Appeal over 1945 Blair Castle letter discovery

A PEN pal letter sent by a wartime evacuee and hidden for almost 70 years has been found during conservation work at a Perthshire castle.

A letter discovered during the conservation work at the castle. Picture: PA
A letter discovered during the conservation work at the castle. Picture: PA

The note written by “Archie” to “Bill” had been behind a radiator in Blair Castle’s grand ballroom since 1945.

Staff at the castle now want to trace the two boys involved - who could be friends or relatives and may be in their 80s - and find out more about their lives during the Second World War.

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The letter begins by asking after Bill, then comments on how quiet it is without him and goes on to tell him of another friend, Jackie, who is “going away for good”.

Iitems discovered during conservation work at Blair Castle. Picture: PA

The heading on the note shows that Archie was staying at Boturich Castle near Loch Lomond in Balloch.

A number of children stayed at Blair Castle during the war and a photograph of the 8th Duke of Atholl with evacuees was found by archivists and may include Bill from the letter.

Blair Castle communications manager Stuart Letford said: “It is incredible to think that Archie’s letter to Bill has been lying hidden for such a long, long time in one of the castle’s 30 rooms and it would be fascinating to hear more about their story and their memories of being evacuated during the war.

“Who were Bill and Archie? Where were they from? Do they even still know each other? Are they both still alive?

The 8th Duke of Atholl with children at Blair Castle evacuated to the area during the Second World War. Picture: PA

“If this letter sparks a memory for anyone, we would love to hear from them.

“Blair Castle is steeped in over 700 years of history and this remarkable little find is another story to add to a chapter in the castle’s long and rich history.”

The castle is due to reopen in April at the completion of the conservation work.

Anyone with information on the pen pals are asked to contact Blair Castle on 01796 481411 or email [email protected]