and Joe W.A Smith in 1914

Harold joined up during World War 1 and served as a rifleman in the Queens Westminster rifles. Sadly the story does not end well as Harold was killed in action on 30th November 1916. He is buried at Cambrai in France and is listed on Panel 12 of the Cambrai memorial

I haven’t been able to find any service papers for him but i’ll keep looking.

Its amazing what you can find from just a short note on the back of a postcard written over 100 years ago.


Friday Smiles – week 263

Morning all, its a lovely early spring morning here with blue skies and sunshine but more snow is forecast for Saturday and Sunday here!  Its only meant to stay briefly though so i don’t mind that.

It great to be able to join in with Annie’s Friday Smiles again and I have a couple of things that have made me smile this week.

Firstly, it was Mothers Day last Sunday in the UK and i was lucky enough to get this from my son

He knew i needed a new mug as my old one was so chipped so he bought me this beautiful one which came with a matching teddy. I firmly believe you are never too old for a cuddly toy!  he also bought me a gift card to spend on my other passion, books. I am truly blessed in the mum department of life.

The other thing that made me smile and even chuckle a bit was this postcard I bought the other day. I collect Edwardian postcards but only one that have been written and posted. I am nosy and love reading the messages on the back, so when I saw this I knew I had to have it.

It shows a group of ladies sitting on whats known as the ‘lovers seat’ in Hastings, Sussex, UK I love the way they all look so severe and prim and proper but the message on the back is the best bit.

The writer of the card, Harold refers to them as ‘Giddy Old Kippers’ What a wonderful phrase! Has anyone heard that expression before?

I sometimes do research on these postcards to try to find out more about the sender and recipient and this one has been really interesting to delve into.  I’ll be posting the story on my blog tomorrow.

Well that’s me for this week. Enjoy your week and stay safe if you’re in a snowy area.

Gill X


My book blogging days are over

After careful consideration I’ve decided to give up blogging about books.

Ive enjoyed it for the most part but it takes up a lot of time and I want that time back basically so, I need to say a huge THANK YOU to all the publishers and their hard working publicists who have sent me some amazing books over the years.

There are just too many of you for me to contact individually so if you read this post then please take it as my ‘resignation’ of sorts and remove me from your mailing list. Also if you could pass the word along to your colleagues I would be grateful.


How hard can it be to find a guinea pig?

I’ve not had much luck with finding a mate for Snowpops. I would love to get one from a rescue centre but there aren’t many near to us. I have tried looking in adverts but they are either girls or someone selling two boys who are bonded and cant be split.

I have a few possible options but cant follow up on them until later in the week so, fingers crossed.

Snowpops seems to be enjoying his new housing and play tunnel which makes me feel happier.

Friday Smiles – week 262

Its been a few years since I joined in with this but have been feeling the need for more smiles lately and where better to get them than via this great weekly theme run by Annie over at A Stitch in Time

I’ve had a few things make me smile this week. The first was after the snow finally melted away last Saturday after hanging around for nearly a week!

We didn’t get it half as bad as some so I cant really complain but it did stop a few days of Post delivery which I cant recall ever happening before.

It was really pretty but i’d more than had enough by the time it went.

The second thing was having some fantastic bird visitors to the garden due the extreme conditions like 30+ fieldfares which were such a thrill to see and some long tailed tits who are very occasional visitors but it was great to see them on the bird feeders.

Its not a brilliant photo as its taken through the window and one handed but i’m pleased to have a record of their visit.

Lastly this mornings sunset really made me smile, it was gorgeous

Its so lovely to be taking part in smiley Fridays again and i look forward to catching up with all of you.



The Piggie Files – 1

I’m going to be getting a new little guinea pig to keep my old fella company.

Here is my current piggie, Snowy or Snowpops

He will be four later this month and has sadly been on his own for a while now since his father died. I feel so sorry for him so I’ve decided to get him a mate.

He is a very quiet piggie who hardly ever ‘wheeks’ or squeaks and I’ve never seen him popcorn either so it makes me think he’s not very happy.

I’m hoping to get him a friend very soon either from a rescue centre or maybe a younger one from a breeder.

Six books by non British authors

This year one of my reading resolutions was to read more books by Japanese authors. I find them to be – the ones I’ve read anyway – gentle, fascinating and beautifully written and I wanted more of the same.

In this round up I have included four books by Japanese authors and I’ve also added two more books by non UK authors as they just sound so amazing.

EXIT WEST by Mohsin Hamid

This has been all over social media and i cant wait to give it a go. Its written by a now quite famous Indian author.

