A message that was put in a bottle and thrown into the sea 24 years ago has found its way back to the owner.
When he was six years old, Alex Melling put the note in a plastic bottle and threw it into the water.
Alex was checking out a local Facebook page called Group Hindley Residents when he saw a post with his old address from his childhood.
Then he saw his name mentioned in a post he “just couldn’t quite believe” that Manchester Evening News reports.
A man named Rex Winter said he tried to track down an Alex at this address after his son and daughter discovered a message in a bottle in a remote bay in Scotland.
The contribution read – “Help with a message in a bottle:
“This summer my children found a message in a bottle on a remote beach in western Scotland. It appeared to be old and the message on it appeared to have been written by a child.
“The message on it was from someone named Alex (no last name given) who gave the address at 27 Gilbert Street, Hindley.
“There was no other information, no date or anything.
“My daughter wrote to Alex some time ago at this address, but received no reply.
“It may well be that he / she has moved and / or the house is now uninhabited.
“I don’t know if the bottle is 5 or 30 years old, but I’m sure Alex would be interested to know where it ended up!
“Is Alex reading this? Or does anyone know who Alex could be?”
30-year-old Alex, who lived at this address as a child but moved when he was 12, replied on Facebook.
He spoke to Rex’s daughter Izzy (17), who found the bottle on vacation with brother Freddie (22) and their friends Liam Kelly (22) and Cat Jones (19).
Izzy, who lives in Newcastle, said: “We camped in Scotland and took a boat out to Garlieston near Wigton Bay.
“We anchored the boat and went exploring the caves.
“Freddie found the bottle washed up and we could see a message in it.”
The note, on the back of a child’s birthday party invitation, read, “If you find it, please return to 27 Gilbert Street, Hindley. Thank you very much. Please address Alex. ‘
Izzy says they wrote to the address, but when they got no response, her father Rex, a 62-year-old lawyer, decided to find Alex on Facebook.
Izzy says: “My father really got into it.
“He found a Facebook group called Hindley Residents and posted that we’re looking for Alex with a picture of the bottle.”
Schoolgirl Izzy says they were all excited when Alex got in touch and they sent the bottle back to him.
She says, “I was doing my homework and I got a message from my father that said,” I found him. “
“I was so excited. I sent a message to Freddie, Liam and Cat and we couldn’t believe it.
“We just thought, ‘wow’.”
Since then, Alex has tragically lost his mother Valerie Melling to cancer at the age of 17 and is “incredulous” that her message in a bottle is now safe in his hands again.
Alex says the bottle was sent to him along with a bottle of Jack Daniels as a celebratory gift and that he wrote a thank you letter to the Winter family.
He says it poignantly, they tried to find him around the time of his mother’s birthday.
Alex says his grandmother Lilian Wetherby, 86, confirmed that the message was in his mother’s handwriting and the copyright date on the invitation was 1997 – when Alex was six years old.
He says his grandma was “very emotional” when she saw the handwriting of her daughter, who died of cancer at the age of only 49.
Alex says he has a vague memory of throwing the message in the ocean, although he can’t remember where it was.
He said, “I have a vague memory that it happened.
“Although I don’t know where we were then.
“Reading my mother’s note was really nice as it was her handwriting and her words.
“My brother Daniel screamed and my grandma was very emotional.
“I’ll keep the bottle forever with other keepsakes now. I can’t quite believe it.”
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