Message in a bottle leads to a pirate adventure

Sharon Williams found a message in a bottle.'Picture by Jane Coltman
Sharon Williams found a message in a bottle.'Picture by Jane Coltman

A father and his young daughter, who addressed a message in a bottle to a pirate, were in for a major surprise – when they were contacted by a buccaneer-dressing radio presenter, after the letter was found at Alnmouth beach.

Chris Kiely and two-year-old Willow, from Huddersfield, sent the bottle out to sea while they were staying at Wooler Water a few weeks ago.

Jolly Roger.

Jolly Roger.

They addressed the message to Pirate Roger – a random name, selected for fun – and encouraged whoever found it to write back to them.

The bottle was discovered by Sharon Williams, from Warkworth, at the end of last month, who then posted news of the discovery on Facebook. As a result, Roger Daniel, from Berwick, who goes by the name of Jolly Roger and often dresses as a pirate – decided to contact the Kielys. He sent a picture of himself in his buccaneer regalia and has made Willow part of his pirate crew.

Chris, 41, said: “We threw it out to sea and waited to see what would happen. We thought we would do it for a bit of fun and we chose the name Pirate Roger.

“For the message in a bottle to be found and then have a guy who calls himself a pirate and dresses like one to get in touch was a bit mad.”

The plastic bottle contained stones, 42p, a tiny ring and a sachet of Nescafé.

The message, written on reporter notebook paper, read: ‘To Pirate Roger. My name is Willow Kiely and I am two and a half years old. I live in Huddersfield in the UK and if you find this bottle can you please send a picture to (contact details). Safe journey. Willow Kiely’.

There were two child drawings in crayon enclosed on one sheet of paper, one was blue scribble, the other orange.

Sharon, who found the bottle, said: “I came across it while I was doing a litterpick and I put it on Facebook to see if anyone knew who Pirate Roger was or who the letter was addressed to.”

Jolly Roger, 67, a radio presenter for Lionheart Radio and Radio Northumberland, among other stations, was only too happy to help.

He said: “Because I am known as Jolly Roger, somebody said on Facebook that the little girl must have meant me, so I responded to the message. I contacted her father first and then, with his blessing, I sent her a letter, containing a photo of me in my pirate outfit and an invitation to join my pirate crew.”