What’s my line?

Terry Collins of Tonbridge with his Longmead model railway

Terry Collins of Tonbridge with his Longmead model railway - Credit: Archant

Fancy doing something of an evening other than watching TV? Then why not take up a new hobby and why not make it an unusual one? That’s what these Kent residents have done

Postcrossing

As long as it’s not bills or a parking fine, everyone likes getting post. There’s just something about it that appeals to us; the rattle of the letterbox, the sound of mail dropping onto the mat, the prospect of something exciting among the discount deals.

“That childlike excitement about getting mail is one of the reasons why I got involved in postcrossing” says Ann Milne.

To the uninitiated, postcrossing is all about participants receiving postcards from across the world. Anne explains: “It works like this. You sign up to the website and you’re given a member to send a postcard to and an ID number. What you write on the postcard is entirely up to you.

“The member receives the postcard and registers it using the postcard’s ID. At this point you are eligible to receive a postcard from another user. But where the postcard comes from is a total surprise. So far, I have sent about 1,700 and received almost 2,000.”

Prior to being a postcrosser, Anne was already a collector of postcards, a hobby she inherited from her father.

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“He was in the merchant navy, and because of this became a bit of a collector. He also used to send me cards too, which often meant that I ended up getting postcards from wherever he had sailed to. I used to love the fact that I got pictures from all these exotic places.”

This love of receiving cards from far-flung places has continued with postcrossing. “I get a lot of cards from Russia, Germany and the USA. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems this is where the most postcrossers are,” says Ann.

“However, I have had some more exotic ones, including a few from the central Asian republics, such as Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and one really special one from Antarctica.

“You see, that’s what’s so exciting about postcrossing, you just never know when something really unusual is going to drop through your letterbox.”

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