A letter found by a father clearing out a room in his house provides fascinating insight into how Britons lived in the 1980s.
Carl Skivington found a 1982 letter signed by 14-year-old Deborah Stokes after ripping out a cupboard in the store room of her home in Horninglow, Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire.
Carl was stunned as he read the letter, in which the writer recounts how then-President of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, had just died and how milk only cost 20p a pint.
She also says that bread cost around 30p for a loaf, with a pint of beer costing 60p in the pub in the 80s, Staffordshire live reports.
Deborah goes on to reveal her favorite bands, including The Boomtown Rats, and asks the future reader if they’re still there when the letter is opened.
Dad, Mr Skivington, 44, lives with his partner Lori Davies, 33, and their two-year-old son, Jace, and was converting the former bedroom into a nursery because the couple are expecting a second child.
Carl Skivington/BPM MEDIA)
The job saw him remove a built-in cupboard where he found the letter stuck behind.
After the discovery, he posted on Facebook and was surprised to find Deborah Dishman, who is now in her 50s.
Mr Skivington, who is a gymnasium manager, said: “We were really shocked actually.
“My partner and I were in the process of converting the storage room into a child’s bedroom as my partner is 15 weeks pregnant.
“There were like these weird pre-made closets in the corner that I decided to remove.”
Deborah Dishman/BPM MEDIA)
The letter written on an A4 sheet reads: ‘I wonder what is going on in the world when you read this letter? Last week President Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union died of a heart attack and was quickly replaced by Yuri Andropov.
“My favorite bands are Haircut One Hundred and The Boomtown Rats. I wonder if they’re still around?
“By the way, milk is 20pence a pint, bread is 30p to 38p a loaf, while beer is 60p a pint. Hope the world is a better place by the time you see this. I likes to think it will.”
Ms Dishman, who now lives in Leicester, said she wrote the letter after being asked to do so by her father, Derek Stokes, who said it would serve as a ‘time capsule’ for people living in their home in the future.
He then blew the letter up behind the cupboard where it could not stay undiscovered unless the cupboard was removed, which did not happen until 40 years later.
Ms Dishman heard about the discovery of the letter after a friend saw Mr Skivington’s post on Facebook and showed it to her. She said at first that she couldn’t understand how her friend got a copy of the letter she wrote as a girl.
“And then it all came back to me and I actually remember writing it,” she added.
Ms Dishman said her father, who died two years ago, would have been incredibly proud to learn it had happened 40 years later.
She added that since discovering Mr Skivington, his children have been writing their own letters and putting them behind cupboards in their homes.
She said: “So it would be amazing when we sell our house that the next people can find them and it happens again.”
Carl Skivington/BPM MEDIA)
Ms Dishman has lived in Leicester for 26 years with her husband, Bernard Dishman, 56, who together have four children. and she is also a grandmother of three children and works for the Christian charity “The Navigators UK”, having previously worked as a lawyer.
Asked if they thought the world was a better place today, Mr Skivington said: “I mean, what we’ve been through for the last 40 years has been horrible.
“Obviously more recently you have the covid pandemic and now with the wars going on overseas [ Ukraine ]it’s one thing after another that you couldn’t foresee.
Ms Dishman added: ‘It’s hard to answer, isn’t it.