Long Time Coming: Errant Messages, Lost Letters & Misdirected Mail

Kingsize Wombat

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Oh look, I used to work for a large American Freight company here in Sydney. We got stuff for Austria all the time.

Also for Sydney, Nova Scotia. The addresses there can be tricky, the abbreviation for the Sydney in Canada is "Sydney, NS".

The one in Australia is "Sydney, NSW".
 

Nemo

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Finchingfield man's postcard arrives 28 years late.


A postcard a man sent to his parents while on holiday arrived through the letterbox 28 years after it was posted.
Jim Green, 66, went to Benidorm, Spain, in September 1991 with friends when he sent the card back home to Essex.
He assumed it got lost in the post when his parents never received it at their Finchingfield address.
The painter and decorator said he "couldn't believe it" when the postcard landed on the doormat, as first reported in the Dunmow Broadcast.
(C) BBC. '19
 

poozler

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I have three mail stories.

1) In my youth, I liked to shop in a wonderful second-hand shop in Toronto that sold all sorts of wonders: jewellery, lamps, clothes, books, buttons -- you name it. I was browsing through a selection of old postcards and found one addressed to my long-dead maternal grandmother in the 1930s. It was addressed to the house in which my mother grew up.

2) When I was a poor student living in Toronto, I received a flight reimbursement cheque in my name from a Canadian airline via a travel agent. Because I have never booked such a flight, I called the travel agent to find out what was up. She said that another women working at the travel agent knew my sister from whom she got my address, and forwarded the cheque to me. But again, I never booked such a flight. So I looked in the phone book to find another person with my not-very-common name and found one. I called the number and asked for "myself" when a man answered, but he informed me that "I" had moved to London UK.

3) Much later in my life, I was living in a small city in Russia. I had told my mother how to address mail to me in Cyrillic since not many people in this city used or knew the Latin alphabet. Of course, she screwed it up so I didn't get mail from her for a while. One day, I went to the post office to send a package and the women behind the counter, whom I had never seen before, asked me to wait. She went into a back room and brought me a badly addressed letter from my mother. Now, although this city was smallish (about 800 000 pop) I was shocked to think that strangers would know who I was. Perhaps she just guessed that, since I was a foreigner in a city that had been a closed city until fairly recently, the letter might have been for me.
 

EnolaGaia

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NOTE:

We have two threads dedicated to odd or notable deliveries of posted items. The contents of both have been reviewed and re-sorted in accordance with their different themes.

Letters (Etc.) Delivered Despite Odd / Minimal / Missing Addressing
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...despite-odd-minimal-missing-addressing.60676/

THEME: Successful deliveries specifically noteworthy for overcoming addressing weirdness, loss or damage.


Long Time Coming: Errant Messages, Lost Letters & Misdirected Mail
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...messages-lost-letters-misdirected-mail.14696/

THEME: Delayed deliveries notable for the time lapse until delivery (regardless of cause)
 

ramonmercado

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Can't blame postal workers for these non-deliveries.

On Christmas Eve, 1907, Mary McGann, 10 years old and living in an apartment in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York with her mother and younger brother, wrote a letter to Santa. The young Irish girl asked for a wagon for her little brother, “which I know you cannot afford,” and also asked of Santa “please do not forget the poor.” For herself, she simply requested “something nice what you think best.”

Mary’s letter to Santa, along with one by her younger brother, Alfred, wound up tucked into a crevice in the apartment’s fireplace. Miraculously, they remained there, intact, for almost 100 years, weathering flames and evading the attention of new residents.

https://www.irishcentral.com/cultur...nt=Story1&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Mailjet
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's a long-delayed postcard whose eventual (re-?)discovery and delivery may have been the result of pandemic-related cleaning at a post office.
An Iowa man who received a postcard from his sister said he was surprised to note the card had been mailed in 1987.

Paul Willis, a hog farmer in Thornton, said a postcard appeared in his mailbox recently from his sister, Annie Lovell, and he soon noticed the card bore a picture of Lovell on a Grand Canyon hike in 1987 -- and a San Francisco postmark from December of that same year.

Willis said the postcard bore a second postmark from April 29 of this year in Des Moines, so he called the post office to see if they had any explanation for the postcard's tardiness.

