Sunday, October 15, 2006

The lost hat, Midland Railway, 1909































Item 1. June 19th, 1909.

Dear Sir,

I travelled from London on Tuesday the 15th by the 3.45 train, in the 1st class Restaurant Car. When I got to Chesterfield I found that a gentleman who was sitting on the opposite side of the carriage had taken my hat and left his own. The Car-attendant said that he knew the gentleman, who lived at Bedford, and that he would arrange for me to get my hat back.

Although the exchange was, of course, a pure accident, my hat happened to be a new one, or I would not have troubled about it. It had my name in full on the leather lining.

As I have heard nothing through the Car-attendant, I should be obliged if you would have the matter enquired into.

Yours faithfully.

Item 2.

June 19, 1909

Midland Railway,

Office of Superintendent of the Line,

Derby.

Sir, I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th inst. which shall have my attention.

Yours truly,

J. Elliott.

(Part-printed postcard addressed to H Westlake, Esq, Brimington Hall, Chesterfield)

Item 3.

June 26th, 1909

Dear Sir,

Referring to my letter of the 18th., and your acknowledgement of the 19th, I spoke to the Attendant in the Restaurant Car about the matter on Thursday when returning from London by the 3.45. It appears that he had spoken to the gentleman who took my hat, who acknowledged that he had it, but did not seem at all concerned as to returning it.

I send you the hat that was left in place of mine; and refrain from commenting upon it.

The action of the gentleman in question is most extraordinary; more especially as my hat had my name in full inside it, and was entirely different in shape to the one he left: and as it was a new one, I must ask you to be good enough to procure its return at once, or send me 12/6, the cost of it.

Yours faithfully.

Item 4.

Midland Railway,

Office of Superintendent of the Line.

Derby June 28th, 1909

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 26th. instant, I regret that your hat has not yet been returned to you. On receipt of your first letter I at once took steps to recover the hat, and hope to be able to give you a definite reply shortly.

Yours truly,

For J Elliott

Item 5.

Midland Railway,

Office of Superintendent of the Line.

Derby July 13 1909

H. Westlake Esq,

Brimington Hall.

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 11th inst. I beg to say that your hat has now been obtained from Mr Blackstone and was forwarded from Bedford to Chesterfield for you yesterday.

Yours truly

For J. Elliott

Item 6.

July 14th 1909

Dear Sir,

I am obliged by your letter of the 14th in regard to my hat which was taken from a Restaurant Car, and note that it has now been obtained from the man who took it.

After it has been in his possession for a month, it is, of course, utterly worthless to me; and perhaps you will have it destroyed, or otherwise disposed of.

Yours faithfully.

Item 7.

July 16th 1909

Midland Railway,

Office of Superintendent of the Line,

Derby.

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 14th inst, I understand from Chesterfield that the hat was delivered to you on that date,

Yours truly

For J. Elliott.

Item 8.

July 17th, 1909

Dear Sir,

The Hat was returned to me on Thursday.

The Hat-box was smashed in; but that was of no consequence, as the Hat was completely spoilt, and I at once had it destroyed.

Yours faithfully.

8 comments:

jps said...

You should use this correspondence as a template for your letters of complaint to Wordsworth Classics. I predict almost instant success. Either that or a ruined hat.

Adam said...

this is magnificent

carson said...

Roy - Is this part of a public archive somewhere or from a private collection?

Thanks.

DrRoy said...

Sorry, I have been neglecting my blog and comments. These papers are in my possession. My father worked when a younger man for the Stanton and Staveley Iron and Steel Company. Detailed to clear the storeroom, he found them, and saved them rather than dispose of them. Roy.

carson said...

DrRoy,

Thanks. In 2009, I took on a project to write the manufacturer or provider of every good or service I bought during the year. I wrote 500+ letters, tracking all sorts of data along the way (response, funny stories, etc). I came across your "The Lost Hat" post while doing some research for the draft book chronicling the experience that I've almost completed. I'm wondering if you might consider allowing me to incorporate the lost hat story into mine somehow. --- I don't have a publisher or anything like that. I'm just a guy who took on an absurd project and tried to see if I could write a book (and write a book about it). I'm not even sure I could make the lost hat bit work or not...but assuming I did, I would give you proper credit etc. Thoughts? I could private message you if this is something you'd consider. Regards!

DrRoy said...

Dear Carson, You are entirely free to use the material in any way you like. I hope you can have some fun with it, and that your general project (it's a clever idea in a consumer age when manufacturers are so wary of the power of media in the hands of ordinary consumers) works out for you. I have found my way to your blog, and when I have less work to do, will have a proper look round. Best wishes, Roy Booth

carson said...

Thank you! I will keep you posted if anything comes of this - Carson

DrRoy said...

You are most welcome. RB.