Cowplain grandfather finds mysterious jar under home

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A MESSAGE in a bottle normally ends up travelling across oceans and washing up on a beach.

But pensioner Alan Watters was amazed when one was discovered under floorboards in his house.

Alan Watters, 79, from Cowplain. Picture: Sarah Standing (141941-3554)

Alan Watters, 79, from Cowplain. Picture: Sarah Standing (141941-3554)

On the side of the glass jar were three words in bold lettering: ‘Please read me’.

Without further ado, an intrigued Mr Watters unscrewed the jar to reveal a snapshot in time from 24 years ago.

The handwritten letter was penned by Louise Smith, who was aged nine and a half and who dated the memo Sunday, February 18, 1990.

The girl, who would now be in her early 30s, wrote the letter and described concisely the life of her family who resided at the house in Durley Avenue, Cowplain.

Mr Watters, a retired industrial chemist, moved in to the property around four years later in 1994, having lived in Horndean previously.

He said: ‘I had major electrical work and the floorboards were taken up in the dining room.

‘The electrician came to me with a jar, which said “Please read me”.

‘In the jar was a letter from a little girl who lived here called Louise.

‘I was quite surprised.

‘Having known the family briefly before I took the place over, she would now be in her 30s.

‘It would be very nice if she knew that somebody had found her letter.’

The letter says: ‘To whoever opens this letter, you must be taking up 
the floorboards for one reason or another, so good luck in whatever you are doing.’

Louise says she attends Padnell Middle School, while her brother Matthew attends Padnell First.

She adds: ‘My dad works for Conder Plc and mostly goes to Winchester.

‘My mum works as a civil servant and works in Havant.

‘I am nine and a half, my brother is six and a half, but I cannot tell you how old my parents are!

‘Goodbye, Louise and family.’

Mr Watters laughed that but for the rewiring, the letter could have been hidden under the house for 100 years before being discovered.

‘I thought it was a fascinating little story,’ added Mr Watters.

The grandfather said he would love to track down the author.

‘I would say to her “I’m the one who found it”,’ he said.

‘I am not quite sure how to go about it.’

If anyone can help solve the mystery, please call Jeff Travis on (023) 9249 2444.