Sunday, September 6, 2009

In search of Raymond Bergevin

Raymond Bergevin was the man who made postcards of La Rochelle and other local places of interest. He seems to have had his peak between the wars. For a few of years I’ve been meaning to check out the address where he operated from, a busy shopping street in town by the market. A couple of weeks ago Rob and I had a few jobs to do in town so we put “look up 66 Rue des Merciers” onto our list. Not an easy task as many of the buildings in the street are not clearly numbered. We started at the wrong end of the road so the excitement mounted as we neared our goal.

Number 66 is a narrow terraced building and today houses a cheap handbag shop (yes, in la Rochelle!). We stood across the road and scrutinised the building looking for clues. We were disappointed at first. Only the wooden beam over the door and window of the shop was of any interest. Looking up above the first floor windows I could just about make out some old faded lettering. So faint that if you didn’t know what it said you couldn’t guess: R Bergevin. It was like finding buried treasure.

If you want to see what we saw, start from the market, it’s a couple of buildings down on your left. Best viewed from across the road


caroline said...

May well have been passing that way in a few weeks time but it looks as if the drive through France is cancelled due to time and money running out. Perhaps next spring. Only spent one day and night in La Rochelle and loved it so have to return one day.

I am one of the last postcard writers, what else do you do when waiting for your food to arrive but dream up some entertaining story for the folks back home. We are still waiting for a postcard from Ile de Rey posted three weeks ago!

Caroline XXX

Baron's Life said...

Too bad you didn't take a picture of the place to post....well maybe next time

Anji said...

Caroline: I feel very fortunate to live here. There are fewer postcards sold today, people have their own cameras and phones now to take pictures. I love the old cards where you can see the children, coming to take a look at the strange man with a camera.

Baron: I don't own a camera. I have managed to take one or two pictures with my phone. I've yet to learn how to put them onto the computer....

Dru Marland said...

did I ever mention that I stayed with a french family in La Rochelle once? It was one of those school exchange things. The father was a chauffage sanitaire chap, and had been in the Free French army, and told stories of the desert. And the house had a bit of an arsenal in the attic left over from the Resistance; rifles, hand grenades... wonder if they're still there and how unstable they are now?