Pocket money takes a 22,000 mile trip
A LETTER containing pocket money for an 11-year-old boy has finally reached its destination - after a 22,000 mile round trip to the wrong address.The letter was mailed by 90-year-old Marianna Whitmore, from Stowmarket, to her grandson Rob in the Suffolk village of Botesdale which is only 13 miles away but has a Diss, Norfolk, postal address.
By David Green
A LETTER containing pocket money for an 11-year-old boy has finally reached its destination - after a 22,000 mile round trip to the wrong address.
The letter was mailed by 90-year-old Marianna Whitmore, from Stowmarket, to her grandson Rob in the Suffolk village of Botesdale which is only 13 miles away but has a Diss, Norfolk, postal address.
But it ended up being opened on Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean - 11,000 miles away with a population of just 1,800 people.
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However, the letter was returned to the UK when the mistake was discovered and eventually delivered to Rob's home.
The boy's mother, Hazel Whitmore, said although the envelope had been correctly addressed, it was assumed that the handwriting had been mis-read.
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"Rob's grandmother is Norwegian and she has quite a curly style of writing and it seems it was somehow mistaken as Norfolk Island.
"Someone at the sorting office had written Australia on the bottom of the envelope and it had obviously gone there and then to the island. I am amazed it went so far and came back again. It proves that they do take a lot of care," she said.
The letter was posted by Rob's grandmother on August 2 and was postmarked on Norfolk Island on August 11. It was on the family's doormat when the boy returned from a family holiday on August 22.
Rob, a pupil at Hartismere High School, Eye, was delighted that the £20 pocket money was enclosed and he is writing to the head postmaster postmaster on Norfolk Island thanking him for its safe delivery.
"I had never heard of Norfolk Island previously but now I have learned quite a bit about it. My grandma is getting old and I cannot blame her but I will ask her to try to write a bit clearer in future," he said.
Rob celebrated his 12th birthday yesterday with his twin sister, Shiona . He also has a younger sister, Freya, nine, and an older brother, Rory, 16.
A Royal Mail spokesman said it was an unusual case. "We would encourage people to write the address as clearly as possible but we are glad he got it in the end," he added.
NORFOLK ISLAND FACTFILE
East Polynesian seafarers were the first inhabitants in the 14th Century
Captain Cook and his crew are reputed to have been the first European visitors, in 1774, and he named it after the 9th Duke of Norfolk
Convicts from England and Australia were later settled on the island
There are no railways, waterways or ports but there is an airport