Someone Sent A Letter To “The Independent” Written On A Piece Of Ham

There are letters to the editor and then there are letters to the editor.

Newspapers are used to getting SPAM comments, but never before has a letter been partially written on HAM. The Independent was also sent a slice of bread for good measure.


Rhodri Jones

@jonesrhodri

We have a winner!! The most bizarre letter ever received @theipaper Anyone else had ham through the post?

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But there is a long tradition of corresponding with newspapers. It was what people did before Twitter existed.


Phil Lambell

@PhilLambell

@psmith Northern Echo had a regular who sent scraps of paper with 30-40 word comments on the news. Like twitter ahead of its time.

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Some people write letters so obsessively they become like old friends. Old, angry friends.


Alison Gow

@alisongow

@psmith we have someone who sends us missives every week, and who uses a ruler below their pen to write. It looks a bit terrifying.

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Letters are good way to judge the public mood. You do a serious story, they send you sexy poems.


Simon Elliott

@simeonides

@psmith In response to an article on cross-border taxation we received a self-published book of erotic poetry from a nice trans lady.

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Or things about knickers.


Kathryn Richards

@KatRichsays

.@psmith when I worked on Birmingham papers we received a letter every week which always without fail referenced the word ‘knickers’

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There is no limit to how long they can be.

@julesmattsson @psmith This lady writes to us about Barnet FC fairly often but she really went all out with this one

— Daniel O'Brien (@danobrien26)

Daniel O’Brien

@danobrien26

@julesmattsson @psmith This lady writes to us about Barnet FC fairly often but she really went all out with this one

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Serious letter writers branch out into faxes too. Extra points are given for the use of unusual stationery.

@psmith not just the locals, we get a weekly fax at the same time with a different incomprehensible message on a car mechanic's letterhead

— Jules Mattsson (@julesmattsson)

Or purple ink.

@psmith Doing PR for Foster's/Paul Hogan, I had a 20pp (purple-ink) letter threatening him with a choking-gas-vapour-gun.

— can-do comms (@NickCanDo)

can-do comms

@NickCanDo

@psmith Doing PR for Foster’s/Paul Hogan, I had a 20pp (purple-ink) letter threatening him with a choking-gas-vapour-gun.

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You do get the occasional smart-arse.

pbs.twimg.com

Then there’s the open letter, highlighting important, pressing issues in the community, like NHS cuts, fire station closures… and biscuits.

Twitter: @death_stairs

For some reason, people think that every newspaper has a gardening editor or an architecture correspondent (pro tip: they don’t).

A letter for our 'Gardening Editor'. I think the sender may have a skewed sense of the size of the @HarbMail team

— Ian O'Pray (@IanOPray)

Ian O’Pray

@IanOPray

A letter for our ‘Gardening Editor’. I think the sender may have a skewed sense of the size of the @HarbMail team

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Readers see newspapers as a public service - it’s the organ for their community. If you need info now, why not call and ask?

@psmith When I was at the Sheffield Star a bloke rang me to ask if he could make it out to get his pension & back before it rained #tangent

— Neil Sharman (@Sharmani)

Neil Sharman

@Sharmani

@psmith When I was at the Sheffield Star a bloke rang me to ask if he could make it out to get his pension & back before it rained #tangent

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And TV people get letters too of course.

@psmith used to process the letters for the Home and Away UK fan club. One person wrote to every member of the cast, every week.

— Jonathan Gladwin (@MrPew)

Jonathan Gladwin

@MrPew

@psmith used to process the letters for the Home and Away UK fan club. One person wrote to every member of the cast, every week.

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@psmith following on a similar theme Coronation St used to receive new glasses and cash for Jack Duckworth to replace his pair

— Jonathan Gladwin (@MrPew)

Jonathan Gladwin

@MrPew

@psmith following on a similar theme Coronation St used to receive new glasses and cash for Jack Duckworth to replace his pair

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Poor old Jack.

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
 
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