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Left: A past visit by HRH the Queen to Southend and printed on postcards by Lynn. Below right: Father Christmas arrives at Leigh on Sea to a happy crowd. Bottom: One of Lynn's postcards commemorating Armistice Day at the Tower of London.

depicting the hurricane of the Great Storm of 1987. Back in those days we did not have digital printing and I had to commit to a run of 2,000- 3,000 sets of postcards. After nearly a decade of producing these sets, then opened my second

I As a retailer the temptation to ‘go safe’ is

understandable, but I think sometimes we need to be a bit daring and try something new. At the very least we can reduce the price of the product for customers if it doesn’t perform and get our money back. This is why it is so important for new

publishers to have a low carriage paid order. Any barrier like high carriage will have a negative effect on sales and will be a lost opportunity to get a foot in the door. If the cards do well, then the retailer will soon be placing an order far exceeding that of the minimum order. The trend with all retailers now is to buy little and often, and even the very big gift suppliers now have a very low carriage paid requirement because they know once a retailer gets ordering it will far exceed this. It also gets the retailer in the right frame of mind because they haven't been dictated to about how much they have to spend. Going back to my original opening

remarks about replicating the past, this month I am going back to my roots. In the 1980s and 90s I published over 3 million postcards of events in Southend.

It was the natural

progression from collecting old postcards that featured past historic events. My 32 sets of postcards have now become collectors’ sets of historical value in their own right, as their forebearers before them have. I published the postcards

knowing that things wouldn't stay the same and thinking it would be important to keep records for future generations. Making rock in Southend,

shrimping, bringing in cockles manually with a yolk, pier train openings,

royal visits to

Southend and the most famous of all is the set I did of 16 cards


shop and started my greeting card company. So 27 years after the hurricane set of

postcards there has never been anything that I have published that has been so instantly popular as this historical series... until now... My very personal set of 16 commemorative postcards of ‘Armistice Day at the Tower of London’. The early signs and pre-orders prove

that these moving cards will certainly eclipse my ‘hurricane set’. I have had an unprecedented response to this set of cards. After

the initial print run, kindly

sponsored by the Imaging Centre, it will then go straight into a litho print run, generously sponsored by The Sherwood Press. This will mean that with the entire money of the sales of the postcards will go to Help for Heroes - we stand to make a huge amount of money for the charity. If ever getting up at 4.30am was truly

rewarded this is it. I would also like to personally thank the Mary Evans Picture Library for allowing me to use (free of charge) the famous photo of the men enlisting for WW1 at the Tower (which my grandfather is in) for one of the postcards.

I never ever thought I would be

publishing postcards again, the same as I am sure that there are lots of pop groups out there that never thought they would reunite again for a pop revival. I, for one, mourned the break up of pop

band Take That and followed them to Milan when I couldn't get tickets for Wembley! There is a little bit of nostalgia in all of us,

whether for pop bands we loved in the ‘good old days’ as well as things that reignite memories of our childhood. Last month we had our Christmas Grotto in our shop in Old Leigh. To launch it, Father Christmas arrived on the beach to a lot of

excited children and grown ups who did the Hokey Cokey. He then took up residence in my shop for the duration. One girl aged 12 said she had come every year to the Grotto since she was three and her favourite toy was a lamb that Father Christmas had given her on her very first visit. I was so thrilled that we are helping to create lovely memories for children by doing the Grotto each year - as I am about the creation of the postcards marking such an important time in history as well as the new range of art cards. Reinvention and remembrance are both woven into the threads of our lives. As you read this we will be

edging nearer and nearer to the trade fairs. I am so looking forward to them andmeeting all my lovely friends in the industry. A happy and healthy new

year to you all.

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