Postcards of Castell Coch – Part 6

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Castell Coch is currently closed for its annual conservation housekeeping. The trees surrounding the castle are also undergoing some maintenance so I looked through some old postcards to see how the view has changed.

This postcard was published by “The R. A. P. Co. Ltd. London. EC4.” It’s unposted but I believe it’s from between 1930 and 1950.

An old black and white postcard of Castell Coch in Cardiff. Contains text, "Castell Coch, Taffs Well".
Back of an old postcard

Then and Now

If we compare it to a more contemporary view, you can see that there are a few more tall trees directly in front and behind the castle.

Black and white postcard of Castell Coch from the early to mid 20th CenturyModern photo of Castell Coch in Cardiff

There are several examples of similar cards online and the majority haven’t been posted. I managed to find a couple of cards that were posted in 1939 and 1953. They use the same font on the front and have identical backs, which makes me think this card is of a similar age.

Back of an old postcard
Back of an old postcard

That’s a RAP?

I always like to do some research into the publisher of the postcards I collect but, I have to admit, I’m stumped this time. There are three companies that could be the source of the “R. A. P. Co. Ltd.” brand.

Rapid Art Photography was established in 1907 by De Jornette Plummer and used the “R. A. P.” initials. There are lots of examples online but they usually display “R. A. P. Galleries”. The company had several studios in the south of England but they’d all ceased trading by 1920. Rapid Art Photography also had their own logo for use on their postcards. Considering all this, I don’t think they published this card.

Radermacher, Aldous and Co were postcard publishers of the same era. The “R A Series” brand is very common and “R. A. (Postcards) Ltd” could easily be shortened to R. A. P.

Back of an old postcard
Text from an old postcard, "R. A. (Postcards) Ltd, London E.C. 4"

This postcard from the same series proves the point.

Back of an old postcard
Text from an old postcard, "The R.A.P Co. Ltd., London, E.C. 4"

The final company, and the most likely in my opinion, is “Regal Art Publishing”. They began producing postcards in the early 1900s under the “RAPCO” brand. These early cards used artwork or colourised photography. Later examples are mainly black and white photos with simple backs, which dropped this brand and just used “The R. A. P. Co. Ltd. London. EC4.” as a divider.

Text from an old postcard, "The R. A. P. Co. Ltd. London E. C. 4 Foreign"

If you have any more information about these publishers, I’d love to hear from you.

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About the author

Jack is the editor of CastellCoch.com and Tongwynlais.com.

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