Leeds & West Yorkshire

Mirfield man's tears of joy after lost voicemail of wife retrieved

Media captionStan Beaton thought his wife's voicemail message was '"lost forever"

A husband who thought he had lost a recording of his late wife's voice he had kept for more than 10 years has described the moment the message was recovered as "wonderful".

Stan Beaton, from Mirfield, had kept the voicemail since his wife Ruby's death in 2003, but technical work by Virgin Media meant it was deleted.

However, the telecoms company has now managed to recover the message.

Mr Beaton, 68, said: "They've made this old age pensioner extremely happy."

Listening to the message he said: "It's just a wonderful, wonderful sound that I thought was lost forever.

"I'm staggered at the lengths they have gone to."

Mr Beaton told BBC Radio Leeds the message he had kept since his wife's death from cancer was lost in December.

He said: "I've always resisted changing companies because whenever I mentioned that my wife's voice was our voicemail message and would it be retained and each company said no, so that's why I never changed.

"Sadly it disappeared. I was absolutely devastated by it, but also extremely angry.

"In the early days [I listened to it] quite often. Basically it came to the point when if I felt low then I would listen to it.

"In December I learned that it had disappeared. I just could not tell people how it affected me at that time. It really did devastate me."

Mr Beaton contacted Virgin who managed to retrieve the message which has now been permanently saved for him.

Rob Evans, executive director of engineering at Virgin Media, said finding it "was like searching for a needle in a haystack", however a team of 11 engineers spent three days tracking it down.

"The chances of its recovery were slim" he said, but the missing file containing Ruby's voice was found on Friday.

"The next morning we called Stan to deliver the good news," he said.

More on this story