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Overdue book donated back to library after 30 years

PUBLISHED: 16:31 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:31 22 October 2019

'Trance' was returned to Bungay Community Library more than three decades after being checked out from Beccles Library. PHOTO: Suffolk Libraries

'Trance' was returned to Bungay Community Library more than three decades after being checked out from Beccles Library. PHOTO: Suffolk Libraries

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A library book checked out more than 30 years ago has been returned to a Suffolk library.

Enjoy Beccles Photo Quiz.    Bungay Library.
Picture: Nick ButcherEnjoy Beccles Photo Quiz. Bungay Library. Picture: Nick Butcher

In August 1989, one library-goer in Beccles checked out 'Trance', by Derek Lambert, with the two-week loan expiring on September 1.

The book tells the story of a top fashion model found with amnesia and is described as "mixing the acid menace of a psychokiller with the hard grit of a classic police procedural."

More than three decades passed before the book was handed in to Bungay Community Library, on Wharton Street, as part of a pile of donations to the library.

Amanda King, library manager, said: "We just had a laugh about it because the lady who returned it said her daughter had been having a clear out and have her a load of books to donate to us.

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"As we were looking through them, I noticed there was a library book that they hadn't realised was there.

"When we had a look at the date we found it was due back in 1989.

"If there had been a fine it could have been quite substantial. We charge 15p a day now but it does max out and I'm sure there would have been a similar cap in place back then.
"The other thing we noticed was that this hardback cost £6.99. Nowadays hardbacks are usually worth about £20.

"We'd like to see all our books come back, no matter how late. If you have got books to donate and pass on, they're welcome too."

In May, a mystery visitor returned a book to Lowestoft Library 52 years after it was originally due back.

The returnee also left a note saying they were "extremely embarrassed" and a £100 apology cheque to cover the late fee, which would have been £33 and 10 shillings.

At the time, James Powell, marketing and communications manager at Suffolk Libraries, said: "We'd always rather keep customers so if someone is embarrassed about returning a very overdue book, we'd encourage them to talk to us."


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