Library book about manners returned after 32 years on loan - £800 fine waived

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A Catholic school in Peterborough have had a library book sent back - 32 years after someone borrowed it. It arrived in an envelope from an anonymous sender - with a note making reference to 'Catholic guilt'.

Receptionist Rosie Roe from St John Fisher Catholic High School in Peterborough found this library book had been returned in the post and was amazed to discover it had last been borrowed way back in 1989.

The note attached read: "Sorry! Just 32 years overdue! Call it Catholic guilt."

The apologetic note was at least in keeping with the subject of the book - 'Manners Make A Difference'.

I found it quite comical but it was lovely to receive back into school and then I realised 32 years ago I was actually a pupil at the school and I was disappointed to find there was no name in there.

Rosie Roe
The book about manners came with a tongue-in-cheek apology about its late return Credit: ITV News Anglia

Because the book was borrowed back in 1989 it predates any form of computer record at the library, so they have no idea who took it out. But they'd love to know who had the book for all those years - and they say there's no need to feel guilty.

When it was loaned out in February 1989 the Berlin Wall was still standing. It was the year the World Wide Web was invented. And Margaret Thatcher had yet to be ousted by her Conservative Party. There have been seven prime ministers in the time the book was on loan. Back in 1989 the school's fine for returning a library book late would have accrued at a rate of 50p a week which, if levied now, would mean a bill of well over £800.

Luckily the school says it doesn't issue fines any longer. The book is a bit outdated so it won't be available to borrow from the school library. Instead it's on display as a reminder that manners really do make a difference even after a third of a century.