School librarians were stunned when a long-forgotten book was returned – 100 YEARS to the day after it was borrowed.
The anthology Palgraves Golden Treasury with Additional Poems was taken out at Morpeth Grammar School by young Albert Chambers on October 20, 1914.
He then left the Northumberland school without returning it and it was discovered gathering dust in his daughter’s attic by his grandson Ian Blenkinsopp a few weeks ago.
Ian, from Cumbria, posted it back to the school – together with an apology note for its late return.
Headteacher Mark Simpson was so glad to get the book back he waived the 12p a day fine which had soared to #4,380.
Mark said: “We were amazed to receive this book 100 years on and it was still in a good condition.
“Mr Blenkinsopp made a light-hearted comment in his note that he hoped we wouldn’t levy any accrued fines.
“We were happy to waive them on this occasion and it was good to get some information about Albert’s life.”
Albert was born in 1900 and flourished at the grammar school – now called King Edward VI School – where he was part of the army cadet force during the First World War.
He later joined the Merchant Navy and went on to become a draughtsman and a father-of-two before he died in 1965.
The inside cover of the school book shows he was made to sign for it and promised to be ‘responsible for its condition’.
In a letter returning it – which arrived exactly 100 years to the day after his grandfather checked it out – Ian apologised for Albert’s lateness.
He wrote: “May I apologise for the late return and the lack of dust jacket. I hope that you will not levy any accrued fines.”
And in reply to a thank you letter from Mr Simpson, he added: “I am pleased that it is going into your archive – much better than languishing in my late mother’s attic!”