Collecting old postcards has long been a popular activity, and it even has an official name: deltiology.

Nowadays, these windows into the past are starting to become more valuable than ever, both in monetary and nostalgic terms.

Many people take pleasure in the pastime and it is thought to be one of the three most popular collectable hobbies globally alongside coins and stamps.

Collectors of postcards find themselves spoilt for choice, thanks to the enormous variety of different themes which have been used in postcard production. A wide range of images, with just about every subject has been available at one time

Although postcards are still the number one souvenir for travellers, this small rectangle of card has stiff opposition from the Internet with its ability to share and copy images from anywhere in the world.

Throughout the decades, Bournemouth and surrounding areas have been captured through countless postcards. One particularly well-covered area has been the beach and cliffs.

Bournemouth Echo: Looking overSwanage.

One name that's synonymous with postcards of Hampshire - which Bournemouth and surrounding parts of East Dorset were part of back then - is that of Francis Godolphin Osbourne Stuart.

Arriving in Southampton in around 1882, the talented photographer resided at 72 Bedford Place before relocating to 57 Cromwell Road a few years later.

His Cromwell Road home, slightly north of the Bedford Place area, was later destroyed by Luftwaffe bombing.

Bournemouth Echo: The Metropole Hotel at Lansdowne.

Stuart shot scenes from all over Hampshire and Dorset and soon amassed a huge wealth of imagery.

Stewarts of Edinburgh had already created the first postcards which had popped up on store shelves across the UK featuring iconic British landmarks, breathtaking views, celebrities and more.

Thanks to the advent of steam locomotives, the seaside exuded newfound appeal as a tourist destination. This growing popularity gave rise to a souvenir industry that centred around picture postcards.

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Square.

Stuart had the idea to convert his vast library of images into postcards. Business was so good, he was eventually able to use 61 Cromwell Road as a studio and 59 as a store.

Thanks to his unwavering commitment to capturing Dorset, we now have hundreds of images that provide fascinating views into the area pre-war.