Have you ever had a penpal?

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Have you ever had a penpal?

No, never have.
8
24%
Yes, a long time ago
17
52%
Yes, but have stopped writing
5
15%
Yes, I still write letters
3
9%
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 33

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FairyFoot
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Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

If you hadn't already noticed, I have a passion for writing to penpals and this also leads to using nice stamps for postage. In return, letters arrive with lovely postage stamps on too.

So, have you ever had a penpal (not including family)? Would you like to have a penpal?

A letter writing project I take part in during February is International Correspondence Writing Month, shortened to InCoWriMo, started by someone who is into fountain pens. The aim is to write a letter every day in February. There is an address exchange (through Disqus, arrgh, the scrolling..., as I write, there are 551 comments).

If that doesn't take your fancy, but you still would like a penpal, I could point you in other directions.
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by aviwire »

I am a member of your SnailMail forum.
I was away from all forums for last couple of years.
Will rejoin soon :)
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

Good to have you back!
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by chaddy »

When I was in junior school in the late 1960s we were all given a penpal from our equivalent class in a school in Fleetwood. We wrote to each other a couple of times, and then we had a class trip to Fleetwood. There we did a tour of the fish market, net making manufacturers and a rock making company ( everyone's favourite ). We met up with our pen friend then, and went home with them to see where they lived. A few weeks later they came to Warrington for a similar trip. That was the one and only pen friend that I ever had. I don't think we wrote again after the visits.
The next door neighbour of a friend of mine has lots of pen friends. Luckily for me, she saves all the stamps and he gives them to me. I have counted well over 30 different countries so far. It's a good source of modern used foreign stamps for my collection.
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

chaddy wrote:
02 Mar 2021 08:23
When I was in junior school in the late 1960s we were all given a penpal from our equivalent class in a school in Fleetwood. We wrote to each other a couple of times, and then we had a class trip to Fleetwood. There we did a tour of the fish market, net making manufacturers and a rock making company ( everyone's favourite ). We met up with our pen friend then, and went home with them to see where they lived. A few weeks later they came to Warrington for a similar trip. That was the one and only pen friend that I ever had. I don't think we wrote again after the visits.
The next door neighbour of a friend of mine has lots of pen friends. Luckily for me, she saves all the stamps and he gives them to me. I have counted well over 30 different countries so far. It's a good source of modern used foreign stamps for my collection.
Did you keep the letters? Or even enjoyed the letter writing?

I don't send to or receive from as many countries now as an occasional postcrosser, but do have some penpals in a few countries. Most of my international penpals are in the US, but also have some in Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, and I've even had letters from the Cayman Islands.
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by chaddy »

"Did you keep the letters? Or even enjoyed the letter writing?"

No I never kept them. As for enjoying it, I'm afraid it's no again. It was school work after all.
The lady whom I get the stamps from has pen friends in lots of different areas of the world such as Estonia, Japan,USA, Russia, Latvia,Italy, Canada, Australia, Kenya, and many many more. As I don't know her, I don't know how she got involved with the hobby, or where she finds the pen pals from. I will certainly make enquiries when this pandemic is over ( I must admit I selfishly never even thought about her side of things and just thought of it as a source of stamps for myself).
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by The Pom »

We got given penpals at school when I was about 10. Mine was from somewhere in California.

I remember very little, other than:

1. School simply told me he was called Matthew. I never managed to decipher his surname, his writing was so bad. It began with a B, but after that, it was anyone's guess.

2. He lived at number 15100 on his street. I lived at number 7 on mine. Stuff is bigger in America.

3. I gave up after a couple of letters. Since I could hardly read what he'd scribbled, replying was a challenge.
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

Wow! Handwriting can be an issue. One letter I received, well, written in calligraphy, very neat, but it was hard to decipher, not sure I fully did work out every word!

Yes, surprised at the house/building numbers on streets in the US. Currently writing a letter to someone who lives on a 1/2 street!
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by fromdownunder »

FairyFoot wrote:
05 Mar 2021 09:26
Yes, surprised at the house/building numbers on streets in the US. Currently writing a letter to someone who lives on a 1/2 street!
My address starts with 1/14.

I, like others here got a pen pal from England when I was about 12. We wrote to each other maybe 4 times, and at that point it was her birthday, so I sent her a present (A 12" ruler showing various types of Australian timber, which with the mailing cost took two weeks worth of pocket money). Never heard from her again, and did not bother to try and write back.

