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John Hinde's postcards:
the back-story

Regular readers may be aware of my John Hinde postcard obsession

The Hinde images, instantly recognisable, highly coloured snapshots of a vanished world (their best cards were produced in the 1960s and 70s), have become collectors' items – with fans including the photographer Martin Parr and designer, Wayne Hemingway, who is hosting an exhibition based around the cards at this year's Vintage Southbank event at the end of this month.

The very nice Edmund Nagele (see his name, above on the right?) told me how easy it was to photograph people in the 1960s and 70s without any trouble. "No one ever wanted any money, and they always said 'yes'," he explained with I interviewed him a few weeks ago. Image via: the John Hinde Collection, copyright John Hinde Ltd.

Aren't the colours extraordinary in this image, part of a big series commissioned by Butlin's in the 60s and early 70s?  If you – like the photographer, Martin Parr – love this picture, do buy the gorgeous book of the series (curated by Parr) , Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight (Chris Boot, around £20 from Amazon). Image via: the John Hinde Collection, copyright John Hinde Ltd.

You can read the interesting backstory of these glorious images in a piece I wrote for today's Independent Magazine, after being lucky enough to be invited to peruse the original prints behind the postcards at the HQ of the brilliant John Hinde Collection in Devon. There, the founders – the lovely Michelle Abadie and Marcus Davies, are painstakingly restoring some of the original transparencies.

The pink of the stone and the pink of the dog-walker's skirt, with the mossy shades of green in the grass just look wonderful together. And it was no accident – John Hinde sought out the best colour house he could find, in Italy. The quality of what they could produce was far superior to anything available in Britain or Ireland at the time and it's what helped the Hinde cards to shift more than 50 million a year at their peak. Image via: the John Hinde Collection, copyright John Hinde Ltd.

I was also very excited to speak to Edmund Nagele, one of the photographers who took some of the now iconic images (such as the one of the Duporth holiday camp, top image, above). He had some marvellous stories to tell – from how he and fellow Hinde photographers cast the "casual" passers by, coloured their clothes more vibrantly during processing, frequently borrowed locals' hydrangea bushes as props and spent five months of the year driving around Great Britain and Ireland in John Hinde's circus caravan to do his job.

The John Hinde Collection showed me the original transparency of this colourful image: without the lush green grass (in reality is was pale and rather patchy); without the stunning skies (they were lifted and pasted from images taken in the Mediterranean); and the chalets and sun lounger weren't quite so vibrant. Image via: the John Hinde Collection, copyright John Hinde Ltd.Buy prints of some of the images from the John Hinde Collection, or go see them en masse at Vintage. Meanwhile, do enjoy some more of this gorgeous and evocative images...

Images via: the John Hinde Collection, copyright John Hinde Ltd.


  1. John Hinde, Elmar Ludwig, Edmund Nägele and David Noble are great photographers and i like the "red shirt photography" from them.

  2. Thanks - belatedly - for your comment. They were indeed very special. I enjoyed talking to Edmund very much - especially as he kindly invited me to stay with him and his wife in Bavaria...! I must take him up on that offer (if only for an excuse to nose through more of his wonderful photography)

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