In a sign that Suffolk postal services are improving, Ipswich Royal Mail has delivered a letter one hundred and seven years late.
The current occupants of 17 Hamlet Road, Ipswich were phlegmatic (W.C. ‘having an unemotional and calm disposition.’) about the letter’s arrival as they assumed the date stamp of 6 FEB 16 referred to 2016 – a date which would have made the letter only seven years late and normal by the standards of Royal Mail.
The faded, musty envelope that plopped through the Hamlet Road letterbox last week, was posted on 6th February 1916 by Mrs Emily Pine to her ‘friend’, Mrs Oswald Mash. In those days, correspondence was addressed to the man of the house, even if the letter’s contents were none of his goddamn business. The letter was actually intended for Milicent Mash, who was, up until a couple of days before the letter was written, a close ‘friend’ of Emily’s.
Back to the future
Jason and Kelly Newgent who today, reside at No.17, told this reporter what the letter said. “After we opened the envelope, WHICH WE KNEW WAS AGAINST THE LAW BEFORE WE DID IT, we were excited to find this pristine little folded piece of paper nuzzled inside, like a Georgian hamster napping at the back of its cage.” Said Ms Newgent, before sniffing loudly and wiping the end of her nose with her sleeve. “It was so delicate. We realised there and then that the envelope and letter were way older than seven years, and we were right.” Added Jason, as he swiped the greasy fringe of his hair away from his forehead.
Indeed they were. The letter inside was dated 5th February 1916 A.D. but was in as good a condition as the day it was posted – hundreds of years ago.
That ‘Ooooh’ thing
Dave takes up the story. “So, we looked at the date, and then at each other. Then we looked at the date again, simultaneously, and then again at each other. Then we both did that ‘Ooooh’ thing, where you pout your lips, tense your shoulders, and shake your head a little, in that overexcited, childlike way that makes people gag when they see other people do it. Then, simultaneously, our four eyes scanned down to the body of the letter. Do you know what it said?”
“…In big, massive letters. Well, we were shocked, weren’t we?” asked Kev of Julie.
“Yes, we were, weren’t we?” replied Julie
“Yes, we were.” said the both of them.
“I didn’t know they had words like that during WWI, did you?” asked Julie of Jason.
“No, I didn’t, did you? replied Dave”
“No, I didn’t” said Julie.
What else did the letter say?
“Well, apparently, Emily thought that Millicent was having it away with her husband, while her husband, Oswald was off fighting the war.” Explained Paula. “Her husband, Jack, denied it but he would, wouldn’t he! So basically it was a warning letter, telling Millicent to stay the f*ck away or else.”
Were you alive in 1916? Are you a long-lost relative of Millicent, or Oswald Mash, or Emily Pine? Do you have a letter that hasn’t arrived after hundreds of years? Call the SUFFOLK GAZETTE TODAY! *We pay HUNDREDS of pounds for stories like this one.
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W.C. = Working Class