"She said, 'Well, the post offices are all going through deep cleaning because of COVID-19,' " Willis told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

The employee said the postcard may have been discovered while furniture and machines were being moved for cleaning. ...
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/0...d-mailed-33-years-earlier/7551588872056/?sl=1
 

EnolaGaia

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This stimulus check mailing wasn't all that late in getting to its intended recipient, but its path to the intended person definitely involved some misdirection. No one seems to know how the letter ended up in the place where it was discovered.
Car wash worker returns stimulus check discovered in trash

A car wash worker in North Carolina found treasure amid the business’s trash when he discovered a $1,200 IRS stimulus check mixed in with the garbage.

Antonio Hernandez was taking out the trash at the Greenville car wash when he spotted the payment in the can, WITN-TV quoted his daughter, Michelle Alvarado, as saying.

Hernandez and Alvarado were able to track down recipient Charles Thompson, who said he was not even expecting to get a check after recently moving to a new address.

“I was behind on rent, I work construction so I work by the day, and I just try to keep going and going as best I can,” Thompson told the news station. “That money helped put me ahead and put me on the right track a little bit, to get back on my feet.”

Hernandez and Alvarado added that they were happy to help connect Thompson with the lost funds, even though they and Thompson had no idea how the check ended up at the car wash in the first place.
SOURCE: https://apnews.com/d25758553927e46a49d2adb976ed6859
 

EnolaGaia

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By the time this Toronto man received the Brylcreem he'd ordered 8 years ago it wasn't fit for use.
Toronto man says Canada Post just delivered package he ordered 8 years ago

A Toronto man says Canada Post recently delivered to him a package that he ordered online nearly eight years ago.

After a Canada Post delivery person rang his doorbell on May 6, Elliot Berinstein said he found a package from the online retailer Well.ca sitting on his doorstep.

Berinstein said he was initially confused because he hadn’t ordered anything from the e-commerce site in years. When he opened it, however, it all began to make sense. ...

“I opened it and inside was an invoice from 2012 and it was a tube of Brylcream I ordered in 2012,” ...

At the time of his initial order, Berinstein said he had been living in Ottawa and the hair cream never arrived at his address there. He said he contacted Well.ca and they agreed to ship the product again to his home in Toronto because he thought it might be easier.

“It didn’t come again and I’m like ‘OK, this isn’t worth the headache’ so I just forgot about it,” he said. ...
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/toron...ered-package-he-ordered-8-years-ago-1.4955170
 

hunck

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Letter from Dunkirk soldier arrives 80 years later

The family of a soldier who died on the retreat to Dunkirk during World War Two have finally received his last letter 80 years after he wrote it.

Pte Harry Cole, of the Suffolk Regiment, wrote the letter just before he was killed but it was never sent.

The letter to his mother was found with a collection of other post by a German soldier who handed them to the British embassy in 1968.

His surviving brothers Derek and Clemmie Cole have now been found.

They were tracked down by Suffolk County Council's assistant archivist Heidi Hughes, who realised she lived in the same village where Clemmie still lives - Hasketon, near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

"I just wanted to cry with the emotions of it all as I realised it was somebody from my village," she said.

In the letter, Pte Cole, 29, wrote: "Well Mother, Dad and boys, I guess I must close once again, hoping you all keep well, roll on when this do is over so we can get back to rest peace and quietness once again.

"Don't worry if you have to wait a long while for a letter or card sometimes Mother, as we can't always write for days at a time, also there is delay in getting it away."

Clemmie, 87, said it was amazing to receive the letter after all that time had passed.

"It's unbelievable that such a thing could happen," he said.

Pte Cole wrote in the letter that he expected the German army would "soon be on the run and when that happens nothing will stop them getting back to Germany in double quick time".

Clemmie said most of the soldiers did not know the real situation, adding: "I suppose like with all these things you live in hope."
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's a soldier's letter from Vietnam that was finally delivered to his sister 52 years later, repackaged in a different envelope.
Soldier's letter home from Vietnam delivered 52 years later

An Indiana woman said she was surprised when a letter her brother sent while serving in the Vietnam War finally made its way to her after 52 years.

Janice Tucker said an envelope postmarked May 10, 2020, arrived at her home in North Vernon last week and she was shocked to discover it contained a letter her brother, William Lone, had sent to her while he was serving in Vietnam in 1968.

