‘To the finder of this letter’: Fascinating discovery of note written by Burton girl 40 years ago

A letter that details what life was like in Burton 40 years ago has been found hidden behind a cupboard in a house in the town.

The letter was found by Carl Skivington who was clearing out the box room in his home in Horninglow, and he has since tracked down the teenage girl who wrote it.

The letter was addressed ‘To the finder of this letter,’ and was signed by Deborah Stokes in 1982. She was 14 at the time.

The writer tells how the president of the old Soviet Union Leonid Brezhev had just died, milk was just 20p per pint, bread around 30p a loaf, and beer was 60p per pint.

Deborah, who used to live in the house, also reveals her favourite band was The Boomtown Rats and asked if they’re still around when the letter is opened.

Mr Skington, 44, lives on Poplars Road with his partner Lori Davies, 33, and their two-year-old son Jace.

He was doing up the old room as a nursery when he found the letter, because the couple are expecting their second child.

The letter was found wedged behind a built-in cupboard that Mr Skington was in the process of removing.

After finding the letter, he posted on Facebook and was amazed to receive a response from Deborah Dishman, who is now in her 50s.

She replied to the post saying she had written the letter four decades ago and hoped it would be discovered one day.

Carl Skivington found the letter behind a built-in cupboard in his home, exactly 40 years after it was written. Credit: BPM Media

Mr Skivington, who is a gym manager in Stoke, said: “We was really shocked actually. Me and my partner were turning the box room into a nursery as my partner is 15 weeks pregnant.

“It had one of these weird pre-built cupboards in the corner which I decided I wanted to take out.”

The letter reads: “I wonder what is happening in the world when you read this letter? Last week, President Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union died of a heart attack and was now quickly replaced by Yuri Andropov.

“My favourite groups are Haircut One Hundred and The Boomtown Rats. I wonder if they’re still around?

“By the way, milk is 20p per pint, bread is 30p to 38p per loaf, while beer is 60p per pint. I hope the world is a better place by the time you see this. I like to think it will be.”

Mrs Dishman, who now lives in Leicester, said her father Derek Stokes told her to write the letter, so it would serve as a ‘time capsule’ for people living in their house in the future.

He then popped the letter behind the cupboard where it would lay undiscovered for 40 years.

Mrs Dishman said her dad, who died two years ago, was a true Burtonian and was the first person to use Burton Library when it opened.

She said he would be incredibly proud and pleased to hear the letter had been found 40 years later.

The ‘time capsule’ letter gives an insight into what life in Burton was like in 1982. Credit: BPM Media

She said: “It was all about my dad really who came up with the idea.

“He was building the cupboard in my bedroom at the time and it was his idea to write a time capsule letter.

“I think my dad would have hoped that somebody would have seen it, but not that it may have taken this long. It’s just a shame that he sadly died a couple of years ago and wasn’t able to see it found.”

“And since then my children have written letters for themselves and put them behind cupboards in our house.

“So that would be amazing when we sell our house that the next people may find them and this will happen all over again.”

Mr Skivington said: “When I read it I was really shocked but it was nice to have one of those times you see actual good news for a change.

“I’m not sure what it was like in Burton in 1982 but I’m sure it’s changed quite a lot since then, but I don’t know if things are much better now.”

“It’s just so random that it is her saying ‘I hope you enjoy my room’ kind of thing. Because obviously that was her bedroom as a child and now it will be the bedroom for the next generation and my child to be.”