Friday, May 22, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday #16

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday! Another PFF hosted by Marie at Voila! Vintage Postcards
I had planned to use this postcard for my Mother's Day PFF post - without the usual Florida connection - because of the pretty child smiling at us in the photograph. After I had an opportunity to read the message I thought better of it.
The postmark is May 27, 1911 and it was sent from Malabar House Hotel, Godwin Road Margate, East Kent England

The postcard reads:
My dear Margaret,
You must really excuse me not writing you long letter as promised as I have been feeling queer of late but am pleased to say am feeling much brighter. Am staying here two or three weeks to see whether I can regain my health, As soon as I feel fit shall write you a real long letter.
Love to all.

Margate Sands


For at least 250 years, the town has been a leading seaside resort in the UK, drawing Londoners to its beaches, Margate Sands.

The bathing machines in use at Margate were described in 1805 as "four-wheeled carriages, covered with canvas, and having at one end of them an umbrella of the same materials which is let down to the surface of the water, so that the bather descending from the machine by a few steps is concealed from the public view, whereby the most refined female is enabled to enjoy the advantages of the sea with the strictest delicacy


Millicent's dapper dipper

Some resorts employed a "dipper", a strong person of the same sex who would assist the bather in and out of the sea. Some dippers were said to push bathers into the water, then yank them out, considered part of the experience

I couldn't find any information about the Malabar House Hotel, however I did happen across a breakfast menu from another hotel in Margate:
Served from 8am (or earlier if requested) until 10am Monday to Saturday and from 8.30am until 10.30am on Sundays and Bank Holidays, this is a great start to any day. A choice of fresh fruit and juices – including Kentish Apple Juice – and cereals, with muesli and porridge coming directly from Sarre Mill. Freshly grilled bacon, sausages made especially for us, and free range eggs from Woodensborough Farm, with a selection of grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, bubble and squeak and beans. Topped off with brown or white toast – Giovanni has been up since 4am baking – and our own preserves or local honey, and unlimited (fair trade) tea or filter coffee. A cheerful good morning, a glance at the paper, and whether on holiday or business, you're well set up.
The mailing address, 250 Tompkins Avenue, Brooklyn NY, still exists, and is located on Tompkins Park.
Brooklyn (named after the Dutch town Breukelen) is one of the five boroughs of New York City, located southwest of Queens on the western tip of Long Island. An independent city until its consolidation with New York in 1898, Brooklyn is New York City's most populous borough, with 2.5 million residents, and second largest in area. If the borough were a separate city, it would be the fourth-largest city in the United States. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State, and the second most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan).

The Back Story:
Margaret rolled her eyes as she read yet another health update from her hypochondriac sister. Better she should write postcards than long letters outlining every aspect of her delicate constitution. Bessie had taken the waters, treatments and air at every resort from from here to Timbuktu. Well not Timbuktu, exactly, but if there is a resort there, Bessie will eventually find it.
If Bessie would just say "yes" to that dear patient Mr. Sturdivant, she could settle down and start thinking about a husband and family instead of constantly monitoring her health. And now, to say she is feeling queer of late. Well! I never! Not that there is anything wrong with that. Should Mr. Sturdivant get wind of this latest condition, he will surely turn on his heel and Bessie will miss her chance.
It was dear old Dr. West who recommended the seaside at Margate. Most likely it was suggested so he could have a few weeks vacation from Bessie and her thrice weekly "emergencies". He agrees wholeheartedly that if she will accept a marriage proposal she will find relief from the many disagreeable nervous conditions associated with spinsterhood.


Bibi said...

I loved this post; get such a kick out of your humor. Hiring a dipper? I wouldn't want a dipper who would shove me in though; I want an easy dip.

Sheila said...

How funny! I love your background staories. :)
My parents used to live in Kent and so I have a number of vintage Kent cards. I must look them out and see if there are any from Margate.

Chris Overstreet said...

Bathing in "delicacy" yet being dipped by force seems a contradiction, doesn't it? I'm sure the person who invented the bathing machine made a killing.

Marie Reed said...

What a job the 'dipper' seemed to have! Jeez Louis... they were probably hired out to do water boarding during wartime!!! Eeeeek! It sounds like pure torture to me! Milicent! Get in that water you wimpo!

steviewren said...

Bravo! Once again you retain your spot in the blog world as a primo story teller and postcard intrepreter extradinaire.

viridian said...

Always love your backstories. I have a cute card up, but I have writer's block when it comes to stories.

Mandala Michelle said...

I just love coming here to read your stories. Thanks for the beautiful card too. Happy pff

Daryl said...

Love your creative stories .. and the postcards that go so perfectly

Lanny said...

Oh dear, and here I was thinking her "feeling queer of late" was that she had a bout of morning sickness, but that wouldn't be proper now would it?

Martha said...

If I remember correctly didn't Dr.West invent a vibrating device to assist w/the downfalls of spinsterhood?

Janeen said...

Happy PFF my beautiful friend! I lurve your cards! This is such a fun post, all the pictures are so much fun. I love that era too! I hope your having a fun holiday weekend!

Robin said...

Your postcards are fabulous.....only to be out done by your stories. :-)

Have a beautiful weekend.

Debby said...

I think Dr. West told me that I need to go to a resort. Pretty sure he did. A swanky expensive one.

Debby said...

Great cards and a fab story. I totally adore your first card. Have a great weeknend.

Postcardy said...

Dippers and bathing machines sound so funny. I wonder if they had those in other countries.

White Linen ~ Lavender Field said...

Love the 'bathing machines' and the ladies suits. We should go back to that. Ha! :o))

Super PFF!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

What a wonderful card and funny story. Did Bessie ever stop obsessing about her health and win Mr. Sturdivant, I wonder?

Joyce said...

Cute story and cute card. I enjoy your blog and Happy Anniversary.

Shellmo said...

Glad you shared that postcard, it sounds funny to read someone saying they felt "queer" - ha,ha!

Nihal said...

The story and postcard match perfectly, Cindi. I'm wondering whether you will go to create a friendship book? I know you could.
Wish you a Happy Monday~

Jeanne said...

I love your postcard yarns!

Beth Niquette said...

How totally delightful! I thoroughly enjoyed your blog just now!

GREAT postcards, by the way! Happy PFF--a little late, but a greeting heartily given just the same!

Cynthia said...

I so enjoyed the postcard and backstory. A great read...dippers, a hotel menu, and a spinster who needs to accept some marriage did she have one and did she accept? I can relate to these women who need to go off for a few weeks to find rejuvination and a cure for ills. I have had a modified version of that this weekend...all day Saturday,Sunday and Monday...reading, writing, watching I have to get back to work...Grades are due tomorrow and I have to figure out averages. sigh...soon I will go to the Condado Beach...and take a short break...

I will pretend that I am a spinster who is suffering from a nervous condition and the sun and sea are my treatment. Also, I will have to forgo my beachhut and dipper because arrangements are not made for refined ladies anymore. Discrete or the beach I will go! Love to you <3

Lavinia said...

Ha! I love it when good old Dr. West enters the picture (or the post, as it were). He's like an old faithful, isn't he....

Janeen said...

HI Gorgeous! Stop by my blog when you have time, there's an Aw-Summm award waiting for YOU! Have a great day my friend!