"So, I called my brother. He lives in South Carolina. I read the letter to him and he said, 'I remember writing that letter to you,'" Tucker told WHAS-TV.

Lone said he remembered putting the letter in an envelope, affixing a 5-cent stamp and handing it off to another soldier to mail to his sister at the family's then-home in Floyds Knobs, Ind.

Tucker said the letter was not in the original envelope when it arrived at her home, indicating someone had found it and tracked her down at her current address.

"The fact that this letter came to me 52 years later by way of Indy is a real mystery to me," Tucker said. "This is not the original envelope. Someone found this and found out who I was." ...
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/0...etnam-delivered-52-years-later/5271590779316/
 

EnolaGaia

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Mom and Dad's vacation postcard takes 16 years to make it to their son's hands ...
Wisconsin man receives postcard mailed 16 years earlier

... Tom Ramsden of Beloit said a postcard bearing the image of Mount Rushmore arrived at his home this month with a message from his parents, and a note attached to the card said it had been found in Green Bay on June 11.

Ramsden said a conversation with his mother revealed the card's vintage.

"Pre-COVID they would take yearly trips and I figured it was from a year ago, but when I asked about it she said it was from 2004," he told the Beloit Daily News. "I was like, 'wow, where has this thing been?' It's rather weathered and someone took care to tape the edges and send it to me."

Ramsden said the note offered no additional details other than where and when it was found.

His mother, Joycelyn Ramsden, said she remembered sending the postcard during the 2004 trip ...

The family said the postcard's whereabouts for the past 16 years are a complete mystery. ...
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/0...stcard-mailed-16-years-earlier/3951593099027/
 

ramonmercado

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From beyond the grave.

A mother-to-be has received an unexpected letter from her deceased grandad 22 years after he posted it.

Zoë Fierro, from Northampton, opened the thank you note from Ronald Smith, from Long Buckby, who died in 1999. The 44-year-old was left in tears and it "completely threw" her as she recognised his handwriting straight away.

"It feels like a real hello from him, 'hi I'm still around, everything is good'," she said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-54292142
 

maximus otter

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100-year old carrier pigeon message from soldier found in French field

A tiny capsule containing a message written by a Prussian soldier who used a carrier pigeon to send it more than a century ago has been found by a French couple.



The message from an infantry soldier based at Ingersheim detailed military manoeuvres and was addressed to a superior officer, Dominique Jardy, curator of the Linge Museum at Orbey in eastern France, [said].

The message reads: “Platoon Potthof receives fire as they reach the western border of the parade ground, platoon Potthof takes up fire and retreats after a while. In Fechtwald half a platoon was disabled. Platoon Potthof retreats with heavy losses.”

The writing on the message is in German but in a barely legible hand. The date of the note is unclear, but looks like either 1910 or 1916.

At the time, Ingersheim - now in France's Grand Est department - was part of Germany.

The couple were walking through a field in September when they spotted the capsule.

They took it to the museum at Orbey which is dedicated to one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/100-old-carrier-pigeon-message-074600399.html

maximus otter
 

BlackPeter

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god....



you learn something new...? eh?
Reminds me of the notorious incident (I used to work at a zoo) when we shipped a large quantity of Madagascan Hissing cockroaches (without admitting what was in the parcel!) which never turned up at their destination - on inquiry Bristol sorting office reported the package had been 'damaged' in their depot and the contents lost!!
 

EnolaGaia

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A woman finally receives the birthday card her mother sent in 2015 - five years late and two years after her mother died.
Woman receives birthday card mailed by her late mother in 2015

An Ohio woman said a birthday card her mother mailed to her in 2015 finally arrived this month -- two years after the older woman's death. ...

Katrina Jones, of Youngstown, said she checked her mail during her lunch break when she spotted an envelope that immediately stood out. ...

"The return address is from my mother. Then I looked at the handwriting and I said that's my mother's handwriting. My mother passed away in 2018" ...

Jones said the envelope was postmarked June 20, 2015. It contained a birthday card from her mother. ...

Jones said she doesn't know why the card took so long to arrive, but she considers it to be a sign.

