Nostalgia and History in an Award-Winning Book on Marstrand

It started many years ago. A friend collected the postcards, Karl Lofgren raised his eyebrows and thought in his quiet mind, “You can’t collect that.” It was a very large and completely out of reach space. But then he changed his mind.

As with stamps, you have to focus on a specific area.

For Karl Lofgren, it became the Marstrand region. Here he is at home. In Marstrand he has his roots and lived there until he left his parents’ home when he was young and went into working life. He now lives in Heisingen but is active in the Marstrand community association with which he collaborated and wrote Postcards That Show the Way.

“I was thinking about how to get more people involved in my group”

– I have about 800 photos in my collection. I bought at flea markets and at Antikhallarna in Gothenburg, says Karl who carries several bags next to him with folders full of postcards.

– I thought about how to share more people in my group.

Karl Löfgren has been collecting postcards from Marstrand for several decades. This resulted in the book Postcards That Show the Way. Photo: Matthias Bernheim

A few years ago, he was in Gribstad with his family and had something on his hands that he initially thought was the Lists but it turns out he wrote postcards about Gribstad from the past.

Like a Marstrand tour

So I had the idea to write a Marstrand postcard book. I picked 100 pictures and wrote the book as a trip around the area. You start at Rökan, continue to Koön and then take the ferry to Marstrandsön and tour.

For this concept, Bohusläns hembygdsförening hailed the book as the Home Book of the Year 2020.

Photo: Matthias Bernheim

Photo: Matthias Bernheim

“Information, stories and considerations with postcards as additional spices become alluring and attract book reading and inspiration to visit places in the real world. Addition of recipes with the Marstrand link.” This is the motive of the jury.

“It feels good to do something for the countryside”

– You’re a little proud. It’s fun to check out and it’s good to do something for the area. This is history and a lot of nostalgia, too.

Pictures of Marstrand from the collection of postcards by Karl Lofgren.  He finds street photos the most difficult to get.  Photo: Matthias Bernheim

Pictures of Marstrand from the collection of postcards by Karl Lofgren. He finds street photos the most difficult to get. Photo: Matthias Bernheim

The postcard set holds three full volumes. Karl divided the cards into different categories such as Harbor, Aerial Photos, Societetshuset and Castle for example. There doesn’t seem to be a single angle that hasn’t been found in the set yet. Is there anything missing? Carl thinks for a moment. With 800 photos, it probably has the most and it’s hard to find new ones.

There is always a rarity I would like to have, but I find it hard to say exactly what it would be. But I’d like more Koön postcards and more street photos from Marstrandsön. There are not many of them.

Herring, mackerel, lobster seasoning

The recipes in the book are a culinary journey through the Marstrand. “Additional addition to recipes with Marstrand Connection.” Reads add to justification. And for Karl, a chef who has worked in many of the best restaurants in the country, it seemed natural to conclude the book with a three-course menu on the Marstrand theme. He began collecting recipes from the region. He made one or two interesting discoveries.

– I came across a recipe for pickled herring with lobster tails. I don’t really know what to say about her, haha. It feels like a waste to eat lobster with herring. But there is another recipe for mackerel and spices that looked very interesting. The next book might be, a cookbook with recipes from Marstrand.

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