What a fantastic idea – the stories of Bermondsey & Rotherhithe people told through old postcards from or to the area. Michael Holland has been a Deltiologist (postcard collector) for many years and has at least four large albums chock-a-block with these voices from the past. Upon reading the backs of the cards he got interested in the lives of the people who sent these messages back and forth. And what interesting lives they reveal, writes Debra Gosling.

He has put together a free travelling exhibition which throws a spotlight on to the lives of locals in the Edwardian age. There are love stories, tragedies and secret codes. Pictures of churches and streets, momentous events, schools and municipal buildings abound. You may see even some of your ancestors! 

Local artist Ed Gray said: ‘If you like social history and the story of everyday lives then this exhibition is a must see.’

Bermondsey’s jewel in the crown, Southwark Park, stretches over four display boards. But the most touching story of all is of Tommy Woolford. I won’t spoil it for you, just get down to one of the venues below and check it out for yourself.

Bermondsey entrepreneur Luigia Minichiello raved, ‘This exhibition has it all: storytelling, love affairs, tragedy and highlights all the places we’ve grown up with… I’m going back to soak it all in again on a quiet day.’

Each exhibition has an opening night or afternoon and Holland will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.  Don’t be fooled by an old postcard that mentions the weather, read between the lines and get a glimpse into the real lives of our ancestors. It wasn’t all ‘wish you were here’ you know…

Time & Talents , The Old Mortuary,  St Marychurch Street SE16 4JE until 25th March.

Exhibition tour continues: 

Beormund Centre, 177 Abbey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 2AN

Opening 27th March 6pm until 10th April. www.beormund.co.uk

Docklands Settlement, 400 Salter Rd, Rotherhithe, London SE16 5AA Opening 18th April 2pm until 28th April docklandsettlements.org.uk

City Hope Church, 121 Drummond Rd, Bermondsey, London SE16 2JY

Opening 1st May 6.30pm until Friday 15th May www.cityhope.co.uk

Lewington Centre, 9 Eugenia Rd, London SE16 2RU

Opening May 29th 6pm until 12th June. communitysouthwark.org/organisations-venues/venues/lq-lewington-centre

Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Redriff Rd, Rotherhithe, London SE16 7LL

20th June 12pm until 4th July www.timeandtalents.org.uk