The letter from Traceline…


I’m back in London and after several hours of pottering around, I finally get the nerve to open the letter on my doorstep. I already knew the content of the letter, but nonetheless I’ve been circling it since lunch-time. Most important notes: they’re not sure this guy is my father, and I may have to wait months before I get any more information. On the other hand, assuming the guy is my father, that means he’s findable. One way or another, he’s findable and he’s out there. At which point, screw his personal preferences, I guess I move to a different kind of searching. I’m not going to give up at this stage…

Dear Mr Coates,

In response to your recent application, details have been traced which would appear to relate to the above-named person and we are prepared to write to him asking for permission to forward a letter from yourself.

Would you please now submit an open letter, together with a further non-refundable remittance of £25.00. Cheques should be made payable to ONS (please quote the reference number above with all correspondence). Please note, sealed letters will be opened for inspection.

Please do not include photographs or any personal items.

Given permission to do so, your letter will be passed on.

If however a negative response is received or, if at the end of three months there has been no response, your letter will be returned to you.

Yours sincerely, etc.