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.
We have a winner!! The most bizarre letter ever received @theipaper Anyone else had ham through the post?
But there is a long tradition of corresponding with newspapers. It was what people did before Twitter existed.
@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.
Some people write letters so obsessively they become like old friends. Old, angry friends.
@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.
Letters are good way to judge the public mood. You do a serious story, they send you sexy poems.
@psmith In response to an article on cross-border taxation we received a self-published book of erotic poetry from a nice trans lady.
Or things about knickers.
.@psmith when I worked on Birmingham papers we received a letter every week which always without fail referenced the word ‘knickers’
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
Serious letter writers branch out into faxes too. Extra points are given for the use of unusual stationery.
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.
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
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
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.
@psmith following on a similar theme Coronation St used to receive new glasses and cash for Jack Duckworth to replace his pair