London Statues of Medical Women

Episode 14: Postcards from London's Past

Helen shares the true stories revealed through postcards sent more than a hundred years ago.

Helen Baggott is a writer and editor from Dorset. She began researching postcards almost 20 years ago and so far has researched more than 300 – with more in the wings.

Helen Baggott: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

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Show notes:

Hazel Baker: Hello, and welcome to our London history podcast, where we share our love of London. It's people, places in history in 20-minute espresso shot episodes served with a dash of personality. I am Hazel Baker, CEO of London Guided Walks, providing private tours, treasure hunts and Live London Quizzes to Londoners and visitors alike

To accompany this podcast, we also have hundreds of London history related blog posts for you to enjoy at

Now we have some exciting news this week. But we don't have one piece of news. Oh no, we actually have two. The first one was that this week I was a guest on BBC radio London with Robert Elms, talking about the King's wardrobe. A wonderful, very quiet, historic area within the city of London. And it's somewhere that we visit also on our tours of Blackfriars; The Best of Blackfriars tour. And I'll pop the link to that in the show notes. Hear me on Robert Elms: 11 mins 28 secs in.

The second piece of news is from Saturday, the 4th of July, we will be back, offering private tours and treasure hunts, all COVID-19 secure.As we prepare to reopen, we are offering a £15 discount for all private tours booked online from now until the 4th of July. No promo code is required. We've done all the hard work for you. Simply go to, choose a private London tour and book securely online. Tours with this offer can be booked for up until December 2020. You just need to book before the 4th of July to benefit from the £15 discount. And for the regulars amongst you, you already know we don't normally offer discounts. So make sure you don't miss out. And now on with the show.

I don't know about you, but I feel a flurry of excitement when sorting through the post and I received something non bill related.

When was the last time you received a postcard? I do love the idea that someone has taken the time, money, and effort to choose, right and post a postcard, to me. I suppose, social media and its ability to post photos and connect multiple people at the click of a button for free has helped, diminish this once seemingly compulsory vacation ritual.

And if receiving personal posts feels so good, why do we not send more to. Joining me today is author Helen Baggott who has written a rather intriguing book, called Posted in the Past. And it's revealing the true stories written on a postcard. She meticulously collects these stories and researches them, showing us the real lives of real people.

And today she's going to be sharing some of the stories and the research behind those stories of some London related postcards. So, Helen, welcome and thank you very much for joining us today.

What we discussed:

  • How did you start going down this rabbit hole?
  • Stories shared by Helen Baggott based on postcards
  • Winnie ,Edith, Ethel, and Freddy's postcards

Hazel Baker: Yeah, no, I think it's wonderful. And I thank you so much for taking the time out with us today. I mean, it's been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and also Winnie and Edith and Ethel and Freddy and all these wonderful names.

Helen Baggott: Aren't they lovely? In my mind's eye, they're all looking at us and smiling.

Hazel Baker:  And I appreciate it Helen. Thanks so much.

Helen Baggott: You're welcome, Hazel.

Hazel Baker: I hope you've all enjoyed today's episode. And if you have, then please do take a few minutes to leave a review. This not only helps me making sure that I'm on the right tracks and delivering what you want, but also for those who haven't listened to the podcast before and want to know whether it's worth their time as with every episode that we do, you can check out the show notes, which has links to recommended reading, including Helen's book Posted in the Past, but also, the transcripts so if you prefer to read things rather than listen to them,

Don't forget. We have hundreds of blog posts writing about places in London. Very often that we visit or discuss in our Private London Tours.

And don't forget that we are now offering £15  off all private tours booked until the 4th of July. And you can book your private tour all the way up to December, 2020. So no promo code required. Just check and book securely online. We are COVID-19 secure. And we also have a statement on the website, sharing what we're going to do to make sure that not only you, but also our staff, are as safe as possible as well.

So thanks very much for listening and I'll catch you next week.

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