A letter that never reached destination since it was sent, it’s been a whopping 117 years old, has seen the light in United Kingdom, where someone has rescued her from anonymity, generating a great expectation to know what she was explaining Christabel Mennell to her friend Katie Marshall, the recipient, who never got to read it.
“My dearest Katie, would you help me? I feel quite ashamed of myself after saying what I did in the circle”. This is how the text of the letter begins, finally delivered in 2021 at the London home of theater director Finlay Glen, according to ‘The Guardian’.
In addition to the state of the letter, a good account of its antiquity is given by the George V one penny stamp and the bath postmark, the place of the sender, and Sydenham.
Christabel Mennell, who was on holiday in Bath, contacted her friend Katie Marshall, married to him stamp seller Oswald Marsh, as revealed by an investigation stephen oxford editor of ‘The Norwood Review’, a local history magazine.
The origin of the error
Royal Mail, the UK postal company, is trying to find out the reason for a such a bumpy delay in delivery. In Stephen Oxford’s opinion, the letter was probably lost in a classification office and was no longer distributed.
A letter lost in the post in 1916 was finally delivered to a London address more than a century after being sent from Bath.
Bearing a penny George V stamp it dropped through the letterbox of theater director Finlay Glen’s Crystal Palace flat.
— NATHAN (@mbga_uk) February 17, 2023
“The Upper Norwood and Crystal Palace area became very popular with wealthy people middle class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The letter is from Christabel Mennel, the daughter of a wealthy local tea merchant, Henry Tuke Mennell. And she was a friend of Catherine, or Katie, Marsh & rdquor ;, explains Oxford.
Oswald Marsh is recorded in 1901 as living in Crystal Palace as a tenant and stamp dealer. He was 20 years old then and I suspect that he was being financed by his father, who was a fairly wealthy architect who lived inn Northern Ireland. They were a Quaker family & rdquor ;, adds the historian. Apparently, the house to which the letter was addressed was demolished long ago and is now a block of flats.
Difficulties to decipher it
“I had no idea so many people would find it so interesting,” says Glen, who lives with his girlfriend Lucy. in that direction more than a century after the letter was sent. “We’re trying to figure it out, but some parts are hard to read. We contacted the local historical society, because I thought they could tell us about the people involved,” he adds, adding more mystery to the story.
Glen, 27, said that when he and his girlfriend saw the date They thought it would be 2016. ”Then we saw that it had the seal of the king and we realized it was from 1916, so we thought it would probably be okay to open it.” “We assume that it must have stayed somewhere in the classification office and a century later it was found and someone put it in the mail,” adds the young man.