BY Neil Goodwin
WHEN short-sighted pensioner Alf Spence tottered down to his local postbox to send a card, he hoped he hadn’t missed the last collection.
But as he popped the envelope through the little slot a concerned passerby looked at him with a stunned expression.
The Good Samaritan tapped befuddled Alf, 91, on the shoulder and explained to him that he wasn’t stood in front of a postbox but had in fact posted his great-grandson’s birthday card into a council DOG POO waste bin!
Partially-blind Alf, of Bedale, North Yorks, is now facing up to the fact he’s been “posting” his letters, cards and competition entries into a box of steaming pooch turd for the past TWO YEARS! The World War II veteran, who was part of the ill-fated Dieppe Raid in 1942, told Sunday Sport: “I walked down to the postbox, like I do every week, and began placing our Tommy’s third birthday card in the little slot.
“A woman walking her dog came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder, and asked what I was doing.
“I thought she was going to cry when I told her. She held my hand and pointed out that the postbox was on the other side of the road.
“I’ve not got the best eyesight these days but even so, the postbox and the dog dirt box are almost identical. They’re both red, the same shape and stuck on a post.
“I bet I’m not the only pensioner to get confused. The bloody council should never have put them so close together.”
Alf has since contacted Royal Mail telling them to cancel their investigation into the hundreds of missing letters and parcels he’s sent over the last two years.
The widower, who lost his wife Betsie to the sea in 1989, said: “I accused them of losing my post, saying their service was rubbish. I now owe them an apology.”
Alf ’s daughter Susan May, 59, told Sunday Sport she was relieved the riddle of the missing letters had finally been solved.
The mum of four, from Luton, Beds, said: “Every time I asked dad if he’d remembered one of kids’ birthdays, he’d say, ‘Yes, there’s a cheque in the post’.
“When they never showed up we thought he was either losing his marbles or was just plain lying. “So it’s nice to know he was at least trying, bless him.”
She added: “What I’d like to know is why the people who empty the dog poo box have never wondered why Dad’s letters are in there.
“Surely they could have passed them on to Royal Mail or forwarded them on to the addressees with a letter saying where they were found?”
A source at North Yorkshire District Council confirmed they had erected the red dog waste bins in June 2009 –– around the time when Alf’s mail started mysteriously ‘disappearing’.