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Postcard took 86 years to arrive!

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IT was sent the year Joseph Stalin took power in Russia, MGM Studios was founded in Los Angeles and Dixie Dean scored his first professional hat-trick for Tranmere Rovers. But it seems this postcard from 1924 got a little delayed in the post – it arrived at its intended Sheffield address only this week.

The 86-year-old missive was mailed as part of an order to a scythe-making business which was once based at a now-converted factory in Main Road, Ridgeway.

Stunned home-owner Andrew Coghlan said: “I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s in virtually perfect condition apart from a small tear. It’s just incredible it could take so long to arrive, I was amazed.”

The postcard – displaying a George V penny stamp and a picture of a blade – requests six dozen 24 inch bramble scythes and six dozen 26 inch bramble scythes. In black ornate writing it asks for them “ground if possible” before saying an official order will follow.

It was sent to J Fisher and Sons Scythe Makers of Ridgeway from John Harrison and Sons of Dronfield – another scythe making firm. An Unstone post mark can be made out on the back of the card. It is believed the Ridgeway company, which wound up in the early 1950s, would make the blades before the Dronfield firm fitted them with handles.

Mr Coghlan said: “I’m trying to find out if it’s the longest time period something has ever been in transit.

“It’s like this little communication from the past, a little piece of history being delivered right through the front door. It’s incredible really.

“When I first saw it I just thought it was an advert or junk mail or something, and I was about to throw it away but it caught my eye because it mentions scythes and I knew scythes use to be made in the cellar of the house.

“I never expected it to be actually meant for the former owners though. I mean the factory shut 60 years ago and it’s been converted into a house for decades.”

The 46-year-old owner of Barrels & Bottles wine shop in Sheepbridge, Chesterfield, added he was still deciding what to do with the postcard but may save it as a memento.

Article by Colin Drury, Sheffield Star, Tuesday 12th October 2010

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