The coloured postcard of Manly Beach, Sydney has a red 1d ‘Shield of New South Wales’ stamp postmarked with the rays numeral ‘123′ of Wingham, New South Wales (Figure 1).

The reverse message is a total surprise to the vendor and myself for it is written in an alphanumeric code, which may be difficult to ‘crack’. It was sent to a Mr. H. Gollau Jr.(Gollan?), a presumed teenager addressed at Post Office, Tinonee, N.S.W. It has a clear reception postmark of TINONEE/ MR 22/ 1906/ N.S.W as well as the originating postmark of WINGHAM/ MR 22/ 1906/ N.S.W. The sender is identified as ‘Maud’ perhaps another teenager, and the code would probably defy the parents’ interpretation (Figure 2).

The two towns of Wingham and Tinonee are less than 20 km apart. Are there any code experts out there who can ‘crack’ the code?

Addendum (August 2010):  The above short paper with the coded message was entered into the website in September 2009.  I have received an email from Jill Brown, as follows:

“Just had a reply from a friend of mine that lived opposite the Gollans house in Tinonee.  She has written that the H is Hector and he was the son of Captain John Gollan.  She believes Hector built the house that her family lived in and that they operated a shipping business across Winter Street ( in Tinonee).  There are still Gollans living in Tinonee.  But alas she does no know what the code is.”

In the years when the rivers were the roads, Tinonee was the heart of the Manning River and majestic sailing ships plying the river were an everyday sight as Tinonee buzzed with commerce and industry.

Around 1860-70 Tinonee had five hotels, a post office, flour mill, sugar mills, sawmills, three churches, blacksmith shop, broom factory, bakery, newspaper, office, hospital, school, bacon factory, brick kiln, butchery, bank and of course, Captain Gollan’s shipyard. These were the base of a thriving community!

Surveyor Henry Carmichael completed the design plan of Tinonee on November 21, 1853. Gazettal of the site of Tinonee was on March 24, 1854.

Categories: Postcards, What is it?