Martin Goulding with Chris Gibbs and matchbox

A retired stonemason who left a matchbox buried in a wall at Beeston Castle has been reunited with it – more than 50 years later!

Martin Goulding, now 78, left the box and a note inside buried in a supporting wall of a toilet block he helped to erect in the ancient castle grounds back in 1964.

Then a couple of weeks ago, work started on refurbishing the toilet block and conservation work to the Victorian gatehouse.

That’s when workman Chris Gibbs found the box.

Now, after the powers of Facebook helped English Heritage track retired Martin down, he has visited the castle once more to be reunited with it.

Martin, who lives in Chester, said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant to be back here.

“It’s brought back some old memories, and I’ve met some old friends and made some new ones.

“I never dreamed when I put that in the wall nearly 55 years ago that we’d be back here reminiscing more than half a century later!

“I encourage everyone to pay Beeston Castle a visit. It’s a fantastic spot, and I consider it my spiritual home.”

matchbox found in Beeston Castle wall

English Heritage put messages out on social media n a bid to trace Martin down using information from the note.

Stone Edge’s Chris Gibbs, who found the matchbox, said: “It was amazing to find it.

“The modern 1960s wall was coming down in big chunks and something just caught my eye.

“I couldn’t believe it!

“Finding it is one thing but it’s all the more remarkable to find the actual man who put it in there, some 55 years ago.”

Martin Goulding stonemason matchbox

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