Treasured Letters

Author: Mike Haines   Date Posted:16 September 2018 

Treasured Letters main image Treasured Letters image


'Treasured Letter Story'


I was surprised when my relos told me recently that my Niece and Nephew are potentially losing the ability to write. Yes - it's true - tablets, laptops and mobile devices are taking over in the classroom.

Well - it got me thinking about letters - a thing I only ever seem to get now from the bank or Telstra 

So - here is my 'Treasured Letter Story' from years gone by.

As a kid I was raised in Meir, which is right in the middle of the potteries in Stoke on Trent UK. My older cousin Steve lived close by. He was my hero. He loved the Beatles, Stoke on Trent footy club and his parents were the first to have a phone AND a TV!
We lived in a council house in Briarwood Place in Meir. It was a typical English council house street with tiny yards and pretty small houses.

The strip of grass that you can see in the photo is Steve's footy pitch! We played for hours there as kids. Now when I say 'played' I mean Steve used to set up a goal and take pot shots at me! I had to be brave, afterall - he was my hero and he'd relive some of the best moments from the most recent match.

He'd call me Gordon Banks (Stoke's famous goal keeper) when I made a great save - which wasn't all that often!

After our 'match' we'd listen to the Beatles on Steve's record player. I still know the words to many of their songs and I'll always remember the pic of half an Apple on the record label.

Eventually we left the area and I lost touch with Steve. I joined the Royal Navy to travel the world for free - and found myself thrust into a war with Argentina. It was a harsh environment and as the war developed we heard harrowing accounts from ships that had been hit. The ship I was on had a near miss when a missile ditched into the sea. The Captain announced that it had disappeared from radar about 40 seconds from impact after it clipped a larger than normal wave.

We'd receive letters from people at home, Mum wrote almost daily which helped me push through.

One day a letter from Steve arrived. It was probably 15 years or so since I'd seen him or had any contact. He told me that he was proud of me and what I was doing for the country. But the line that will be forever etched into my memory read....

'Remember all those years ago I used to take pot shots at you in Briarwood Place? Well - you were brave then and you're brave now.'

I still have Steve's letter and I paid a visit back to the UK 5 or 6 years ago. Steve and I caught up and we re-lived the Gordon Bank's moments in Briarwood Place.

I wonder if our kids kids will only have a fave SMS, Facebook or Snap Chat screen shot to look back on as it seems the power of the hand written letter word could become a thing of the past.

Do you have a 'Treasured Letter Story'?


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