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Can you help solve this Houghton-le-Spring mystery? because canny Bernard Gilpin is in knots over it!

Can your memory help solve this mystery?


In July 1908, a French visitor was staying at 19 Church Street, Houghton-le-Spring. The visitor decided to send a message home on a postcard featuring a view of the domineering St Michael's Church.

St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, in 1908

Can you translate this postcard which was sent from Houghton-le-Spring in 1908?

Can you translate the French message into English and let us know what the visitor thought of Houghton?

The recipientís address was: Madame Marie Morvan, 1 Passage Chatelet XVIIe, Paris, France.

This has been described as a high class area of Paris!

Suggestion from Patricia Richardson:

The writer is using colloquial French and a literal translation would probably sound very strange!

My dear Marie, It has been superb weather for several days. I am living well with the English (literally:- in the home of the English). I also kiss ("my" is presumed here) cousin. (literally:- I kiss her that is cousin). Roger Here is my address: 19 Church Street, Houghton-le-Spring, England.

Sounds like he was enjoying his stay!Hope you find this helpful.

Patricia Richardson

If you think you can add anything further to this mystery, please get in touch by clicking HERE.


Article and research by Paul Lanagan, local historian

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PAGE UPDATED: 27/08/2010