A message in a toy time capsule thrown out to sea has been traced back to Walkden nearly 25 years later.

Paul Pavlou, who lives in Walkden, says he was made aware of the Facebook Group Walkden Community Group when a mention of his old landline number caught family and friends’ attention.

Toby, aged 8, after finding the Walkden based toy time capsule that has been floating around the British seas for almost 25 years. Image via. Molly Petter on Facebook.

He took a look and saw his name mentioned in a post that he “just could not quite believe.”

Mum Molly Petter had identified the area code and said she was trying to track down a Paul from Walkden after her son had discovered the toy trimaran in a remote bay in West Sussex.

The post read: “Hello! My son found this little time capsule on the beach in Prinsted, West Sussex!!

“A long way from Southport. We have tried ringing the number but it says it’s not in service any more. Southport Facebook group have suggested the area code is for Walkden?

“We have since found out this type of Kinder egg was made in the late ’90s so may have been floating around for 25 years! Would be great if we could find the person who sent it. The name on the note is Paul – doesn’t narrow it down

“What I love mostly about this story is my son who found the boat spends his spare time building model boats and we also have a trimaran!”

Forty-two-year-old Paul, who’s telephone number has been disconnected for several years, responded via Facebook.

The mystery note, linked to Walkden based Paul, that was found in a toy trimaran off the coast of Prinsted, West Sussex. Image via. Molly Petter on Facebook.

He spoke to Molly’s son Toby, eight , who had found the toy in between some rocks whilst walking the dog.

Molly, who lives in Bosham, said: “Toby had been playing with the boat for a few days before and we were driving along when he opened it, surprised to find the note he had been unknowingly carrying around for a few days.”

The message was written on a torn piece of paper and read: If found ring this number: 0161 790 **** (origin north west – southport) and ask for Paul.

Molly said they attempted to call the number but when they received no response, decided to try to find Paul on Facebook.

Since then, Paul has told his story to his many ‘fans’ on the original Walkden Community Group post: “I called Toby and Molly after messaging them on Facebook. We had a good chat about the find, the story behind the capsule, and having come from seafaring stock myself, a surprising amount of nautical interests.

“Young Toby is a budding naval architect and is currently focusing his attention and skills on trimarans, given that Jake (Toby’s dad) already makes sea/ocean going trimarans I’m sure he’s going to be successful.

Toby likes to make model trimaran boats in his spare time. Image via. Molly Petter on Facebook.

“How fitting that the Kinder trimaran was found by someone who’s so involved with trimarans.”

Thinking back to how the capsule came to be, Paul explained how he had “no recollection of sending off any capsule to sea”.

“The handwriting isn’t mine, plus I would have dated the note. When the toy was first made I would have been in my 20s which isn’t an age at which anyone else would be writing such a note on my request.

“I do recall that around the early 2000s many of my peer group were playing practical jokes on each other with hideously named letters and parcels so there’s a chance someone in that group may be responsible.”

The handwriting of the note is now a key piece of evidence in his investigations.

“I have my suspicions but am unable to ask all of them as one passed a couple of years ago. I might still be able to find out if it was them but it’ll be a delicate task.”

To read Paul’s comment click this link.

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