Windows on a lost world

Postcards highlighting a works outing in Norwich and a young city sailor spark picture puzzles.

Not only have your postcards now raised almost �17,000 to help deaf children in Norwich and Norfolk...they have also brought back a host of happy memories in recent weeks.

Last month cards I used featured members of Madam Osina's dance troupe with Gracie Fields in the 1930s and the boys and girls of Anchor Street, Norwich, during the rough and tumble 1920s.

Leila Rose, now aged 92, spotted herself and her cousin Enid when they were growing up in the street.

Leila went on to serve with the ATS in the war before meeting Vic and settling down to married life.

They had a son Alan and daughter Karen and she got in touch to say how pleased her mum was to see that photograph and how many friends had been in touch after seeing it in the Evening News.

In the other postcard Gracie, probably the biggest star of the day, was in Norwich when she took time to meet the young dancers with Madam Osina's.

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'She told me to 'cuddle up'' said Vera Read who remembers the picture was taken at the back of the old Carlton cinema and theatre, now likely to be pulled down, on All Saints Green.

So let's see if these postcards, a window on a lost world, bring back any memories.

The main one was taken in Felixstowe in 1939, just before the war, and is of the Norvayam furniture factory workers enjoying a day out before their world was turned upside down.

The other postcard arrived from Swindon and is a real picture puzzle from the 1920s.

It had belonged to the late Vera Stuart (Abel), of Nelson Street, Norwich, and is thought to be of a young man called Frank Bishop of Heigham Street who was at HMS Ganges.

Her daughter Doreen, who grew up in Norwich and was a member of Madam Osina's dance troupe, said she found the picture and others in her mum's belongings and she would like to pass them on to the family if any are still about.

If you are a member of the Bishop family or worked at the Norvayam factoryplease drop me a line at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE, or email me at

The cards you send me go to Michael and Sylvia Porter who sell them to raise money for the Norfolk Deaf Children Society.

They have a stall at the Norfolk & Norwich Philatelic Society Stamp and Postcard Fair at the Hewett School on Saturday, March 31, from 10am to 4.30pm. It is well worth a visit.