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70-year-old mince pies discovered under hotel floorboards

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A 70-year-old tin of mince pies has been discovered under the floor of a hotel, with the festive treats perfectly preserved.

The pastry-based delights were initially found in 1998 during a renovation of the Loch Hotel in Douglas on the Isle of Man but were put in storage and forgotten for the next 10 years at the Manx Museum on the island, according to a BBC report.

It turns out that the pies were a gift from a mother to her sailor son, Able Seaman Phil Davis, who was attending a naval radar training school on the Isle of Man during World War II.

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The Manx Museum’s curator of social history, Matthew Richardson, said this about the discovery: “Here was a young man, possibly away for the first time in his life, training to go to a war zone. We can only imagine what his mother was feeling as she posted this tin to him.”

Accompanying the ‘Squirrel Confections’ tin was a letter from the mother. “We will be glad to see you when you do get to leave”, she wrote. “Best, love from mum” was how she signed off her note.

The one remaining mystery surrounding the mince pie recovery is why Davis never got around to eating his sweet present. The Manx Museum’s Richardson used his expertise and experience to speculate: “Perhaps he was posted away at short notice and didn’t have time to retrieve them.”

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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