Posted on Jan 29, 2015

    A Husband Breaks Down In Tears After Lost Voicemail Message By His Late Wife Is Recovered

    "It’s just a wonderful, wonderful sound that I thought was lost forever.”

    Stan Beaton had kept a voicemail from his late wife for 14 years when an upgrade to his phone line caused the recording to be deleted.

    BBC Radio Leeds / Via

    Work by Virgin Media caused the message, which was left by Beaton's wife, Ruby, two years before her death in 2003, to be erased last month, the BBC reported.

    The clip was recorded by Ruby to serve as the message people would hear when they called Beaton's phone.

    The 68-year-old told BBC Radio Leeds: "I've always resisted changing companies because whenever I mentioned that my wife's voice was our voicemail message and would it be retained and each company said no, so that's why I never changed.

    "Sadly it disappeared. I was absolutely devastated by it, but also extremely angry.

    "In the early days [I listened to it] quite often. Basically, it came to the point when if I felt low then I would listen to it.

    "In December I learned that it had disappeared. I just could not tell people how it affected me at that time. It really did devastate me."

    Then, having heard Beaton's story, a team of 11 engineers decided to try to recover the deleted audio recording.

    Rob Evans, executive director of engineering at Virgin Media, told the BBC the task was like searching for a needle in a haystack.

    "The chances of its recovery were slim," he admitted.

    But after three days of searching, the team found the message on Friday.

    This is Beaton hearing his late wife's message after it was recovered:

    View this video on YouTube

    He said afterwards: "It's just a wonderful, wonderful sound that I thought was lost forever."

    BBC Radio Leeds / Via

    "I'm staggered at the lengths they have gone to."

    "They've made this old-age pensioner extremely happy," he told the BBC.

    BBC Radio Leeds / Via

    Virgin Media is sending Beaton a CD of the recording and the retired forklift truck driver plans on thanking whoever delivers it in style.

    “I’ve got a nice bottle of Glenfiddich with their name on it,” he told the Huddersfield Examiner.

    Following the incident, Virgin pledged to make a series of donations to charities of Beaton's choice as an apology.

    Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Richard James at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here