Flea Market Love Letters
Here & Now: Dublin, Ireland.
Updated: Nov 13, 2021
In the summer of 2015 I began collecting vintage love letters as a hobby and in 2017 I began an Instagram account called “@FLEAMARKETLOVELETTERS” where I started transcribing and sharing photographs of the letters in my collection. In 2019, I launched this website for the project where I archive and blog about all things historical letter collecting. In 2020 I celebrated the third year of the project which has grown to include nearly three hundred featured letters. Three times I have been able to return with a Postcard, letter or photograph to its location over 100 years later. These instances have been around the world in: Dublin, Ireland, Easton, Pennsylvania, and even Lucerne, Switzerland! This is the story of how I was able to see Dublin "Here & Now" thanks to vintage Postcards in my collection.
Once I have a "collection" (i.e. one series could be five letters to two-hundred) I will photograph the letters, read them and type them up, then share them out on the site and Instagram. In London in the Spring of 2019 I acquired three vintage postcards of Ireland. In late Summer 2020 I actually brought those postcards around Dublin, where I have lived since 2018. The postcards are dated 1923, 1949 and 1951.
West Moreland Street
October 11, 1923.
We've had a good time in Dublin. Weather is still fine + we're hoping it will continue so. Love, John"
West Moreland Street, June 2020.
West Moreland Street is one of two streets which end at O'Connell Bridge, over the River Liffey. West Moreland Street links Trinity College Dublin and College Green, bordering the infamous Temple Bar and converging to the North side of Dublin's City Centre. In 1923 there would have been a number of small businesses and shops, as well as likely accommodation on this Street. Now there are coffee shops, a hotel and a number of tourist services. Much of the architecture remains similar, however.
Bank of Ireland
April 24, 1949
"Gresham Hotel Dublin
Getting overfed but recovering from a poor night journey over much kindness here and a few days in the country -- from Tuesday to Saturday will keep. Back here Saturday till Monday. Monday night Holyhead Hotel. Tuesday night Great Easton Hotel.
Liverpool St. Ewill. Wed: will phone. Hope all well with you all."
Here I am, outside of Trinity College Dublin photographing the above. This 1949 Postcard is a colorized photograph of the Bank of Ireland which still stands today on College Green across from Trinity College Dublin in the City Centre of Dublin. Originally, the building served as the Parliament of Ireland from its construction in 1729 until 1803 when it became the Bank of Ireland. The author of the Postcard in 1949 was staying down the road at the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street, about a ten minute walk.
Trinity College and Bank of Ireland
August 15, 1951
We are all now in Dublin. Mrs. Hoser arrived after nursing + the children last night. We all had a good..."
As this Postcard is virtually impossible for me to decipher for transcription I have included a photograph of the backside for any courageous readers!
This is the view of Trinity College Dublin and the Bank of Ireland as it stands today, rather than 1951.
Bank of Ireland facing towards Trinity College Dublin, June 2020.
Here I am standing, masked on the steps of the now H&M on College Green in Dublin City Centre to "get the shot". The building where I am standing was the National Bank of Ireland which became several retail units until 2013 when H&M moved into the property.
If you're interested in learning more about the other places I've returned to with letters or photographs 100 years on, please feel free to check out those blogs here and here. There's a house which belonged to two unmarried sister's who had World War I beaus and a 1920s family trip around Europe in those blogs so I hope if you've enjoyed this trip down history lane you'll comment below or send me an email at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading!