Postcard Pastime

Ger Stafford.

Ger Stafford.

Ger Stafford, pictured above, is a local man with an extraordinary collection of historical postcards and photographs. His hobby began in the late 80s when he forgot to bring his camera when holidaying in the UK and resorted to the tourist postcards that he found available as a souvenir of his experience.

This sparked something in him which set him on an adventure of postcard collecting. He now frequents the antique shops of Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland as well as places like Scarborough in England, where he adds to his collection.

The postcards are catalogued in albums and provide a narrative on an evolving Ireland. “I find it interesting looking at these postcards from early 20th century Dublin and noticing the changes. They only have bikes for instance and O’Connell Street is still named Sackville Street,” he remarks.

A postcard of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay from the 50s inspired Stafford to recreate the photo when the Tall Ships race was on recently. Also featured are notable figures from Irish history such as CS Parnell and Pierce, as well as familiar places such as the Phoenix Park and the Zoo.

Among his favourites, however, are the ones he picked up in Temple Bar featuring various city centre scenes such as one showing a Native American, complete with feather headdress, strolling past the GPO in 1920s Dublin. “I love it for the look on the barefoot boy’s face. Apparently the circus was in town at the time,” Stafford says. “I have noticed that some of the stamps have been removed. They were probably found in some attic. One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.”

Stafford’s collection spans centuries of history and several countries, including Poland and Canada. Anyone who is interested in photography or history will find Stafford’s collection fascinating.

Ger Stafford can be contacted through NewsFour.

By Maria Shields O’Kelly