A BOOK that was over 75 years overdue was returned to a library in the Bradford district.

A Keighley librarian took to Twitter to tell the remarkable story of how This Way To The Tomb, a book about a play by Robert Duncan, was being returned to Keighley Library, on North Street.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: This Way to the Tomb was borrowed from Keighley Library on July 17, 1946.This Way to the Tomb was borrowed from Keighley Library on July 17, 1946.

In a series of tweets, the Keighley Library and Local Studies staff member wrote: "Yesterday we received an email about a very overdue book. A play by Ronald Duncan called This Way To The Tomb. It had come from the gentleman's late mother's house and was due back on the 17th July 1946. That is definitely a record for us, nearly 76 years overdue.

"The gentleman said: 'I'm more than happy to send it to you but less enthusiastic about paying any fine'.

"So I thought I'd work out what it would be if we charged the current rate of 15p per day. Total £3,552.45. We are awaiting the book's safe return home to put it on display.

"We have not charged any overdue fees for this book."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Eileen Hoyle, who grew up in HaworthEileen Hoyle, who grew up in Haworth

Charlie Studdy, who lives in Goole, told the T&A how he came across the book and talked about his mum Eileen Hoyle.

"It happened quite by chance," said Mr Studdy. "I was tidying up some bookshelves at the beginning of this week when I came across it.

"I didn't recognise it and so I believe it came from mother's house after we cleared it out when she passed away nine years ago."

Mr Studdy said that his mum, who lived and grew up in Haworth, likely borrowed the book from the library when she returned home for the holidays from university and forgot to take it back.

"Completely forgetting to take it back would have been so out of character for my mother," Mr Studdy said of his mum, who attended London University but was transferred to Cambridge University during World War II.

Mrs Hoyle was a regional manager for the Citizens Advice Bureau later in her life and was awarded an MBE for services to the bureau.

"My mother loved books all the way through her life," said Mr Studdy. "She was an avid reader until the end."

When asked about why she would have borrowed a book about a play, Mr Studdy said: "She wasn't in a university drama group as far as I know, but she was a very wide and enthusiastic reader, so it's not surprising she had a copy."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Keighley LibraryKeighley Library

Recalling his conversation with the Keighley librarian about the book and a potential £3,500 fine, Mr Studdy joked: "It was very funny. I would have denied all responsibility."

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