It only took nearly three decades for this person’s post to be delivered
A letter was finally posted through a person’s door after being sent nearly three decades ago.
John Rainbow, 60, was left shocked after seeing one of the two letters delivered to his Northumberland home last Friday had a postage stamp dated 1995.
The Royal Mail first class stamp would have cost just 25p when it was posted some 300 miles away in Bridgewater, Somerset.
It was addressed to Valerie Jarvis-Read who used to live at John’s home but has since died.
John, a retired businessman, said: ‘We opened the letter, had a look at it and thought “blimey, this is a bit strange”, then we saw the date on the letter which was August 3, 1995 and couldn’t understand how it suddenly just arrived.
‘On the back, it’s got an Alnwick 1995 postage stamp.
‘The original one is Bridgwater, Somerset from 1995 but there’s one on the back from the day after and that says Alnwick 1995.
‘It’s in perfect condition, it’s not like it’s been lying around, it just looks old.’
The letter, signed by ‘Patrick’, detailed the death of the writer’s parents and how their family home was broken up into different ‘dwellings’ and sold.
‘It is very sad now,’ Patrick wrote, ‘split into about three dwellings and having lost most of the furniture and fittings.’
The writer also reflected on a centuries-old bible that has been in his family’s possession since 1730, with researchers trying to find who had it before.
‘It’s very strange, we have no connection to the person that was here,’ John added
‘Valerie Jarvis-Read lived here until approximately 2010 and the home has passed through several hands since. I believe she has passed away.
‘I think she was an old lady when she was here. Our neighbours knew her.
‘It would be nice to know the person who sent the letter has some relatives and for them to know it’s finally arrived.’
But Valerie was more than just an ‘old lady’, according to John’s neighbour, Tina Robinson.
After the First World War, Valerie was a navigator for her husband who was in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest endurance racing race.
She also had some pretty famous friends.
Tina said: ‘There were photos in the house of her husband shaking hands with Prince Philip, but I can’t remember why.’
Why the letter took so long to be delivered will remain a mystery, a Royal Mail spokesperson said.
In December, a Southampton man was bemused to find a parcel he sent in 2013 returned to him undelivered nine years later.
‘Incidents like this happen very occasionally, and we are uncertain what happened to cause this incident in this instance,’ the spokesperson said.
‘We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.’
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