Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Purple pencils


Do you remember thick purple pencils? I had forgotten all about them until I was sorting through some post cards the other day. One postcard, of Churchtown, Southport, had been sent to my grandmother in 1907 and the address was in that thick purple pencil. I wonder why they were purple? Was it some sort of impure (and cheaper) graphite?

I don’t know why there was no message on the card, presumably she knew who it was from! Her address at the time was the Berwick Hotel on the corner of Berwick Street and West Derby Road, Liverpool. This hotel was owned by her mother, Grandma Spencer (Louisa Sophia Spencer nee Lane) and had been bought when Nana’s father died and the family moved from Birkenhead to Liverpool

The Berwick Hotel no longer exists, the whole area around it having been flattened. Interestingly the Streetmap shows White Rock Street only a hundred yards away on the other side of West Derby Road. Although I have found no documentary evidence Dad used to tell me that some of his relatives lived in White Rock Street.

1 comment:

  1. As soon as I saw this posting I was reminded of indelible pencils which were used extensively when I was a child - and, indeed, a lot later as well. I think I still have one or two. They were used primarily for marking the clothes and so on that went to the laundry. I think that the Police also used them for their notebooks. They took on a brighter purple hue when moistened and became indelible - hence the reason Policement are seen licking their pencils when writing in their notebooks in old films.

    I think that the following might be relevant websites:




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