Hadleigh Postcard Memories is a refreshingly original and accessible book that introduces the famous Olympic village of Hadleigh in Essex. This is the first-ever publication from a brand new author, Robert Nichols, born in Hadleigh in 1921. Using 160 examples selected from his personal collection of postcards, Bob evokes the feeling of a bygone era in a way that shows how the spirit of Hadleigh has developed and lives on.
Bob has crafted a stunning evocation of buildings and people, past and present, using his unique viewpoint as a local lad with global experience. He was taught at Hadleigh School, and then, like so many of his generation, worked during the day and studied in the evening. Engineering training at Southend Technical College, and an always evident enthusiasm for life, served him well in volunteering for the RAF in 1940. His war service took him to Burma and India to lead teams recovering and rebuilding crashed fighter planes. After the war, he developed a formidable career in aeronautical engineering.
Retiring back to the Hadleigh he has known so well and being a lifelong postcard collector, his combination of lively outlook and distinctive experiences enabled him to show the development of our Hadleigh in a fresh and novel way. Instead of chapters, Bob has designed eight routes of pictorial exploration to guide you through time and distance.
Take Hadleigh Postcard Memories with you to overlay the current built environment with the historic equivalent and appreciate more fully how it has developed into what you see about you. Or, settle down at home to walk through history, see the Cingalee Tea Gardens and wonder at the ladies strolling down the middle of Hadleigh High Street around a century ago. This superbly produced book glows with life and has an irresistible appeal.
Warning: casual readers will find it difficult to put down! Where relevant, text and dates on the backs of cards inform Bob's commentaries; and Editorial research notes offer casual and academic readers alike valuable insights and research tools. At once warmer and more personal than digital technology, this splendid book encourages the reader to engage with Hadleigh and strengthen the sense of community at their own pace and hear the distinct voice of the village through the years.
The elegant maps, general postcard information and the clean design encourage readers to consider their surroundings in new ways. Hadleigh has an ancient history but remained a small rural community until about the turn of the Twentieth Century. The coming of the Salvation Army's Land & Industrial Colony, expansion of London's commuter belt along the A13 (London Road) and the advent of the LTS Railway, brought rapid development.
Despite the growth in population, Hadleigh retains its own identity. Many older residents still remember the peaceful scenes depicted in Mr Nichols's picture postcard collection. Younger residents will marvel at some of the differences which a century of progress has brought about, and perhaps reflect that some changes are not always for the better.