Overdue book donated back to library after 30 years

'Trance' was returned to Bungay Community Library more than three decades after being checked out fr

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

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 Butcher

Enjoy Beccles Photo Quiz. Bungay Library.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: 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.

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"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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