Letter reaches right road, wrong country

THE letter that landed on Colin Allison's doormat had travelled all the way from Luxembourg to his home in Belvedere Road - only problem was, it the right street but the wrong country.

THE letter that landed on Colin Allison's doormat had travelled all the way from Luxembourg to his home in Belvedere Road - only problem was, it the right street but the wrong country.

Instead of travelling to Quebec, in Canada, a distance of around 3,400 miles, it had instead journeyed to Belvedere Road, in Ipswich, a 270-mile trip from Luxembourg.

Mr Allison, 47, found the white envelope posted through his letterbox last Thursday and was left wondering why it had even come into the country.

The letter was addressed to Sandy and Leonard Schlemm, at Belvedere Road, Westmount, Quebec, H3Y 1P4.


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The only detail missing on the envelope, which had a postmark from Luxembourg dated August 29, was the country it should have been going to, Canada.

Mr Allison, who works night shifts at a supermarket, said: “When I looked at the address I thought 'that's a bit of a long way off'. It's the right road but the wrong country.

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“It made me wonder when you post letters through where they will end up. I feel sorry for the poor people that are expecting it.”

Speaking from Quebec, Mr Schlemm said: “It doesn't enhance one's confidence in the mail service, but at least it made it to the Commonwealth!”

A spokesman for Royal Mail urged people to put the full address on their post, saying the letter was “ambiguously addressed” because it was missing the country name.

He said: “In this country, if a letter does have an ambiguous address on it, what usually happens is we try to find where it has got to go.

“We try and send it to an address we think it should go and if that is wrong it will go back into the system and go somewhere else. That is done with no extra pay or stamps.

“Postal staff will go that extra mile to see where a letter should go. If it has come from Luxembourg perhaps it is because the service there thought it was for the UK.”

rebecca.sheppard@eadt.co.uk

n Quebec is seven times the size of Great Britain, making it the largest of Canada's provinces.

n Its population is more than seven million, compared to Suffolk's 700,000.

n Quebec city is the capital of the province and Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk.

n The temperature is now a maximum 23C, in Montreal, Quebec, but it drops down to a minimum of -17C in January.

n In Ipswich, the maximum temperature is now 21C and it drops to around 1C in winter.

n The official language in Quebec is French and the official currency is the Canadian dollar.

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