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Boring Postcards by Martin Parr

This was a book I rescued from a local charity shop for just £1 and fell in love with instantly. Presented in their original size, beautifully printed onto heavyweight paper with plenty of white space surrounding them, these postcards make a brilliant topic for an art book from Phaidon, masters of the subject. Also these postcards from around fifty years ago, that would have seemed completely boring twenty years ago, are now absolutely fascinating to look back on with our love for all things retro at the moment. They are anything but boring.

What is really amazing is how much of that brutalist concrete architecture still exists; there are views of several town centres that I know intimately and still recognise the main features today. These were also the days when flying was a luxury, caravans by the sea were more likely to feature in holiday plans, and if you had to drive there, the new motorways and their service stations were all part of the experience. All are represented here in all their glory!

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any suitably ‘boring’ postcards from my own files to scan in as illustrations. Instead I offer two snaps taken in Orrell, (near Wigan in Lancs) as poor modern day equivalents. This roundabout (top) has been built on the site of my other half’s old primary school! And this view over the fishing lake at Orrell Water Park is very boring indeed when the sun’s not out…

P.S. Mike (see comments) – we got one of where you work too!

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