Unfolding plans 95 – Spennymoor in the millennium

This postcard challenge is going to be harder than I thought.  By day two I was close to throwing in the towel but my never say die attitude pulled it off in the end.  It seems that postcards are only sold in tourist type destinations and are not ubiquitous.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Why wouldn’t anyone want to spend their holidays in Spennymoor though?  I might have to rethink my approach and plan a bit ahead.

I trailed the high street of Spennymoor to find a card.  The post office didn’t have any, at least not with picture on them, and neither did the library or the town hall.  None of the newsagents carried them either but at each shop the same name kept popping up.  Have you tried the Studio?  It was at the other end of the town and, as the name suggests, is a photographic studio.  I popped in and asked if he had any.  The proprietor (I assumed) asked me the rather odd question ‘what was I going to do with them?’ before giving me a handful of the same postcard that proudly portrayed Spennymoor in the millennium.

What he thought I was going to do with them I have no idea and what he thought he was doing with a pile of fifteen year old postcards with an image celebrating something that happened over fifteen years ago I have no idea either.  He gave me a handful when I only asked for one.  He didn’t charge me when I would happily have paid and he was left with a smaller pile which he is very unlikely to shift.  The look on my face surprised him however.  He had made my day and saved my postcard bacon.

I thought that day three would be a breeze.  I was down in Staindrop for the latest superfast broadband launch.  As a village it is a peach.  Just round the corner is the beautiful Raby Castle with its extensive deer park.  The whole ensemble is archetypal postcard material.  But could I find one?  To be fair there aren’t that many shops in Staindrop but the post office didn’t have any and the local Spar none either.  In the end I had to drive into Barnard Castle where there was a choice of two or three shops.  In the end I bought a picture of Raby Castle from the perhaps eponymously named Castle Cards.

Now it is true that Barnard Castle is a tourist centre.  It has a visitor information centre located in the recently refurbished ‘The Witham’.  The town has a castle, obviously (but perhaps I’d got it wrong about the card shop) and the Bowes Museum is only a short drive away with its internationally recognised art collection and fine gardens. In a few days’ time they are hosting Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal, the first exhibition in the UK to present a comprehensive display of the French fashion designer’s work and life.

I made a mental note to come back to have a look and spend some time in the area.  Hopefully it will be another sunny day.

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