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'Earliest' letter to Santa sent from Lincolnshire in 1895


Rob Thompson

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Rob Thompson

'Earliest' letter to Santa sent from Lincolnshire in 1895

Source: BBC Lincolnshire. 25 Dec, 2021

 

What is believed to be the first letter written to Santa in the UK has been discovered in the archives of a Lincolnshire newspaper.

The letter was written by a girl in 1895 asking for a paint set.

Her note to Father Christmas was reported in the Grantham Journal which told its readers that "the trustful little correspondent received her box of paints".

The report was found by Joanna Espin, curator of the Postal Museum in London.

Ms Espin, who lives in Grantham in Lincolnshire, told a BBC Radio Four documentary about the story behind the girl's letter.

"We did some research into this story and the child writing this letter her father had died of smallpox," she said.

"They were really in great poverty and it's understood that the presents they asked for were actually bought and delivered to them."

She added: "It's just a really lovely coming together of such a big administrative system and then adding just a bit of magic in getting the letter over to Santa Claus in time for Christmas."

The Grantham Journal's report told of how staff at the local post office received the letter addressed to "Father Christmas, The North Pole, the GPO."

'Big increase'
Ms Espin said by the 1900s the Post Office was receiving thousands of letters to Santa.

She said the tradition continues to this day and there has been a "big increase" in letters this year, as the lockdown has stopped many children visiting Father Christmas in grottos.

"I think it's the magic, she said.

"Children are so used to seeing letters come through the post box everyday. To have Santa Claus come via the post is just so magical and exciting."

Full story: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-55437293

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