Former Saffron Walden man is reunited with treasure trove of old letters and photographs found at police station
A former Saffron Walden man says he is “over the moon” that a collection of his old letters and photographs found at the town’s police station will be returned to him.
Paul Faulkner, 59, contacted the Reporter from his home near Paris this week to explain the 50-year-old mystery of how the treasure trove of his childhood memories ended up in the loft of the East Street station.
Around 50 letters and photographs, dating from 1962-1976, were found by officers during a clear-out of the station which is for sale.
At the end of December, the Reporter ran an appeal to find Mr Faulkner in a bid to reunite him with his personal belongings, and many readers shared the story on social media.
Mr Faulkner, who is married with two children, left Saffron Walden in 1977 and travelled to Australia before settling in France, via the UK.
He said: “I had a friend called David, whose last name escapes me, from the Baptist Youth Club and he put me up for a while. I left some stuff with him for safe keeping when I went away.
“To my knowledge, he knew a few people at Saffron Walden Police Station, so I assume he left my stuff there when he moved on.
“I heard a few years later he died of a heart attack, so I thought that was it, someone must have chucked my stuff out and presumed it was lost.
“I suppose he thought I would check with the police station when I came back, but I didn’t think to.”
Mr Faulkner, who is a plumbing and heating engineer in France, said he was made aware of the letters after his father, who still lives in Saffron Walden, saw the article.
“I’m over the moon and so very grateful the effort was put in to get these back to me. I mentioned it to a colleague in France who said this type of thing wouldn’t happen here, they would’ve just been thrown away.
“It touches me that someone had that reflex to think these could mean something to someone and took the trouble to find the owner.”
Jennifer Scott-Reid, 57, who was mentioned in the letters, also contacted the Reporter after Mr Faulkner sent her an online link to the article.
She said: “It’s funny because when I saw the first letter on the picture, I knew immediately it was from me. I met Paul in 1974 when my best friend was going out with his friend.
“We’ve kept in touch over the years on and off and it’s lovely he’ll get the letters back.”
Mr Faulkner is due to return to Saffron Walden in a few months when the Reporter will reunite him with the letters and photographs he thought were lost forever.
He said: “It will probably be quite emotional to sit down and have a read of all the things in the letters. I will probably laugh at some of it but also shed a tear or two at people who are no longer with us.
“But it will be great to look back at that time in my life through these letters and photographs, which I thought were gone forever.”