Sunday 21 January 2018

Love letters surface after 66 years

Eric Pashley and Winnie Pettinger have been reunited with their love letters
Eric Pashley and Winnie Pettinger have been reunited with their love letters

A couple who have been married more than six decades have been reunited with their love letters 66 years on.

Eric Pashley and Winnie Pettinger's love blossomed during the Second World War.

And now more than 60 years, five children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandsons later, the couple rediscovered the letters they wrote at the start of their courtship.

Mr Pashley, who was a gardener at Nottinghamshire stately home Thoresby Hall, exchanged the notes with Miss Pettinger, who worked there as a parlour maid. He kept them in an old mustard tin but left them behind in a tool shed when he was sent to Germany on national service.

When he came back, he took a gardening job on a different estate and the box lay undiscovered for nearly seven decades until Andy Mallam, head gardener at what is now the Thoresby Hall Hotel and Spa, found it in a garden shed around a month ago.

The hotel eventually traced the couple, who now live in the Vale of Belvoir, Lincolnshire, and they returned to enjoy a luxury break and be presented with the box and letters.

Mr Pashley, now 82, said: "As a gardener I wasn't allowed to enter the house as it wasn't my position. So if anyone was coming out of the house, they would bring a note from Winnie for me."

The letters from his then future wife, addressed to "My dearest darling Eric", talk about snatching moments together for walks or trips to the pictures.

Press Association

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