Derek receives postcard from German pen-pal after nearly 50 years

Derek receives postcard from German pen-pal after nearly 50 years

Annabel Howard

Derek receives postcard from German pen-pal after nearly 50 years

A postcard sent from Germany 49 years ago has finally been delivered to its rightful recipient after an appeal was launched in the Advertiser.

Baffled householders Jason and Anna Crabtree, of Clare Road, contacted the newspaper after a postman delivered a card marked for their address a fortnight ago.

It had been sent from Maidenhead’s German twin town of Bad Godesberg and postmarked March 13, 1963.

The postcard, which depicted German bakery Cafe Profittlich, was marked for Derek B Lewis who used to live at the house.

The postcard from Germany sent to Derek in Maidenhead - delivered nearly 50 years later

A ‘totally surprised’ Derek, who now lives in Summerleaze Road, received a flurry of phone calls from old friends about the news and the Advertiser delivered the card to him on Tuesday.

The 71-year-old father-of-four, who also has four grandchildren, said the card was sent by his old pen pal Gudrun Rentrope.

Derek, who used to work for Black & Decker in its finance department, said they lost touch because the card never arrived.

"In those days people didn't have postcards."

The former Desborough School pupil and Gudrun had swapped addresses through their schools when they were 17 and kept in contact into their early 20s.

Derek, who is married to Sally, stayed with Gudrun’s family in Germany for a holiday aged 21 and later returned the favour by showing her father around Windsor.

He said: “I picked him up in my German bubble car and we went out for dinner and the following night we had dinner at his hotel.

“The postcard thanked me for looking after her dad and passing on gifts. She was a very dear friend. It was quite a pleasant time in my life.”

After going missing for almost five decades, the card was stamped by the Royal Mail in Swindon on Monday, October 29, 2012.

“In those days people didn’t have postcodes and I think this could have been one of the reasons it went missing,” said Derek.

“I can’t imagine how it got back into the system again.”

Derek Lewis, 71, with his postcard from old pal

The Royal Mail dismissed the possibility it had gone missing within its postal network and said it must have only been put in a postbox recently.

Several readers contacted the Advertiser, or called Derek, after seeing his name in last week’s edition.

Among them was a former member of Hurley Cricket Club where Derek used to play, who now lives in Scotland.

“He still gets the paper delivered there, and told me about my missing postcard,” said Derek.

Tony Lehain, a former economics and public affairs teacher at Desborough School, also met Derek through the cricket club.

“We had all lost touch with Derek after he left the club and were inspired to get back in touch with him after hearing about the postcard,” he said.

Postcard front of Cafe Profittlich, in Bad Godesberg, Germany, is still in good condition.

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