Sherlock Holmes might have balked, but the Royal Mail detectives came up trumps when they correctly delivered a letter with an address that was more like an episode of This Is Your Life than a conventional street name and postcode.
Writing on Twitter, the County Antrim musician Feargal Lynn said the postal system deserved “hearty applause” for successfully delivering the letter addressed by following a brief history of his family in the area.
Describing his parents and the “Spar his ma and da used to own”, the description of Lynn also included his later move to the nearby Waterfoot and the fact he is “friends with the fella [who] runs the butchers” in the neighbouring village.
Lynn said he laughed for about 10 minutes when he first saw the letter and that the description on the front brought back “so many memories from my youth”.
The full description on the envelope reads: “Lives across the road from the Spar, his ma and da used to own it, his mother was Mary and da Joseph, moved to Waterfoot after he got married, plays guitar and used to run discos in the parochial hall and the hotel in the 80s. Friends with the fella who runs the butchers in Waterfoot too.”
It is not the first time the Royal Mail has defied expectations in deciphering addresses that could, at best, be described as vague.
Last year, Catrina Davies, who lives in a shed in Cornwall, was handed a letter in an envelope omitting a town, street name or postcode.
The sender had simply addressed it to Katrina Davis [sic], noting that she lived in a shed “near a village 21 miles from Land’s End, as featured on BBC2 Simon Reeve Cornwall programme”.
In 2010, a postie rose to the challenge when they were asked to find a couple with an address given as “somewhere near the golf course in Thetford, Norfolk”.
But perhaps the most impressive feat was the delivering of a Christmas card to Paul Biggs in Longlevens, Gloucestershire, in 2015 – sent from Germany in an envelope simply marked “England”. At the time, Royal Mail said that although its “address detectives” were renowned for their investigative skills, this effort was “pretty impressive” even by their standards.