Belfast Telegraph

Delivered just 24 years later: Mail found in an attic

'It's ridiculous 24 years on, why do they even bother delivering it?'

By Linda Stewart

It's strange enough when a letter arrives at your house more than 20 years after it was posted. But what if two come along at once?

Newtownabbey man Gavin Chambers was left more than a little bemused this week when it happened to him. He told the Belfast Telegraph how a furniture bill had arrived at his home at Ravelstone Parade 24 years after it was posted on December 28, 1990.

It was a bill for a five-piece suite, which had been sent to a Mr McAuley by furniture store Carpenter & McAllister Ltd. The company was based at Jennymount Industrial Estate at North Derby Street in Belfast at the time, but appears to have gone into liquidation in the early 2000s.

Then, immediately after contacting us, Mr Chambers received yet another letter, this time a payment reminder from British Telecom, dated the day before the first letter.

Royal Mail says both letters were found in the attic of a house in the Newtownabbey area which was undergoing refurbishment. At the time a member of staff was dismissed for tampering with the mail and received a criminal conviction.

Mr Chambers said: "It's kind of ridiculous 24 years on, why do they even bother delivering it? I've never heard of a letter taking that long to arrive. I even Googled to see if anyone else had waited that long!"

Royal Mail spokeswoman Morag Turnbull said: "We would like to sincerely apologise to customers who have experienced issues caused by this historic delayed mail. This incident is linked to a previous investigation where a former member of staff was dismissed at the time and received a criminal conviction.

"Unfortunately, this mail connected to this investigation has only recently been located. Royal Mail has an obligation to deliver it."

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