WITHIN just weeks of opening, staff at a vintage charity shop have found themselves trying to solve a real wartime mystery.

Lost and Found is a new lifestyle shop, which opened recently at The Station in Richmond and is modelled on a station lost property office from the 1940s.

And while stocking shelves retail co-coordinator Sarah Wilson came across the wartime riddle.

Tucked inside a copy of Charlotte Bronte’s Villette was a long-forgotten letter that sparked her curiosity.

The letter is addressed to a Miss R Chamley, or possibly Chamby, living at 2 Airethwaite in Kendal, and is postmarked November 1, 1943.

In it the writer, a soldier who signs himself Bob and who gives his address as Old Bull Cottages, Crank, St Helens, is replying to a letter he’d received from his old friend Ruth. Unfortunately there is no mention of Bob’s surname.

The letter is short and chatty and Bob talks about his time in the Army, going to the cinema in the nearby village of Rainford, flirting with girls - and also moans about the weather.

However beyond that there is little clue as to who he actually was, or what his relationship to Ruth was.

“It was lovely to find the letter from Bob,” said Sarah.

“Hearing about him flirting, dancing and going to the pictures was great fun and we only hope that the remaining war years were good to Bob too. If we could find out any more about Bob or Ruth it would be wonderful.”

The shop is now contacting both the addresses mentioned in the letter in the hope of finding out more and is also appealing for any information the public may have. Contact lostandfound@thestation.co.uk