A letter posted from the trenches in Flanders in 1915 was delivered to its correct destination last week. The letter, from Private Walter Butler to his sweetheart Amy Hicks, turned up in a sack of letters being carried by Martin Kay, the village postman in Colerne, Wiltshire. Mr Kay sought help from the local history society, and between them they found that the couple had gone on to marry and, although they are both now dead, have a daughter, aged 86, still living in the village. Joyce Hulbert, the daughter, was said to be "over the moon" to have received the letter.
A postcard from Poland addressed "Khumi, Yellow Door, Wilmslow, England" has turned up at its correct destination. Paul Gardiner, a postman in the town, knew of only one Khumi in Wilmslow, and also knew she has a yellow door. Khumi Burton praised the postman, who said: "We always do our best to deliver".
Stuart Conway of Hove, Sussex, set up a website offering to take people’s messages and throw them, in bottles, into the sea off Brighton pier. He has so far "delivered" more than 7,000 letters. Most of the letters are lonelyhearts notices, appeals for advice, and attempts to find former lovers. Mr Conway said that about 20 of the messages had been found, but only one had found its way to the correct recipient. "It was to a Swedish language student in Brighton, from her boyfriend", Mr Conway said. "I put it on her doorstep. It seemed stupid to throw it in the sea". Mr Conway has been warned by Brighton and Hove council that he is causing an environmental hazard because of the risk of bottles being washed up on the beach. I think this is unnecessary, as the opportunity for recycling is obvious.
(Sources for these stories: The Times over the past few days.)