Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls (founded 1892) is an independent school for girls aged 11-18. It has an imposing main building & history, and has recently had an event that represents a perfect gift as publicity.
The sole chap in the photo at top is Andy Beddoes. He acts as a maintenance worker for the school, and got called to one of the boarding houses when some raven chicks fell into the House’s chimney. Whilst searching for the chicks he discovered a letter tucked up on the top ledge inside the chimney. The letter was almost unreadable. All that he could read was “Dear Father Christmas” and a part asking for a dress - nothing more.
Canny Deputy Head Teacher Tom Arrand arranged for the letter to be cleaned up, then contacted BBC Wales.
The letter read:-
Dear Father Christmas, are you coming to see me again in two weeks’ time I suppose?
Tell Mummy I want a book, Tell England, and an evening dress.
Love, Haly H XXX.
The book “Tell England” was published in 1922, which sets the earliest date for the letter. The girls in that particular Boarding House have always been aged 10 or 11, so it is likely that Haly was that age also.
The current girls in her House now want to investigate all the other chimneys, to see if they can find some more Xmas letters.
--------- Alex Kemp