CHESTERFIELD: Astonishing coincidence - or hand of fate?

Peter Dodds and his brother Ian with the postcard and the book it was found in after 30 years when it was bought at the Ashgate Charity Shop
Peter Dodds and his brother Ian with the postcard and the book it was found in after 30 years when it was bought at the Ashgate Charity Shop

Peter Dodds says he doesn’t believe in “ghostly goings-on” but after an astonishing event, even he wonders if it was mere coincidence... or the hand of fate?

Mr Dodds, 70, of Loundsley Green, Chesterfield, bought a biography of Winston Churchill from Ashgate Croft charity shop and while reading it a postcard fell out.

As he turned it over he recognised the address and realised that unbelievably it was one sent from his brother to his mother, over 20 years ago.

Mr Dodds, who lives with his wife Lorna on Gower Crescent, said: “I half expected Mulder and Scully to turn up.

“It’s just one of those stories you wouldn’t believe.”

The postcard from Washington DC was sent by his brother Ian McCollum, 65, who lives in Newbold, to their mother Nellie in 1988.

Mrs McCollum died in 1999 but had lived at Hawkinge House, in Chesterfield.

After her death the brothers donated some of her books to the home’s library and somehow the book has made its way to the charity shop, off Cuttholme Road.

Mr Dodds believes the book, which was published in 1979 and cost him 50p, originally belonged to his father, who was also a Winston Churchill fan.

He added: “It’s so strange because I walk past the charity shop daily and often have a browse at the books. I’d not seen this one before so it must have only just been dropped off. It was as if it was meant to be. I’m not the sort of person who belives in ghostly goings-on or anything like that, but it certainly is a strange coincidence.”

He added: “I phoned Ian up and said I’ve had a postcard from you. He was absolutely amazed.

“I’d love to know who donated the book and where it’s been on its travels. I normally donate my books back to charity but I think I’ll be hanging on to this one.”