Two books have finally been returned to a Hampshire library, nearly half a century after being withdrawn.
A Thomas the Tank Engine book and one in the Learning in Colour series were returned to the library by post, having been taken out 48 years ago.
The return was accompanied by a note, mononymously signed “Andy”, which apologised for holding on to the books “when we moved as children from Basingstoke in 1972”.
“Please accept my apologies for the late return of these items,” the note added.
Hampshire County Council have said that the return was a “thoughtful gesture”, adding that it would not be charging late fees.
The returned books were Learning With Colour Architecture: The Great Art of Building by Trewin Copplestone, and The Railway Series No 22: Small Railway Engines (Classic Thomas the Tank Engine) by Rev W Awdry.
At the current punitive rate, the books’ return would have incurred a late return charge of roughly £8,000.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, fines for overdue books have been frozen since April.