LOOKING BACK - June 6, 2019 edition

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Mystery of hoax letter

This is a bizarre little story I spotted in our June 6, 1969 edition and wonder if anyone ever admitted to it or told anyone about it in the years since. If you can shed any light on it, please get in touch!

This is the piece in full: It arrived at the Rugby Advertiser office on Monday morning - having, to all intents and purposes, taken nearly 51 years to arrive from an uncertain address. It was addressed simply to ‘Rugby Advertiser’ and on the way had gathered postmarks in France, America, Bulgaria, Germany and India, each bearing ancient dates.

As ‘ancient’ parchment inside was dated October 28, 1918 and contained the following: “Subscriber, I enclose 4 bags each to be filled with £5 in gold.

These bags must be deposited beneath the bridge carrying Clifton Road over the Grand Central line. If the above specified sum is not deposited on Monday, November 11 ‘18, illegal action detramentory to health will be taken, Yours very sincerely.”

So far sender, and his motives, have not been discovered.

Rugby postmaster Mr A Arnell deduced that the letter had been collected in Lilbourne Road, Rugby on Sunday and added: “It has been carefully drawn by someone, and is certainly a hoax of some kind.”

A member of Rugby Rag committee denied any connection. And we remain baffled.