Cora’s surprise letter is special delivery for granny Anne

When seven-year-old Cora Kelly Bell wrote a surprise letter to her granny in Northern Ireland, she decided to set a special challenge for the postman.

Cora, who lives in Stirling in Scotland, addressed her letter simply with ‘Anne, who takes photographs of Fair Head, Ballycastle, N Ireland’.

Grandmother Anne Kelly was left stunned when the letter dropped through her letterbox less than 24 hours later.

Anne is a keen amateur photographer who has developed quite a reputation with her images of the scenic north Antrim coast. She specialises in pictures of Fair Head, a stunning cliff near her Ballycastle home.

The letter which Cora wrote to her grandmother Anne Kelly (Anne Kelly/PA)
The letter which Cora wrote to her grandmother Anne Kelly (Anne Kelly/PA)

She explained: “My daughter Orla lives in Scotland with Cora and her sister Sarah. They would miss me and I miss them.

“They would quite often write wee letters to us, wee drawings that the girls have done and post it to myself and my husband Brian.

“I would then take a wee video then of Brian opening the letters and send it back to Orla to let the girls see.

“They talked about me, and the fact that I take photographs of Fair Head and that I was quite well known for that, so they thought it would make me happy if they did a letter.

Anne Kelly with the letter she received from her granddaughter Cora (Anne Kelly/PA)
Anne Kelly with the letter she received from her granddaughter Cora (Anne Kelly/PA)

“Cora wrote the message on the inside and then they talked about what they would write on the outside of the envelope. So they thought they would just put ‘Anne, who takes photos of Fair Head, Ballycastle’.”

She added: “They put a first class stamp on it and sent it from Stirling. They thought no way is that going to get to us, they assumed it would get lost in the post.

“They posted it at 11am one day and it arrived with me within 24 hours.

“It was a challenge to the postman to see if he could get the letter to granny. The postman passed it with flying colours.

Cora writing her special letter to grandmother Anne Kelly (Anne Kelly/PA)
Cora writing her special letter to grandmother Anne Kelly (Anne Kelly/PA)

“It was just dropped in the letterbox. I saw it and I thought it was somebody wanting to ask me something about a photograph I took.

“After I opened it I sent a message to the postman, telling him that I hoped it wasn’t too much trouble, and he said it was a collective effort in the post office to make sure it got to me.

“I suppose they just forwarded it on to Ballycastle, and decided to let the postman sort it out from there.”

Anne said her whole family were left stunned that the letter had arrived.

“I am sure it is not the sort of thing Royal Mail would advise people to do!”

One of Anne Kelly’s photographs of the cliff at Fair Head near Ballycastle, Co Antrim (Anne Kelly/PA)
One of Anne Kelly’s photographs of the cliff at Fair Head near Ballycastle, Co Antrim (Anne Kelly/PA)

Anne explained her love of taking photographs of the north Antrim coast.

“When I see something nice I will have my phone or my camera with me and I have thousands of photographs on my computer. I never get round to deleting them. I love taking photographs, especially landscapes.

“I post quite a lot of photographs on Facebook and Twitter and sometimes they use my photos on the weather bulletins on BBC and UTV. People have just got to know that I take lots of photographs of Fair Head.

“I can see Fair Head from our back garden. I can see Scotland from our back garden.

“There is nowhere like the north coast, it is an amazing place for taking photographs.”