Appropriations (I): Communiques from the Years of Revolt

Appropriations (I): Communiques from the Years of Revolt (1968 – 1971)

These texts are only slightly manipulated, mainly to change names and other identifying details relating to the individuals who wrote them. Their originals were found handwritten on the reverse sides of postcards pasted into the album seen above, each text here transcribed from the reverse side of the image that accompanies it below.  Some sections were damaged in the process of removal from the album or more generally illegible and in these cases I have either restored or interpreted the writings based on internal evidence and general context: these texts are occasionally, therefore, presented as a best guess at what the writing might initially have said rather than an exact transcription. Sometimes it feels as though the studied banality in these messages may be concealing codes or other oblique meanings, but in a few cases I believe the masks slip and the real intention behind these communications is briefly glimpsed; even so, it is never entirely clear what that intention is.

11 Aug 1968

Dear Lyn and Michael,

Not long now and I shall be back again, this time for two weeks, so perhaps I shall see more of you than I usually do. I am having a nice holiday even though it has rained most of the time. I went on a trip this morning and saw the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and some other things.

Love Judy

Undated, 1968

Dear Miss Wolfar,

I went climbing found a star-fish on the rocks after dinner I get some sugar and feed horses.

From Michael

Undated, 1968 Scarborough

Staying at a very nice hotel down the south. Weather has been lovely until today. It’s much cooler and I’m not sure today whether it will be better or worse tomorrow. May be home Sat. Hope you are all well.

A and P Cotton

22.8.68 Devon

I wonder if you have been to this quaint village which has only one steep street with hundreds of steps. At the bottom is the sea. The donkeys go up and down carrying food. I wonder if you have been on holiday? Thank you for your letter and you did very well to win. I saw the picture of you and the others in the paper.

With love from Miss Wade

27 May, 1969 Dunoon

Dear Cynthia and Hugh,

We are having a nice time but the weather is not very good. I think you know Julia and Keith and the ladies are OK. I went to walk on Birch Hill last Monday and there is no place more strange in my eyes.

Love to you all, Granny

21 July 1969  London

Dear Lyn,

It is a very strange weather day here, some rain then sunny. Saw lots of policemen in the road some on horses and had a lovely lunch by the river. The boys are waiting for night so they will be able to see the man who is on the moon, but they won’t be told he is too far away to see!



29 July 1969 London

Having a good time here, went to Greenwich Sun. Weather very warm. Hope Rack and Ruin are alright. Do hope the weather keeps fine for your holiday. London very full as usual.

Kindest regards, A and P Cotton

Undated, 1969

Dear Mike

Having a lovely time sunshine every day.

Love Philip

23 Sep 1969 Bridlington

Dear Cynthia,

Just a line to say we are having a nice time. Good chalet and very nice weather so far. Glad you are feeling better and hope you are all well.

Love to you all, Granny

31 Oct 1969

I have been here for a week and am making the best of it. I did not like the room when we arrived, the wallpaper was dirty and old, and the sink in our room was cracked, but there are no other rooms and everywhere is too busy for us to change. It has spoiled things but Geoff and the girls are not so worried as me. Will be glad to be back in my own clean house again on Wednesday.

Lots of love,


1 July 1970, evening.

Sat having a rest. Your dad is asleep on the settee. Weather has been scorching hot since we had that rain last Thurs. Bob and Edna arrived OK last Saturday. It was too hot for her on the beach so they were having a day out. Got the car back today. Hope nothing else happens. I am thinking of my own bed. Hope you are OK. See you a week on Thurs.

Love Mum and Dad

6 July 1970 Scarborough

Arrived safely after a good journey. The weather is OK up to now. Yesterday was really hot. Michael’s arm was really nasty. I still have to keep dressing it. See you soon.

Love from us all, Cynthia

Undated, 1970  Newquay

Having a lovely time. Weather warm. Going on beach. Mr Collins (daddy’s friend) is there with us. He has three children, 2 boys 1 girl. They are Steven (17) Sue (14) and Brian (12). They have a boat and a surf board.

From Kathryn

4 Jun 1971

It was very windy yesterday and now the sky is clear so we can even see stars in the dusk which is not usual here our landlady said. Everything is purple. It is not warm but sometimes pleasant and we are walking a lot. I saw some animals and birds. I do not know what kind but there was a few deer and my husband thinks one bird was an eagle except it was far away. Tomorrow we are going to see Edinburgh.

Finest regards from Auntie Maureen

20 July 1971

Dear Lin,

The weather is good so far and the sea is very warm. I am about to attempt to water ski now so wish me luck. Our bungalow which we are staying in is on the sea’s door step. Where I have put the arrow is where it is. We can catch eels in that part where all the boats are. See you on 5 past 4 bus on Thursday.

Love Julie

31 Aug 1971

Dear Lucy,

The weather has settled after being quite stormy. I lost a hat and umbrella on Saturday. Today it is warm enough to go on the beach and the boys were making sandcastles in the shape of rockets. But they could not dig much – Paul was trying to bury his dad. Every time they dug there were paving stones under the sand. Hope it will stay like this now and see you in a few days.





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