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Girl in a million - Robyn’s message in a bottle is discovered by Frenchman who had been writing to someone in Horncastle for 40 years

Robyn Hughes EMN-140429-104645001

Robyn Hughes EMN-140429-104645001

Horncastle teenager Robyn Hughes is a girl in a million after it emerged she is at the centre of an amazing ‘message in a bottle’ story.

Robin, 17, never even expected a reply when she tossed the bottle into the English Channel after a family holiday in France.

It was discovered by a man strolling along a deserted beach in France.

Against all the odds, that man had been writing to another Horncastle resident...for more than 40 years.

In yet another twist, the man - Henri Perroy - was hundreds of miles away from his own home in the village of Archettes when he discovered Robyn’s bottle.

Robyn admits she couldn’t believe it when she received a letter from Mr Perroy, casually explaining he had regularly written to a pen pal in Horncastle.

Robyn, a sixth form pupil at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, explained: “We were on our way back from holiday in France when my dad suggested we should all throw a message in a bottle into the sea.

“I thought it was stupid, a bit naff...I didn’t even want to do it.

“I suppose I was bored and just did it to shut him up.

“There were four of us who threw the bottles into the sea.

“They were all in Coca-Cola bottles and I never thought anything about it.

“Then, this letter appeared on our doorstep from France.

“When I opened it and read about the Horncastle connection, it felt weird, totally weird. I couldn’t believe it.

“This random guy from some random village in France had seen my bottle on the beach and picked it up.

“What’s remarkable is he’d been writing to someone who lived in Horncastle for over 40 years...since they were both young boys together.

“He didn’t know anything about me, except the address, He knew a lot about Horncastle - and the surrounding area.

“They were all in Coca-Cola bottles and I never thought anything about it.

“Then, this letter appeared on our doorstep.

“When I opened it and read about the Horncastle connection, it felt weird, totally weird. I couldn’t believe it.

“This random guy from some random village in France had seen my bottle on the beach and picked iit up.

“What’s remarkable is he’d already been writing to someone who lived in Horncastle for over 40 years, since they were both young boys.

“It’s an amazing coincidence. I don’t know what the odds are. It must be millions to one.”

Robyn’s stepmum, Jayne Armstrong, owns a dry cleaning business in Horncastle town centre.

The pair are sure they know the identity of Mr Perroy’s local pen pal and believe he often walks by the shop.

Mrs Armstrong explains: “He always waves to us but we’ve never actually spoken to him. I don’t know whether he knows about the message in the bottle.

“It could be a bit embarrassing if it wasn’t him.”

Robyn and her family have exchanged Christmas cards with Mr Perroy and she is writing a letter to him, which this time will be sent via the Post Office.

She added: “I’m doing A-level French so it will be good practice.”

The family will return to France this summer to visit the grave of Robyn’s great grandfather who was killed in the opening stages of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

They have no plans to arrange to see Mr Perroy because Archettes is in north east France.

 

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