The next four are by Japanese authors

The Housekeeper and the Professor

 by Yoko Ogawa

A really pretty little floppy book with shiny cover and a gorgeous premise

Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa

I heard about this on Ariel Bissett’s channel, its another gentle, sweet sounding story

The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiroki Kawakami

Another from Ariel’s channel. She has the best recommendations.  I have started this and its a bit slower than i like but I find the Japanese way of life endlessly fascinating.

What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami

Yep you guessed it I saw this on Ariel’s channel too! A strange little book and one I would enjoy more if i was a runner myself but I shall persevere.

Inside out & back again by Thanhha Lai

This is a recommendation from Russell over at Ink & Paper blog. Its written in poetry form with very few words per page and comes in a gorgeous shiny, floppy edition with an amazing cover. Thanhha is a Vietnamese author.

I’m very much an armchair traveler so these books will transport me round the world to places i’d never otherwise visit.

February book haul

Yes, its happened again. Proof that i have no control when it comes to buying books.

I also now have a very messy bookcase which needs sorting, badly!

Right lets get down to this shall we?

No your eyes don’t deceive you and yes, that is a book series. The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin.

I have lost count of how many times The Fifth Season has appeared on my YouTube favourite’s channels. I really wanted to see for myself what was going on.

I actually bought Book 2 first as Amazon were selling it for £2, yes just £2! so i snapped it up then…

I found that book 3 was also £2 so i snapped that up too.

Book 1 was actually full price but even put together the whole series comes to just a tenner! Bargain of the day/week/month/year or what?

I have been waiting for The Spaceman of Bohemia to arrive in paperback form for months so it was good to get that and then i saw Exit West  was out and i have not heard a bad thing said about that anywhere. My god the cover is gorgeous too eh? (see featured image next to this post)

This duplicates a couple of the books but it also shows the most gorgeous graphic novel i’ve ever owned. The warmest colour is blue by Julie Maroh, translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger. It is full of muted browns and greys with the odd hint of colour, mainly blue obviously and is just so beautifully drawn.

I would really love to have a graphic novel collection so this may be the kickstart i need.



Poems for a world gone to sh*t – Review

This was lovely surprise bookmail from Quercus a few days ago.  They are a fabulous publisher who have been very kind to me over the years, so a big thank you to them.

Poetry is something I really enjoy and a little book like this to dip in and out of is always welcome.

Hey you have a book to review! Whats it called?

Poems for a world gone to sh*t

Who wrote it?

No one author, Its a compilation of poems, old and new

Whats it about?

Poems to make life better in this messed up world we live in right now

Now for the important bits, did you like it? (be honest now)

Its fantastic! I do love discovering new poets works as well as having a special old favourite poem just at my fingertips when i need a lift.

Gimme the Pros?

Its set out into separate chapters e.g

1. What the f**k?

2. get me the f**k out of here…  down to

5. life is still f**king beautiful

Its a gorgeously made little naked hardback and the poetry has been thoughtfully chosen to both amuse and enlighten us.

Hit me with the Cons?

No cons here.

All the feels or none of the feels?

All of the feels definitely, here are two of my favourites

Okay, so enjoyment factor out of 10?

20! its a beautiful little book

Would you recommend I read this book?

Yes in a heartbeat!  Its perfect for long standing poetry fans and for introducing poetry to those who may have thought it wasn’t for them.



The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

This was kindly sent me for review by Two Roads books, so a huge thank you to them.

Hey you have a book to review! Whats it called?

The Cactus


Who wrote it?

Sarah Haywood


Whats it about?

 A woman called Susan Green. At 45 she thinks her life is perfect. She has a good job,  a nice flat and personal arrangements with benefits that leave no room for messy emotional ties.

But following the death of her mother and the discovery that she is going to be a mother herself soon, things start to become a little messy.

 Now for the important bits, did you like it? (be honest now)

I did, but it never really blew me away. Its quite funny in lots of places but I found it flat and never felt the need to carry on reading everytime I had to put it down.

Gimme the Pros?

a sweet, easy read with a character that you take to right away.

 Hit me with the Cons?

I hate to say it but it’s a pale imitation of ‘Elinor Oliphant is completely fine’  They both have a female protagonist who is not your usual everyday character, who becomes a fish out of water and who is amusing in her naivety but there the similarity ends for me. There is no depth to the character and the plot ending can be seen from miles away.

And what the heck is going on with the use of the American spelling of Mom, when the book is about a British character, set in UK?

Cool Characters?

No one special

Prey tell, what of the Plot development?

Simple story and ending which as I said above can be guessed at early on

All the feels or none of the feels?

None sadly

Any other comments or are you done?


Okay, so enjoyment factor out of 10?


Would you recommend I read this book?

I wouldn’t say rush out and buy it but i’m sure it will appeal to a wide range of readers who like their books gentle and non taxing