IN recent weeks we've been publishing postcards from a remarkable collection that has just been rediscovered in an attic in Weardale. In a box alongside, was a pile of old Christmas cards sent to the same family in Stanhope in the 1930s.

The designs and the artwork give an excellent sense of the age. Just the typeface used on one card – "All good things this Christmas," it says – is redolent of the 1930s, and there are those waiters – or stewards – striding purposefully carrying drinks and puddings. It is an image that could easily be found on the menu of a luxurious liner charging across the ocean.

That card also includes a little black Scotty dog, a symbol of good luck which crops up on many cards in the box. In fact, there are more Scotty dogs than there are pictures of Father Christmas – nowhere in the box is there a picture of Santa.

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There are lots of pictures of summer flowers and autumn fruits on the cards, and plenty of pictures of snowy Dickensian views, of carol singers gathered around a lantern.

Oh, and there are lots of horsedrawn stagecoaches thundering through the night, blowing snowdrifts to billy-o.

One of the most curious of the cards has "Good wishes" on it. It has a jumbo jet flying menacingly above rooftops. How can a jumbo, even with the word "Xmas" written on its fuselage, ever be considered festive?

The card is dated 1939, so the Second World War would have been a few months old when our person in Stanhope received it. Surely, having a bomber flying overhead would have given the recipient the jitters rather than good wishes.