12 Dec 2015

Santa delivers - 70 years after letter penned

1:01 pm on 12 December 2015

Builders who found a letter to Father Christmas in a chimney more than 70 years after it was written have surprised its author with the presents he asked for.

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Photo: 123rf

David Haylock, now 78, from Caversham in the United Kingdom, wrote the message when he was about six asking Santa for a Rupert annual (a Rupert bear Christmas story book) and "any toys you have to spare".

It was discovered in his former home in Oakley Road, Caversham, on Monday.

"I can remember bending down with my mother and putting it up the chimney, and waiting for the draught to take it up," said Mr Haylock of his letter.

His grandchildren were "amazed" by the discovery because they email Santa, he said.

"Seeing as it's taken more than 70 years for the letter to get to Father Christmas, I think email is probably the best way," he added.

Lewis Shaw, who found the letter, described it as a "surprise".

The 24-year-old, who was working with his father and brother, said they take down a lot of chimneys and often find the odd cigarette packet or newspaper.

"But when you find something so personal it touches your heart.

"Just reading the letter from a little lad - he didn't ask for much, just the things he needed."

A drum, a box of chalks, soldiers and Indians, slippers, a silk tie and a pencil box were also on the list, which Mr Shaw wrapped and presented to Mr Haylock along with his letter.

Mr Haylock described the gesture as "lovely" but said he would refrain from opening the gifts until Christmas Day.

Mr Shaw, who has two young children, said their Christmas lists contained much more expensive items like iPads.

"It just shows how much we take things for granted these days."