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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

House# direction #th 1/2 street. (edit, forgot the cardinal direction)

Shame about the ruler. Sounded thoughtful.
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by Battyrat »

At primary school I had a pen pal. Nothing exciting, just a kid in another local school. Teacher thought we might learn something. :roll:

I think we found we had nothing in common and the letters stopped after a month or so.

I often wondered if the teachers were too frightened to match up kids with similar interests so they would have something in common to talk about?
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

Well, one of my classmates moved away, sometime during the 2 years of GCSEs, however she kept in touch writing letters, mostly in English lessons... Well, if you look to be busy writing, perhaps busy studying/working... Still have those letters. Some she gave to her folks to post through the office franking machine thing...
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by DJM »

I remember in Primary school in grade 3 or 4 we had to write a letter to a 'penpal' that would be sent overseas to a student there. I received an initial letter from some kid (like the one I sent) but we never bothered to keep the letters going.

I had an 'email pal' in Canada for a couple of years but she stopped responding to my letters when I told her I was getting married.

D.

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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-northern-ireland-56603956 has a video. The text below comes from the same page.
Long lost pen pals reunited after 70 years

Two transatlantic pen pals have been reunited after a wait of more than 70 years.

In 1950, 11-year-old Jim Johnston from Belfast responded to an advert in a children's magazine about pen pals.

He was soon put in touch with an American boy who was a similar age - Fred Heard from Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The two corresponded for several months, but as it the case for many pen pals, life got in the way and they lost touch.

Seven decades later Mr Johnston was recounting the story of his long lost American pen pal to his family, who encouraged him to try get back in touch.
Last edited by FairyFoot on 05 Apr 2021 05:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

This month is National Letter & Card Writing Month (started by USPS).

I need to write more letters as people have sent me letters!
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by briggia »

Around the age of 15/16 I had a pen pal in France in a village near Beauvais.

I was living in England in those days. One year I went for a holiday in August with his family to Chamonix (Mount Blanc.) I remember going over on the ferry from Newhaven on the day Live Aid was on at Wembley :!:

He was a little straight-laced but one of his sisters was good fun :lol: :lol:

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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by polisciguy2011 »

I was penpals briefly with a friend I met on vacation as a kid (both of us were US-based), but we lost touch after a couple years. My father, on the other hand, has maintained contact with his childhood penpal from India for over sixty years, though their contact moved primarily to email and then Facebook over the past couple decades.
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

polisciguy2011 wrote:
05 Jun 2021 21:52
I was penpals briefly with a friend I met on vacation as a kid (both of us were US-based), but we lost touch after a couple years. My father, on the other hand, has maintained contact with his childhood penpal from India for over sixty years, though their contact moved primarily to email and then Facebook over the past couple decades.
Wow, that is quite impressive, a sixty plus year friendship!
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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by vicaf60 »

I had a penpal long ago, in the late 1970s - early 1980s when I was a student at the Linguistic institute (now University) in Minsk. It was a girl from Bulgaria, and it all ended in a marriage tat lasted for over 35 happy years, with two lovely children (now they are not kids, still they are lovely).
Unfortunately, she's not with me any more, and I miss her so much...

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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

vicaf60 wrote:
09 Jun 2021 07:54
I had a penpal long ago, in the late 1970s - early 1980s when I was a student at the Linguistic institute (now University) in Minsk. It was a girl from Bulgaria, and it all ended in a marriage tat lasted for over 35 happy years, with two lovely children (now they are not kids, still they are lovely).
Unfortunately, she's not with me any more, and I miss her so much...
Wow, the power of letters! Do you still have the letters, and even the stamps on the envelopes?
I am a Penpaller and Stamp User. I send therefore I receive. I blog here. I also have a snailmail forum.

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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by vicaf60 »

We preserved the letters, and now, our daughter keeps them.
The covers are partly in my collection, in part were sent to my friends for their collections.

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Re: Have you ever had a penpal?

Post by FairyFoot »

My mother had a 40+ year correspondence with her brother who at some point emigrated to Australia. She shredded most of the letters, and most of the envelopes (saving the stamps first). A pity... She also shredded other letters.
I am a Penpaller and Stamp User. I send therefore I receive. I blog here. I also have a snailmail forum.

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