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About 30 years ago my mother worked for an English language school called EFA, in Farncombe Road in Worthing. One day the school got a letter from a grateful foreign student. The teaching staff didn’t get to see the letter but the address on the envelope caused merriment enough. In full:
AFE 58

DOUBLE

WORTHING ELEPHENT

FUSSER ENGLAND
They were stunned enough in 1983 that it arrived; now, with automatic sorting relying so heavily on postcodes, it seems like pure science fiction. My question is: could it conceivably reach its destination now?

(They never did find out what the “elephent” was doing there.)


EDIT: The answer is yes!
Map-reading postie finds address

A postman turned map reader to deliver a letter which was marked only with a name and a drawing. A map on the envelope had a dot drawn in north Cornwall and an arrow saying "Somewhere Here". Postal workers in Bude, north Cornwall managed to pinpoint the right address and deliver the letter.

The letter to Peter O'Leary, was from a long-lost work colleague who failed to enclose his own address so Mr O'Leary cannot write back.

Bude's delivery office manager Andrew Lake said post workers worked out from the map the intended address was in Bude and then asked each other if anyone recognised the name Peter O'Leary. Postman Eric Seymour realised Mr O'Leary lived on his round and said the customer was astounded when he handed over the letter. [BBC, 2007]



(Many thanks to matgb)

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
matgb
Dec. 2nd, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
matgb
Dec. 2nd, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
Picture (warning, that's a link to The Sun)
burkesworks
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Never underestimate the posties! Back in the seventies, there used to be a fair bit of fan mail from Eastern Europe addressed merely to "Queen, London, England" and it invariably found its way to Freddie Mercury and co's people rather than Buck House...
missfrost
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
I heard about a postie some years ago who delivered a kid's letter to Stirling Moss which was addressed along the lines of.
STIRLING MOSS
FAMOUS RACING DRIVER
PROBABLY IN LONDON
PLEASE FIND HIM MR POSTMAN.
chiller
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
I love stories like this, and think we should address letters in this manner regularly, either with photos of the person they are intended for, or bad drawings of their dog, etc.
alnya
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Love it, thanks for sharing :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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