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Dutch postcard sent to Harold Wood Hospital arrives 43 years late

PUBLISHED: 12:27 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:48 04 February 2019

A postcard sent to the old Harold Wood Hospital arrived 43 years after it was sent. Photo: John Hercock

A postcard sent to the old Harold Wood Hospital arrived 43 years after it was sent. Photo: John Hercock

Archant

A postcard with a heartfelt message from a Dutch woman to her ill father who was staying at Harold Wood Hospital has been delivered 43 years after it was sent.

Staff at the Havering campus of the London South Bank University were surprised to receive a postcard on January 17 from the Netherlands that was sent 43 years ago in January 1976.Staff at the Havering campus of the London South Bank University were surprised to receive a postcard on January 17 from the Netherlands that was sent 43 years ago in January 1976.

Staff at the Havering campus of the London South Bank University were surprised to receive a postcard on January 17 from the Netherlands that was sent 43 years ago in January, 1976.

The campus in Goldcrest Way shares the same postcode as the old Harold Wood Hospital in Gubbins Lane which closed in 2006.

Ann, the writer of the postcard, sent it from Zeeland in the Netherlands to a Mr E. L. Branch.

Linda Lowe, a library assistant at the university, discovered that there was an Edward Leslie Branch, born in Forest Gate, who died in April 1976 in Brentwood.

The back of a postcard that arrived 43 years late to Havering from a Dutch address.The back of a postcard that arrived 43 years late to Havering from a Dutch address.

That would make this the last time Ann saw her father before she went back to the Netherlands.

She also discovered the birth of a woman, Ann E Branch in 1937 in Romford, which could mean that Anne was 40 when the card was sent.

The postcard reads: “Mr dear Dad, Arrived back safely after a calm morning. Frans met me at Adam [Amsterdam] station at 8.30am.

“My parents in law had collected the children Friday straight from school - everybody managed very well.

“I hope you are making good progress and so soon be out - keep your chin up you’re good for another 10 years at least.

“Much love from us all, we’re thinking of you. Ann, Frans, Mela and Carmen.”

If you think you know the family of the postcard sender please email April.Roach@archant.co.uk or call 020 8477 3988.

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