An envelope that was sent from America has arrived in the UK without the letter inside of it – 80 years after it was mailed.
The envelope, which is dated Oct. 5, 1942 was discovered by manager Kevin Beattie, 39, when it arrived at The Sands Meadows care home in Hest Bank, Lancs.
He immediately realized that ‘it wasn’t your average letter’ and launched an appeal on social media to try and find out who the envelope belonged to.
Kevin then discovered it was from Phillip Tattersall, who was living in Florida at the time while he was training for the British Flying Training School but he sadly died in 1996.
It is believed Phillip tried to send the letter from Florida to his parents Cornelius and Ethel Tattersall, who lived at the property which is now the care home.
Although the actual letter was missing, Kevin said when he opened it and saw the age of the envelope, he realized it was something he had never seen before.
Kevin said: “If letters have come damaged to the home, then its come in a clear plastic bag and just mentioned that if there’s anything of value, to contact Royal Mail.
“But once we opened it and saw the age of the envelope and the stamp, it dawned on us that it wasn’t your average letter that we would have got.
“We’ve never seen anything like this locally but I’ve seen something before how someone received a letter from over a hundreds years ago.
“But we’d never seen one before.”
After seeing Kevin’s appeal, Phillip’s daughter Phillipa and granddaughter Tessa reached out to him to provide more information about the envelope.
They revealed that when he returned from Florida, Phillip became a RAF Flight Lieutenant and later served in northern Germany in WW2 and flew a fighter bomber.
The family also said that Phillip married his wife Ruth and they lived in Morecambe, Lancs, before emigrating to Canada and having four children, including Phillipa.
Phillipa, who lives in an island near Vancouver, Canada, said: “I have been thinking about the power of social media and how quickly information gets passed to all of us.
“Certainly much quicker than that envelope delivered to The Sands Meadow.
“I recognized my father’s handwriting as soon as I saw the envelope.”
She added: “The envelope probably contained a letter to update his parents on his life during training in Florida.
“He always stayed in close contact with them throughout their lives and would visit them.
“My father, Philip was a great storyteller and would be thrilled that this information be shared.”
Kevin of Morecambe, Lancs,. also said it’s the ‘wonder of social media’ that he was able to track down Phillip’s family.
He said: “It’s just the wonder of social media because they live out near Vancouver so parts of the family have seen it and have got in touch with each other.
“Then they were able to get in touch with us at the home.
“There was no letter inside the envelope, and it was just the name of the person who it was addressed to.
“So we could only imagine what they must have been going through in 1942, when the letter was sent in that period of time.”
Kevin has tried to contact Royal Mail to find out why the envelope has only been delivered now but said he thinks it has ‘fallen through the gaps.’
He said: “They were unaware of where it had actually been so whether it has been found behind a desk while cleaning or whether it has just been on a shelf somewhere.
“It has just kinda fallen through the gaps really.
“They couldn’t tell us which depot it had come from either, unfortunately.
“But you can be the age of the envelope as well that it looks like it’s been somewhere where the sun had been on the envelope.
“It wasn’t white paper, there was some yellowing in the paper so it looked aged.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker