A former schoolboy who took out a library book in 1949 has finally returned it, but he didn’t just return the book, he brought along £1,500 to cover the fine. UK Metro News reports:
Sir James Tidmarsh, 82, came across the long-forgotten copy of Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham as he was clearing his shelves. When he opened the collection of spy stories, he found the stamp of posh Taunton School, Somerset. He explained: “My first thought when I saw the stamps was that I should keep quiet about it, but the fact was it clearly did belong there.
“They were rather bewildered when I told them, it was a very long time ago that I took it out, it was around 1949. “I vividly remember reading it as a schoolboy, and before I took it back I re-read it. “I paid the money because I thought it would be a kind thing, I thought they would be able to buy more books with it.”
Sir James, the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol from 1996 to 2007, returned to the £33,000-a-year school in person with the book and a donation to its charitable foundation.
Neil Longstreet, director of the foundation, said: “We were absolutely delighted to accept the return of his library book, together with an extraordinarily generous cheque to cover the appropriate ‘fine’.” If the school had pursued the overdue fee after 65 years, the true charge would have been £2,847.