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Postcard From Australia Arrives in the UK 42 Years After It Was Sent

The Forgotten Postcard: A Tale of Timeless Connections

The letter was sent from Bath. (Photo Credit: Finlay Glen)

What’s the most extended period you’ve experienced waiting for something to arrive in the mail? The unexpected arrival of a postcard sent many years before its intended recipient sparks intrigue. This tale unveils the mysteries of time and the enduring power of connections. 

The 60-year-old Alphie Meleyal received the card after its story was featured on BBC Look North. It was sent by her former partner’s mother in 1997, which means she received the letter in 2024, which was sent 27 years ago. 

The postcard was sent after Ms. Meleyal and her ex-partner, Mandy, split up. Eileen, Mandy’s mother, sent the note expressing her regret for the breakup and her hope that the two ladies would be friends.  

Ms. Meleyal holding the letter she received with a smile.
Ms. Meleyal held the letter she received with a smile and said, “Amazing.” Photo Credit: BBC News

Ms. Meleyal was shocked that the card had survived for so long and said she had no idea it existed. When she got it, she said she was astonished and touched. She thought it was a joke at first, but then she felt happy and appreciative. 

Despite the delay, Royal Mail said it “does its utmost” to deliver all posts. 

It is unclear where the card has been since it was posted in Wolverhampton. It was delivered to Ms Meleyal’s previous address in March. 

The present occupant of the house where the card ended up, Jackie Hill, described herself as “shocked” when an envelope containing a 26p stamp was brought through her door. 

“I didn’t realize it had a 1997 postmark until someone pointed it out, so I was shocked,” she said. 

“I thought it might have been important to her (Alphie), and I’m just so pleased it managed to get to her.” 

According to a representative for Royal Mail, it’s more likely that someone reinserted it into the mail system than that it got lost.  

“Once an item is in the postal system, it will be delivered to the address on the letter.” 

letter with stamp, year and place.
The card was posted in Wolverhampton in 1997.Photo Credit: BBC News

Ms. Meleyal stated that “everything on the card had come true” because she is still in touch with Mandy nearly thirty years later, and they get together at least once a year. 

Lost in Transit: The Historic Journey of a Letter

In 2021, another mystery was revealed similar to this one, where a letter arrived more than 100 years late. 

Receiving the letter after a century shocked Finlay Glen when it arrived at his flat on Hamlet Road in Crystal Palace, London. 

He said: “We were obviously pretty surprised and mystified as to how it could have been sat around for more than 100 years.” 

The letter was sent in an envelope with a Bath postmark and a 1d stamp, which is the same as a 1p stamp.  

George V, who ruled from 1910 to 1936 and served as both Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather and King Charles III’s great-grandfather, is depicted on that stamp.
The letter was sent from Bath. Photo Credit: Finlay Glen

George V, who ruled from 1910 to 1936 and served as both Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather and King Charles III’s great-grandfather, is depicted on that stamp. 

The letter, which starts with “My dear Katie,” was written by a woman to a family friend when she was vacationing in Bath.  

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Incidents like this happen very occasionally, and we are uncertain what happened in this instance.” 

The content of letter which received in 2021
Receiving the letter after a century shocked Finlay Glen when it arrived at his flat on Hamlet Road in Crystal Palace, London. Photo Credit: Finlay Glen

“We appreciate that people will be intrigued by the history of this letter from 1916, but we have no further information on what might have happened.” 

From Sydney to Elm Grove: The Story of a Forgotten Postcard

Also, there was another unexplained postcard delivery in 2023. 

The postcard was from Sydney. The post was sent out on August 27, 1981; the card was addressed to Steve Padgett and contained a handwritten note to a person named Gerry.  

The postcard with mages of the Sydney Opera House
The postcard that Samantha Williams received. Photo Credit: Samantha Williams

The postcard was mailed on August 27, 1981. It arrived at the specified address in December 2023. 

Samantha Williams, who lives in Elm Grove, Westgate, who received the postcard with the picture of the Sydney Opera House on it, described it as a “mystery.”  

Ms Williams and her family assumed it was a Christmas card before inspecting it closely.   

Williams said she would love to deliver the letter to the man it was addressed to, Steve Padgett, or “Padge” as he is referred to in the postcard. 

The sender signed the card “Gerry,” but nothing else is known about him. 

“They were obviously good friends, and it may mean a lot to him,” Williams said. 

Also, she added, “We would love to find the man it was addressed to and give it to him. They were obviously good friends, and it may mean a lot to him.” 

 Inside of the postcard which dated back to 1981
The postcard was sent to Steve Padgett from a person named Gerry. Photo Credit: Samantha Williams

Numerous images of the Sydney Opera House from when it was a brisk ten years old are included on the card. 

As mentioned in other stories, a Royal Mail spokeswoman told the BBC: “It is difficult to speculate what may have happened to this item of mail, but it is likely that it was put back into the postal system by someone recently, rather than it being lost or stuck somewhere.” 

“Royal Mail regularly checks all its delivery offices and clears its processing machines daily. 

“Once an item is in the postal system then it will be delivered to the address on the card.” 

Royal Mail, the postal service in Britain, has been under fire for long delays, misplaced mail, and numerous strikes in the last 12 months, among other issues. 

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Bachelors in English Literature. Published a poetry book(author). Also in pursuit of multimedia journalism.

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