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Iris returns book from Isle of Dogs library 70 years late!

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 05 October 2010

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

A LIBRARY book borrowed in 1939 is finally being returned—70 years overdue. Piano-playing Iris Chadwick borrowed the score of the musical Rose Marie from Cubitt Town Library on the Isle of Dogs when she was 13.

A LIBRARY book borrowed in 1939 is finally being returned—70 years overdue.

Piano-playing Iris Chadwick borrowed the score of the musical Rose Marie (pictured) from Cubitt Town Library on the Isle of Dogs when she was 13.

But the War broke out that September and returning the book just got overlooked. The book has sat in her piano stool ever since.

Iris, now 83, grew up and married and moved away from East London to live in Dorset with her husband of 63 years.

CHILDHOOD

“I’ve hung on to the book for so long because it was part of my childhood,” she admitted.

“It brings back memories of the teacher who caught me playing the piano. Instead of telling me off, she told me to go to the library and borrow the music.”

Iris was clearing out her house when she came across the book with the Poplar borough council’ stamp in it.

HONESTY

She submitted an online form to Tower Hamlets Council which took over from Poplar council in 1965.

“Would you like to have this, or should I just scrap it?” she asked. “After 70 years, I really could not afford to pay the fine!”

The library fine’ at 10p a day over the 70 years, at today’s prices, would be £2,500. But there is a maximum for overdue books of £2.

Town Hall bosses were so delighted at Iris’s honesty after 70 years, however, that they have waived the overdue’ charge. They have opened amnesty for overdue books which runs out October 31.


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