Better late than never. Couple finally receive letter sent to their home 65 years ago

A letter sent to thank a couple for a pair of baby booties has finally arrived… more than 60 years after it was posted, John and Victoria Berryman from Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, were left full of questions when the letter – posted from Germany in 1953 – landed in their postbox recently.

The letter, which finally arrived on December 23, 1017, talks about a newborn baby called Alastair, and sends thanks for his gifts. 

Remarkably, if Alastair is still alive he would turn 65 this year – but the Berrymans have no idea who he Alastair is. John, 74, said: ‘I know our postman Jonathan very well. We have a postbox at the top of the lane but he hand-delivered it to our door. 

‘He said, “this has turned up at the sorting office”.

‘It was already opened and the stamp was missing. He suggested it might have been because the stamp was rare and therefore valuable.’ 

The envelope was addressed to the Tyas Lane home’s former owners, Peter and Hannelore Hirst, who lived there during and after World War Two.

The Hirst family had moved to Kent years before the Berryman family bought the property, but in another twist of fate, the couple had actually stayed in the Berryman’s holiday cottage next door in 2010 just so they could visit their former home. Meaning the current homeowners had their contact details. 

John said: ‘We thought “the Hirsts – we have met them. Where has this letter been for 65 years?!” We are intrigued. ‘I have never heard of a letter being delivered that late.’ Signed by a couple, including a Richard whose surname was illegible, the letter mainly discussed their newborn son, Alastair.

The writer thanked the Hirsts for their gift, including a pair of booties, and their last visit. They also said they were planning on sailing home from Hamburg in Germany to Hull, East Yorkshire, and hoped the baby wouldn’t get seasick.

The letter was typewritten in English, with a few German words included such as ‘tante’ meaning ‘aunt’, and had a handwritten signature. A photo of baby Alastair is believed to be missing from the letter. John, who has had many jobs including as a sailor and a teacher but is now retired, believes Richard was a British soldier who married a German woman.

We found this unfair, what is the letter was so important and needed to receive immediately? What can you say about this story?  Share us your thoughts by simply leaving in the comment section below. 

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