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Message in a bottle - from Hebden Bridge

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Twenty three years ago, Zoe Lemon who was 10 and living with her parents in Hebden Bridge dropped a bottle into the sea with a message. And then forgot about it.

Last month, a Dutch couple were taking a walk on their local beach in Zealand when their dog started sniffing at something. A plastic bottle, with a message inside. The message from Zoe all those years ago.

Zoe, now married and living in Manchester, spoke on BBC R4's Saturday Live and was asked all about it. She said it was her Dad's idea. She was going to Germany on a school exchange visit. Her Dad was the lead teacher. He had it planned in advance and bought a bottle from home, already weighted down, and pens and paper to write the message on.

The aim, Zoe explained, was to find a pen friend. She had written, "Dear Finder, my name is Zoe Lemon and I live in Hebden Bridge. Please will you write to me. I would like it a lot. I am 10 years old, like ballet, playing the flute and the piano and I have a sister called Rebecca who is fourteen."

Zoe explained that her parents came to visit at Christmas and luckily they still live in the same place in Hebden Bridge. They brought a letter with them, addressed to Zoe in her maiden name. Inside was a copy of the original letter and another from the Dutch couple. Since then Zoe has exchanged several emails with her new Dutch friends.

The letter had travelled 350 miles in the 23 years.

To listen to the clip on the Saturday Live programme, click here and slide the slider until you are one hour 17 minutes into the programme. Saturday Live programmes remain on the BBC website so won't disappear after 7 days like others.