postcard showing a tram in St James Street, Burnkey

Postcards had been around since the late 1800s and collecting was already carried out before the ‘divided back’ was introduced. The new layout meant the front was used for the image with the back the message and address. Postcards were cheap and offered a quick, simple way to keep in contact with friends and family. The message could range from one liners, hearty greetings, to more serious or comical, to ‘secrets’ between friends. The image side could show prints ranging from local and national scenes to people and events. A collecting craze reached a highpoint in the early 1900s with many ending up in albums. We can research these cards more thoroughly than ever, but some leave us puzzled. We have not transcribed any but have highlighted and questioned some as well a few images and some of the relationships of people involved.

reverse of St James Street, Burnley

All are from Towneley’s collections. Some have an ink stamp and writing on the reverse which would not be used today. We have deliberately not included information for all – hopefully to encourage others to research the cards.

To protect any privacy issues, we have not included the address side of the card where it appears and have kept to first names.