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Couple find mysterious 80-year-old letters to woman who called off her wedding

A couple were stunned when they discovered some furious letters from a woman who called off her engagement 80 years ago.

Georgia Walker, 27, and James Morris, 28, started doing DIY in their home last year after buying their property for £205,000 in 2017.

The pair began renovating the ceiling of the living room in their Worcestershire home when they stumbled across some treasures.

Describing the scene as "something out of Harry Potter", Georgia was speechless when she saw the letters dating back to 1943.

The handwritten letters were from a woman named Gat in Derby to her brother's ex-fiancée, Betty Rowe "Roda".

In the notes, the two were talking about Betty and Leslie's upcoming wedding.

But Georgia began to read the letters and saw it was clear that Betty and Les' relationship started to crumble.

After the wedding was called off, a furious Gat wrote to Betty to demand her engagement ring back.

The letter read: "Dear Betty, could you let me have Leslie's bank book and ring as Les has asked me to sell the ring and put the money into the bank and I have the chance at present to sell it for £2, more than he gave for it.

"Mother would also like the silks she gave you as an engagement present as she treasured those and she gave them to you thinking you were going to stick to Les and that you were entitled to them."

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Georgia said they went through all the letters, adding: "The King on the stamp jumped out at me because I'm used to seeing the Queen. We knew how old they were immediately.

"Then we started looking for the ring and we literally going through the rubble but it wasn't there. We couldn't believe it when they came down in such pristine condition.

"It was really interesting to read about the wedding preparations in one and then how they seemed to be off in another.

"In the one asking for the ring and bank book back it is obvious that the relationship and engagement has gone awry because they are no longer getting married. But in the other there is someone asking about getting currants for a wedding cake on Saturday."

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She continued: "It's a complete mystery, but fascinating to find this bit of history in your own house and get an idea of the lives of the old owners. We just didn't expect to find it while replastering the ceiling."

One page, written before the engagement was called off, said: "My dear Betty, thank you for your letter received last Friday. I am pleased to hear that Jack has been home again, that he is safe and well…

"The dresses as you know go to church again on Saturday, WHEW! Get them back, I will get them cleaned and send them off to you. I think Dot's will be the better fit, but you will be able to choose.

"Well Betty if there is anything I can get for you don’t forget to let me know as I may strike lucky here. I expect you are feeling quite excited already – I'm sure the time will soon fly."

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It added: "Have been nosing around for Christmas present but they are the very devil… Mum wrote on Saturday and said that dad was poorly again.

"I do hope he will soon pick up again and feel his old self, but you must all insist that he rests Betty because he really does look poorly, it's so unlike Dad.

"Well for now I must close. Please give my love to Dickie, I hope she still hears from George regularly. Cheerio for now Bet, don't work too hard. Much love, Gat xxx"

James reckons Betty hid the letters after cancelling the wedding and thinks the gifts must have been returned in the end.

He said: "It is just really interesting to come across something so old but it's completely unknown who is who in the letters. It's amazing how well they've been preserved – everything is completely legible and you see exactly what's been written."

A copy of the Malvern Gazette, dating back to 1948, was also found by the couple during their home transformation.

Georgia revealed: "We bought the house back in 2017 and we were going room to room renovating it.

"The first letter and paper were found between the original floorboards, we could see whoever put them there had used them almost like insulation. It may be that the family is still living nearby, so we might even be able to reunite them."

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