Girl’s message-in-a-bottle sparks 50 years of friendship

Veronica Ward (left) and Britt Pedersen
Veronica Ward (left) and Britt Pedersen
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A MESSAGE in a bottle that was thrown into the sea more than half a century ago has resulted in an enduring friendship between two women living 500 miles apart.

Veronica Ward was 10 when she threw the message into the North Sea while on holiday in Skipsea, East Yorkshire, in 1959.

After a journey of about 500 miles the bottle was picked up six months later by 15-year-old Britt Pedersen on the tiny Norwegian island of NyHellesund.

The pair have since exchanged monthly letters, photographs, and birthday presents and have just enjoyed the latest of many meetings when Britt, now 68, came to see Veronica at her home in Ossett, West Yorkshire.

Veronica, now a retired caterer aged 64, said: “Britt and I have always got on. It’s marvellous that our friendship kept going all these years.

“I think it’s great that she has made so many friends over here too, all as a result of that bottle.”

Veronica has now been given custody of the bottle.

The message read: “Veronica Ward, aged 10, 57 The Green, Ossett, Yorkshire, England. Posted at Skipsea, May 31st 1959.”

Britt wrote back straight away, saying: “I think it was very strange that the bottle happened to land here on this island where I am living because I always wished to write to an English girl.”