Greenwich mudlark discovers three-year-old message in a bottle from Gravesend

This letter was thrown into the waters at Gravesend and found by Nicola White

Nicola White has found 22 bottles in the last two years

Greenwich mudlark discovers message in a bottle from Gravesend kids from 2011

Ms White found this doll in her mudlarking

This is another of her discoveries

Ms White enjoys finding messages in bottles

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

Three years after a message in a bottle was thrown off Gravesend Pier an intrepid beach forager has tracked down the authors through Twitter.

Nicola White, of Shooters Hill, Greenwich uncovered the letter from four children three months ago in Cliffe, North Aylesford, and tweeted an appeal on Sunday (July 27) to track down the owners.

Within 24 hours Sara Martin got in touch to say she thought two of the kids were her niece and nephew.

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Lucie, nine, Nathan, nine, Carmen, seven, and Sophie, 13, wrote the letter on July 23, 2011, which said: "At this moment the time is 6.04pm and we are Gravesend Promenade waiting for the big concert to start as it is the Big day out."

Ms White has been searching the banks of the Thames and other rivers for interesting items  - otherwise known as mudlarking - for a decade along with her partner David, daughter, and dog. 

The 45-year-old, who works in a bank in Marylebone, told News Shopper: "I’ve found 22 messages in bottles over the last two years alone.

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"I was thrilled when I found this letter - it’s amazing when you find a bottle with a letter curled up inside.

"I couldn’t believe we found the authors within 24 hours - I had tweeted Gravesend town centre manager Graham Long who retweeted it and then the aunt got in touch.

"I’m going to send a copy of the letter to the children and I’m hoping to speak to them about it.

"We once found a message in a bottle which just said ‘I want to be a power ranger. A red one’. 

"So we tracked down the mum of the little boy and then presented him with a red power ranger suit."

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Ms White, who grew up in Cornwall, revealed how river activity is causing older and more ancient finds to resurface.

She said: "The clipper boats have unearthed a lot of mud so we’re finding things which are centuries old.

"I’ve found incredible things like pilgrims badges from the 16th century, Victorian lead toys, military badges around Greenwich and beautiful jewellery. One of my favourite pieces is beautiful Georgian wax seal.

"The most poignant find was when we discovered a message with a bag of ashes. 

"The letter was from a woman whose sister had suddenly died and she wanted to make sure her sibling could continue to travel the world." 

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Ms White is devoted to uncovering the former lives of the hidden objects strewn across the shores.
She said: "I love the mystery and the hidden stories that you discover when you find something on the banks of the river, especially with a message in a bottle.

"You never know what you’ll find."

All of Ms White’s mudlarking exploits are revealed in her blog. Visit tidelineart.com

 

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