Joan Billinge (JB-22-001 )

Donated postcard of Clarke Gable

Joan Billinge was born in Birkenhead on Merseyside in 1924, the middle of three sisters. Her father was a shipyard labourer, her mother a housewife; and on leaving school at the age of eighteen she took up office work. Early in 2022 her daughter, Lindsey Billinge, came across the Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain website and contacted the project office with an offer to donate forty-five film star postcards collected by her late mother, a keen cinemagoer in the 1930s and 1940s and a particular fan of Clark Gable. The offer was enthusiastically accepted, and the postcards were added to CMDA’s memorabilia collection along with a short essay by Lindsey setting out some details of her mother’s background, naming cinemas attended, and listing over seventy films her mother saw during 1947.

In her daughter’s account, Joan Billinge was at the pictures when the end of the war was announced: “The film was stopped to make the announcement and everybody stood to sing the national anthem before leaving …. I can only presume that she was going regularly throughout the war.”

Document scan (LB-22-001PL001) | Transcript
Document scan (LB-22-001PW001) | Transcript

Other Documents, Memorabilia and Related Links
Star Postcards Collection
Ritz Cinema, Birkenhead ( site)
Gaumont Cinema, Birkenhead ( site)