Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Talking Wallets

Yesterday I came across a bag of old photographs and documents.
The bag also contained my father's card wallet.

My father at work in Hong Kong, 1961

He died in 2002, so it didn't feel too intrusive to take a peep inside.
Well, maybe just a little, but I did it anyway.

The wallet contains:
  • A Public Record Office Reader's Ticket
  • A National Archives Debit Card (United States of America)
  • U-Boat War Membership
  • World Ship Society Membership Card
  • The Merchant Navy Association National Membership Card
  • The Russian Convoy Club Membership Card
  • National Fishing Research Centre Readers Card
  • Mitgliedskarte Verband Deutscher U-Bootfahrer e.V.
  • Grimsby Veteran Seafarers Association
  • Sharkshunters Membership
  • Hong Kong Branch British Red Cross Society Blood Donation card
  • Humberside Libraries Card
  • N E Lincs Bus Pass
  • Society of Authors Membership Card

That pretty much summed up my father's main interests for much of his life - apart from family, grandchildren and friends, of course!

He was a naval historian and author.  

Just a few of the folders

Among his works is an enormous piece of research on Axis U-Boats and Merchant Navy Vessels during WW11.   It includes technical details, crew lists, patrol details and personal stories from men involved on both sides of the conflict.   This opus magnum is housed in the Archives at Grimsby Town Hall and I also have a hard copy of the 30+ volumes on the top shelves of my hobby room, along with copies of all his other published works.

One of the most impressive aspects is that he did most of this work well before the advent of easy research on the computer.      His research involved a lot of travelling, he talked to people, visited places.   He also wrote, and received,  thousands of letters.  It used to keep the postman happy and the local charity was always sure of a bumper package of beautiful foreign stamps for their appeal.

Goodness knows how much he spent just on stationery alone, never mind the stamps.

He bashed out all his letters and manuscripts on a series of manual typewriters - a whole series of typewriters because he wore them out.

What would your wallet reveal about you?


  1. Not a great deal, it's full of cards, does not even have money in it.

    1. Hi Bill, I know what you mean - mine has three supermarket 'loyalty' cards, assorted library cards, my debit card, a tatty ten pound note and a one pound coin. Dull stuff indeed!

  2. Oh what a keepsake little bit of history your Dad left for you. Just looked in my handbag - 3 crumpled tissues, a handkerchief, a comb, free pen courtesy of Barclays, screwed up receipts, various cards, driving licence (and a bus pass), keys, 2 books of stamps, mobile phone and the number written down on a scrap of paper ( can never remember my mobile number), various bits of paper of places I've been to, bit of cash in purse, one plaster and half a strip of Rennies.

    1. Hello Molly, I hope the sun is shining as beautifully on you as it is on our side of the country today! I try to avoid taking a handbag with me, whenever possible, but when i do take one I must admit my contents list would be much as yours - perhaps with the addition of a few dog biscuits, my oldest specs and my smallest camera. x


Lovely to hear from you!