Letchworth daughter tracks down letter poem writer for dad - after 26 years

PUBLISHED: 07:03 30 May 2019

Allan Tansley and Gary Parker had a surprise meeting at Molly's Tea Room in Hitchin. Picture: Lisa Tansley

Allan Tansley and Gary Parker had a surprise meeting at Molly's Tea Room in Hitchin. Picture: Lisa Tansley

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A one-off poetry writer from Letchworth was surprised after his daughter arranged for him to meet a man 26 years after exchanging letters - in the form of a poem.

Allan and Gary exchanged letters 26 years ago and recently met for the first time in Hitchin. Picture: Lisa TansleyAllan and Gary exchanged letters 26 years ago and recently met for the first time in Hitchin. Picture: Lisa Tansley

Now 83 years old, Allan Tansley had kept letters exchanged between him and a Enfield-based Lombard Tricity Finance Ltd employee regarding a payment plan for a TV.

When Allan had not received notification that his loan had been paid off, he wrote to the company seeking confirmation - in the form of a poem.

Allan's poem read: "My telly's nice, it's doing fine, I do not know if it is mine.

"For no acknowledgement has been sent, for all the money that I've spent."

After sending a poem to enquire about his TV loan in 1993, Allan Tansley received a poem in response. Picture: Lisa TansleyAfter sending a poem to enquire about his TV loan in 1993, Allan Tansley received a poem in response. Picture: Lisa Tansley

Mr Tansley's quirky letter was met with an equally poetic response, signed G.J Parker, the section manager of the customer services department at the time.

It read: "Your recent letter written in rhyme, Has been passed to me for a reply in quick time.

"I'm sorry that you have had trouble, I'll put things right - at the double."

Last month, Allan's daughter Lisa found the letters - and she was determined to track down G.J Parker.

Allan Tansley and Gary Parker had a surprise meeting at Molly's Tea Room in Hitchin. Picture: Lisa TansleyAllan Tansley and Gary Parker had a surprise meeting at Molly's Tea Room in Hitchin. Picture: Lisa Tansley

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She told the Comet: "I couldn't believe he had even written the poem. I decided I had to track down the man who replied, and found this Facebook page called Enfield Past and Present in photos.

"They had 14,000 members, and my post had a lot of comments and shares."

Within days, Lisa had tracked down Gary Parker and had arranged a phone conversation with him and Allan.

After forming a friendship, Lisa and Gary's wife Lesley secretly arranged for them to meet in person.

Much to their surprise, Allan, Gary, Lesley and Lisa's sister Angie shared an afternoon tea at Molly's Tea Room in Hitchin earlier this month.

Allan said: "It really was a surprise to see him - now we keep in contact. I think he was as surprised as me.

"I just wanted confirmation that I had paid for the TV."

Gary added: "I used to reply to about 50 or 60 letters a day, but I remember getting that letter through and I was having quite a bad day at the time.

"He wrote it in such a way, it was a one-off experience. It was lovely to know that all these years later that the letters had an impact.

"It was lovely to meet him and his daughters, and a complete surprise."

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