"Someone told me at work, 'It wasn't meant for you to receive back then,'" Jones said. "It was meant for me to receive now." ...
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/1...led-by-her-late-mother-in-2015/8291607968673/
 

escargot

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I sent something First Class last Monday and it arrived today.
At least it got there!
A postal worker from the next town told me yesterday that she's never seen such huge quantities of mail being processed, even at this time of year.

All the posties are worn out. There are already people going off with stress and exhaustion. Makes you worry about them and their families.
 

ramonmercado

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At least it got there!
A postal worker from the next town told me yesterday that she's never seen such huge quantities of mail being processed, even at this time of year.

All the posties are worn out. There are already people going off with stress and exhaustion. Makes you worry about them and their families.
Similar situation in RoI. Big backlogs, ordinary mail and parcels.
 

ramonmercado

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Only 77 years late.

A postcard sent by a Royal Navy recruit during World War Two has been delivered to his childhood home in Liverpool after 77 years.

Bill Caldwell was 18 and in his first week of training at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall, when he wrote saying he was "in blue at last". Mr Caldwell's adult children have seen the postcard for the first time after it was delivered on Friday. Royal Mail said it was likely it had been reposted recently.

Mr Caldwell's children said their father, who died 25 years ago and did not write many letters, tried to join the Navy at 15 but had to wait until he was 18.

"It was the most surreal thing on a Friday night to suddenly read a postcard that dad had written 77 years ago when he was training to be a sailor in the Navy," said daughter Joanna Creamer.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cornwall-56060910
 

maximus otter

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Signed, Sealed, and Undelivered: Letters in Trunk Reveal Scandals and Intrigues of 17th Century Lives

A sealed leather trunk stored in a museum in the Netherlands has been opened, and the treasure within was found to be thousands of perfectly preserved letters dating to the 17th century. The undelivered letters are now being opened, and the personal details of people from all walks of life are being studied by researchers. The correspondences reveal personal anguish, financial dealings, lost opportunities, and complicated relationships.



The chest, long-hidden in a postal museum in The Hague, contains an accidental archive of stories from “aristocrats, spies, merchants, publishers, actors, musicians and more.”

The sealed letters will be read for the first time using advanced x-ray scanning technology, according to the press release at the project website, Brienne.org. The missives will be scanned without opening the letter or damaging the contents.

One of the letters reportedly reveals the plight of a Dutch opera singer who had left the Netherlands for Paris and learned she was pregnant. She apparently had implored a wealthy merchant friend to write to the father of the child.

The letter reads: “You can divine without difficulty the true cause of her despair. I cannot put it into so many words; what I ought to say to you is so excessive. Content yourself with thinking on it, and returning her to life by procuring her return.”

The letter is marked “niet hebben”, meaning the man refused to accept the letter (and perhaps the pregnancy). Thus, the fate of the singer and her child remains unknown...

Researchers have also uncovered the background of Simon de Brienne and his wife, Maria Germain, postmasters at The Hague from 1676 until 1707, who were responsible for the delivery of all letters to and from Netherlands, France and Spain.

Yale News writes that letter recipients at the time were expected to pay postage upon receipt of a letter. But if they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) pay, the postmaster held the letter in hopes that eventually the recipient would want to pay the debt to get their mail. Sometimes mail couldn’t be delivered or paid for because the intended recipient had changed address, or even died.

De Brienne and wife were the owners of the trunk until it came to The Hague’s Museum voor Communicatie in 1926 .

This cache of undelivered, unopened mail was archived in the linen-lined, sealed trunk which was waterproofed with sealskin. The excellent preservation of the letters provides a wealth of information on 17 th century people and their lives and times.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/new...ndals-and-intrigues-17th-century-lives-020614

How to “letterlock”:


maximus otter
 
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TheLeeds

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I don't know if I've already mentioned this one. It's only vaguely interesting, if at all.
Once day I receieved an insurance quote through the post. The odd thing was, it was nowhere near my renewal date. It was very cheap as well, about £200 less than I was paying at the time. I was puzzled about why it had been sent because I didn't even remember asking for it. Then I noticed the font they'd used to print it and it was more like what you'd get from an IBM golfball typewriter.
When I noticed the date on it, it was about 4 years previous, which I assume meant it had been in the post for all that time. I don't know why, as it was correctly addressed.
 
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