A message in a bottle asking the finder to send a photograph has washed ashore after more than 80 years at sea.
Nigel Hill was walking his dog Reggie on a beach in the Bel Royal area of Jersey when he stumbled upon the bottle and was surprised to find a message written on cardboard inside.
The note, dated 5 September 1938, asks the finder to “communicate” with a man named John Stapleford in Hertfordshire – and to send a photograph.
It was handwritten on the back of an old cake box from Cawley Bros Ltd and placed in a Smith’s bottle.
The companies were both once based in Jersey, which has led people to believe the message originates from the island.
Mr Hill, 55, said: “I was just walking along and saw it and thought it looked interesting. Then I saw the note inside.
“Unfortunately, I had to break it to get the note out.”
The message read: “Will the finder of this bottle please communicate with: John Stapleford, 18 Fitzjohn Avenue, Barnet, Herts, England. With a photograph.”
Mr Hill shared his find on Facebook and was soon able to track down the current resident living at the address.
He said: “I thought at first this might be a hoax but it’s definitely not.
“As is the way with Jersey, I had lots of people contact me to help and I have been able to track down the lady who currently lives in the property.
“She says she does not recall a John Stapleford and she has lived there for 30 years.
“But she has looked into the deeds of her home and found that a John Stapleford did buy the place in 1921.
“It would be really nice if I could give the bottle and the note back to members of his family. It could be an heirloom for them.”
Birth and death records show Mr Stapleton was born on 4 August 1889 and had worked as a civil servant as well as chief accountant with HM Customs and Excise.
It is believed he had a wife called Nellie and that he died on 2 December 1980, aged 91.
His address then was St George House, 11 London Road, Norfolk.
Additional reporting by SWNS