Oh, I do like to be beside the DVD-side

GONE are the days of naughty seaside postcards and a hastily scrawled “wish you were here.”

Richard Cornwell

GONE are the days of naughty seaside postcards and a hastily scrawled “wish you were here.”

Today friends and family of holidaymakers to Felixstowe can really see what they are missing with a new DVD postcard.

Instead of trying to read tiny handwriting squeezed onto the back of a cardboard post card, which more often than not has a Royal Mail frank printed over it, people can now sit down to a 30 minute film.

Shops in the town are stocking the DVD postcard alongside the more traditional cardboard ones.

The disc has been filmed by Dave Alligan who wanted to promote the town further afield.

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He said: “I thought we ought to have a modern way of saying to friends and family 'wish you were here' and thought a DVD postcard was a great way of doing that.

“A lot of people still buy postcards but the photos are often very old now and they really need updating and they don't say very much about a place.

“Whenever I tell people I come from Felixstowe, they always say, 'oh, the port'.

“I wanted to show people there is more to Felixstowe than a port - that we are a town with lots of attractions and lovely areas and a great seafront.”

It took Mr Alligan, of Brackley Close, Felixstowe, about a year to put the DVD together - filming all aspects of the resort and then editing it.

He said: “A lot of it was waiting around for fine weather days to get nice blue skies, but some of the shots like inside the leisure centre and other places I needed to arrange with people and get permission to do, so it did take a bit of time.

“I am pleased with it and I think it is nicely self-contained - it covers all the town, not just the seafront, but Felixstowe Ferry and the countryside and town centre to give a real flavour of what people will find if they come to Felixstowe.

“I hope people will buy it and sent it like a postcard and it will really take off.”

Mr Alligan runs a company called Golden Memories Sound and Design, which specialises in transferring video, photos, film and vinyl records and cassettes onto DVDs and CDs, as well as web design and wedding videos.

Last year the company released a film called Felixstowe for Sun and Fun featuring old colour footage from the 1940s and 1950s.

- The postcard DVD is available from Treasure Chest, Magpie Books, The Card Centre, Peewit Caravan Park and Felixstowe Beach Holiday Park, in Felixstowe, cost £4.99.

- Would you like to receive a DVD postcard from family on holiday? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Wish you were here . . . the old-fashioned way

- Sending postcards in Britain began in 1870 but it was not until 1894 when the Post Office gave the green light to their private publication for use through the mail that picture postcards started to became more common - usually seaside and city views.

- By 1902, cards had been published featuring the Boer War and royal events, and in that year, the Post Office allowed both address and message to be written on one side of the card, freeing up the whole of the other for the picture.

- From then on, postcards exploded in popularity - people bought them to keep as souvenirs as well as to send to friends, and postcards had their first golden era as collectables.

- After a period of decline, the postcard began to be regain popularity in the 1970s as an advertising and art item, and today has a high profile again in High Street shops, lifestyle bars and cafes, and entertainment venues.

WHEN Felixstowe was in its heyday and the railway was bringing 20,000 visitors a day at the height of the summer season, a postcard was as quick as an email - well, almost.

People arriving on an early morning train from Ipswich in the early years of the last century could quickly buy and write a card and pop it in the post to let family know they were there safely.

The resort had rolling postal collections at the time and often a postcard sent in the morning would be collected, sorted and whipped up to Ipswich by train.

People in the county town would often find cards posted that day in their third delivery of the day.