A Birthday Celebrated in vintage Scottish Postcards
She received 27 postcards from various well-wishers on her 25th birthday. And all the cards were of the tartans and badges of Scottish clans. Eight of the postcards were from her brother Andrew, who also happened to be my grandfather, the Rev Andrew McGregor.
Interestingly the postcards were all mailed between 6.30 and 7.30 a.m. on 1 June 1903, Ms Hettie McGregor’s birthday.
The postcards were all published by W. and A.K. Johnston, Ltd., of Edinburgh, Scotland. They are of uniform design in that they all have a strip across the top of the clan’s tartan, with the clan badge on the top right and on the left of the card a picture of a person wearing the clan kilt, in some presumably typical pose.
The eight postcards from Grandfather drew a mild complaint from his wife Miemie, who wrote: “Hettie dear, It’s a puzzler to know what to write after reading all Andrew’s specimens of wit and good wishes, but the top o' the morning to ye and a blithe heart and gay throughout the day. Many happy returns, Miemie.”
Andrew’s postcard messages ranged from clan history lessons to comments about rugby matches and family engagements. Typically he wrote on one card: “Don’t forget the big match on Wednesday. I hope it will be as even and hard fought as this one seems to be.” I have no idea what “this one” refers to.
At the time of this birthday Great Aunt Hettie was living with her father, the Rev Andrew McGregor Snr in his house Rob Roy Villa, in Hillside Road, Tamboers Kloof, a suburb of Cape Town.
It must have taken some organizing to get all these similar cards sent to the Great Aunt, and my guess is that it was her brother, Grandfather Andrew, who did the organizing. My guess is based on the fact that on 7 May 1903 he sent a postcard, written in Latin, to his father. My Latin is too rusty to really be able to translate it but I get the impression that he was not impressed with the depiction of the Clan McGregor tartan. If one of the HubPages readers who reads this Hub can give me more insight into the Latin I would be grateful!
Anyway I just hope the Hubmob enjoy the accompanying scans of the postcards.
The PostcardsClick thumbnail to view full-size
The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.
© Tony McGregor 2011