A secret message hidden on a Borrowdale fell for almost 70 years was discovered by a ten year old boy at the weekend. Arron Brannan, who was walking up Castle Crag on Sunday with his family, was digging around in the cairn at the top of the fell when, to his surprise, he unearthed an old tin box with a note inside.
The note stated: “Climbed on the 26th July 1951 by Anthony Vernon Hughes and John Brian Harden, both of the Peewit Patrol 13th Walsall Scout Troop, in camp at Hollows Farm Grange.” After Arron and his family became social media detectives, posting the note online. They managed to track down the two scouts named in the note, and have chatted to them and their families on the phone and via Facebook.
Former civil servant Anthony Hughes, who is 83-years-old, now lives in The Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. He lives with dementia but when he heard about the tin he remembered his time in the scouts and his friend Brian.
A Facebook post from Brian’s wife Judy confirmed it was he who had left the tin and note under the stones to mark the climb. The post said: “He (Brian) was so surprised and touched to see it again after all this time, a bit like someone getting a message in a bottle. He would dearly love to have it again and to give something for Aaron (Arron) finding it.”
Arron’s nana, Sarah Brannan, said: “Although we live in Carlisle we are a big walking family and often in the Lakes at the weekend. When Arron found the tin, he came running to me shouting ‘look what I have found nana’. He was just so excited. We thought about putting it back, but instead decided it might be better to see if we could find the two scouts.”
Social media played its part and since the weekend the Brannan family have received emails from Anthony’s family in The Solomon Islands and have spoken to Brian Harden.
Sarah added: “Now we seem to have a bit of a reunion going on with the two friends who are in their 80s getting in touch. We are hoping to send the tin and its little message to one of them.”