Berkshire

Santa list gifts given 70 years on after chimney find

The letter
Image caption The letter was found by builders in the chimney of a property in Caversham

Builders who found a letter to Father Christmas in a chimney more than 70 years after it was written have surprised its author with the presents he asked for.

David Haylock, now 78, from Caversham, wrote the message when he was about six asking Santa for a Rupert annual and "any toys you have to spare".

It was discovered in his former home in Oakley Road, Caversham, on Monday.

Lewis Shaw, who found it, described it as a "surprise".

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Media captionDavid Haylock, now 78, from Caversham, wrote the message when he was about six

"I can remember bending down with my mother and putting it up the chimney, and waiting for the draught to take it up," said Mr Haylock of his letter.

He said his grandchildren were "amazed" by the discovery because they email Santa.

"Seeing as it's taken more than 70 years for the letter to get to Father Christmas, I think email is probably the best way," he added.

Image copyright David Haylock
Image caption Mr Haylock wrote the letter when he was about six

Mr Shaw, 24, who found the letter while working with his father and brother, said: "We take down a lot of chimneys and we find the odd cigarette packet or newspaper.

"But when you find something so personal it touches your heart.

"Just reading the letter from a little lad - he didn't ask for much, just the things he needed."

A drum, a box of chalks, soldiers and Indians, slippers, a silk tie and a pencil box were also on the list, which Mr Shaw wrapped and presented to Mr Haylock along with his letter.

Mr Haylock described the gesture as "lovely" but said he would refrain from opening the gifts until Christmas Day.

Mr Shaw who has two young children said their Christmas lists contained much more expensive items like iPads: "It just shows how much we take things for granted these days," he added.

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