Mystery of silver trophy sent from Norfolk

Rob GarrattA mysterious package sent from a Norfolk address has caused a conundrum to historians at a museum in Scotland.Rob Garratt

A mysterious package sent from a Norfolk address has caused a conundrum to historians at a museum in Scotland.

Staff at the station museum of a north Scottish RAF base are trying to unravel the riddle of the 50-year-old silver cup that arrived in the post unannounced.

The only thing to trace the puzzling package is a Thetford postmark, with no covering letter or return address.

The 22cm trophy, described as resembling a "mini-FA Cup", is inscribed with the title of the Caird Challenge Cup, and arrived at the RAF Lossiemouth museum in November.

Station historian Tony Carlin says it is the only time in his five years in charge of the museum that he has been stumped by an anony-mous donation.

He said: "People send in all sorts of stuff, but normally people send a covering letter or something - this is the first time I've had something completely out of the blue and it's really very odd.

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"I'd love to know the story behind it."

Sgt Carlin traced the surname Caird to a midshipman, who died in a flying accident at RNAS Lossiemouth in 1952.

The trophy's lid is inscribed with a message from the naval cadet's parents which reads: "In memory of Midshipman A.J. Caird from his parents Lt Col & Mrs G.A. Haward and Family 24th June 1952."

The historian has made inquiries to uncover more about the cup and its namesake, but has hit a dead end and is now appealing to people in Norfolk to shed some light on the mystery.

Sgt Carlin, who lived in Suffolk and served at RAF Wattisham, RAF Honington and RAF Mildenhall, in the 1990s, added: "The only thing we have to identify it is the Thetford postmark and we really want to hear from anyone who can shed some light.

"It's a lovely trophy of a substantial size, which is very ornate, but the most interesting thing about it is its got a personal touch - it's got someone's name on it and we'd love to know more about him. It's like a jigsaw - if you find one missing piece you can put it back together."

Anyone with information about the cup is invited to contact Sgt Carlin by email on carlinaw446@ or by mail at QCIT, RAF Lossiemouth, Lossiemouth, Elgin, IV31 6SD.