A thing of beauty
When we published this story about historian Simon Sebag Montefiore’s new book Written in History – Letters that Changed the World, we asked you to tell us why you think letters are still important in the modern world.
Customer service advisor, Samantha Bullcock said: ‘I have a lovely dear friend called Sheila (pictured right with Samantha) who was 90 in October this year.
‘I was first introduced through Age UK (Barnsley) to Sheila this time last year through the wonderful art of letter writing. I became aware of the atrocious amount of elderly folk in the UK who are completely alone with no-one to talk, or laugh or cry with.
‘Our letters were often sad at the beginning as Sheila has had to endure several hurdles in her long life and she really poured her heart out to me. Then, not long after our first communication, Sheila felt confident enough to meet me.
‘Today, we meet every Monday for several hours. We shop, laugh, cry and try to put the world in order. I have learned so much from this fabulous woman and all through the introduction of letter writing.’
Proof, if ever we needed it, that the humble letter can still be life-changing.
Few would deny that there is something special about receiving a nice handwritten letter or card through the post, especially in these information superhighway days.
According to the Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society, it’s time to put handwritten letters back in our lives!
‘Imagine a funny, moving, insightful, beautiful handwritten letter through your door - how exciting would that be!’ say the founders, whose aim it is to bring together people who love to write and receive handwritten letters, and to stop the writing and posting of such missives from becoming a lost art.
‘The hope is that handwritten letters will go on forever and ever. And if (we) encourage just one person to write a letter to a friend or relative, it will be a triumph!’
At this special time of year, many people still prefer receiving a physical Christmas card over e-cards or digital messages. One elderly customer writing on an online forum for over 50s, said: ‘I send by Royal Mail, although the list gets smaller each year, sadly.
‘To me, to see the lovely cards around the house is a joy. It’s just nice IMO to touch base with people you don’t see.’