Tayside and Central Scotland

Search for wartime pen pals after Blair Castle letter find

Castle evacuees Image copyright Atholl Estates
Image caption A photograph of the 8th Duke of Atholl with evacuee children was also discovered

Correspondence between two young boys evacuated to the Scottish countryside during World War Two has been found stuffed down the back of a radiator at a Perthshire castle.

Staff at Blair Castle are trying to track down the wartime pen pals after discovering the 70-year-old letter.

Keepsakes including cigarette cards and dominoes were also found during the castle's annual winter clean-up.

The two boys, named Archie and Bill, could be aged in their 80s today.

The short letter found behind a radiator in the grand ballroom was penned from Archie, who was staying at Boturich Castle in Dunbartonshire, to Bill, at Blair Castle, in November 1945.

The letter begins by asking after Bill, comments on how quiet it is without him, and goes on to tell of another friend, Jackie, who is "going away for good".

Image copyright Atholl Estates
Image caption The letter was found behind a radiator in the Grand Ballroom at Blair Castle

Many children were sent from their city homes to stay in the countryside for safety from wartime bombing raids.

Stuart Letford, marketing and communications officer at Blair Castle, said: "It is incredible to think that Archie's letter to Bill has been lying hidden for such a long, long time in one of the castle's 30 rooms and it would be fascinating to hear more about their story and their memories of being evacuated during the war.

"Who were Bill and Archie? Where were they from? Do they even still know each other? Are they both still alive?

"It must have been a frightening time for them during the war, but we hope Bill enjoyed his time exploring Blair Castle and the surrounding area during his stay."

The castle's archive team also found a photograph of the 8th Duke of Atholl with the evacuees who stayed in the area during the war, one of whom may be Bill.

Image copyright Atholl Estates
Image caption Keepsakes including dominoes and cigarette cards were also found during the winter clean-up

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