PG WODEHOUSE would be proud of people in Chard and Ilminster.

The great comic novelist – the author of the Bertie Wooster and Jeeves books – is famously reputed never to have bothered to post his letters.

He would stamp and address the envelope and toss them from his window, reasoning that the people of Britain were honest and public-spirited enough to pick them up and pop them in a post box.

The author wrote: “Someone always picks it up and it saves me going down four flights of stairs every time I want to mail a letter.”

The News has tested his theory and the people of Chard and Ilminster have excelled themselves, returning 17 of the 20 letters which were stamped, addressed and left in locations around both town centres on Thursday, June 5.

They were not dropped randomly – we did not want to litter – but they were put in places where people might have forgotten them – phone boxes, banks, shops, newsagents and on cafe and pub tables.

In just 24 hours, ten of the letters had been returned, five from Chard and five from Ilminster.

Three arrived on Saturday, June 7, and two more letters made it back by Tuesday, June 10.

One arrived on Wednesday, June 11, and one even arrived almost two weeks later on Tuesday, June 17.

Only one was opened and then re-sealed before being posted.

Mayor of Chard Jenny Kenton said she was delighted to see how honest people had been.

She said: “You only have to see how many local people give up their time to help all of the voluntary groups in our towns to see how public spirited we are.

“I would think that most people who found a letter with a stamp on it would pop it in the post – I think it reflects what a good community spirit we have in the towns.”

Ilminster Mayor Emma Jane Taylor added: “It’s good to hear the residents of Chard and Ilminster are more than happy to do a good deed.”

A similar test in Taunton town centre saw only 12 out of 20 letters returned.

Below is a list of which letters were posted and where, and which ones were returned to us.

  •  Would you ignore a lost letter or post it yourself ? Let us know the reasons behind your decision by commenting below.

1 Tesco Ilminster – RETURNED
2 Barclays Ilminster – RETURNED
3 Ilminster Arts Centre – RETURNED
4 Co-operative Ilminster – RETURNED
5 Ilminster Town Council offices – RETURNED
6 Dog and Country, in Silver Street, Ilminster – RETURNED
7 Ilminster Bookshop – NOT RETURNED
8 ATM in Ilminster Square – RETURNED
9 McColl’s newsagents in East Street, Ilminster – NOT RETURNED
10 A trolley outside Tesco Ilminster – RETURNED
11 Tesco in Chard – RETURNED
12 ATM Tesco in Chard – RETURNED
13 Telephone box in High Street, Chard – RETURNED
14 Toilet block in Sainsbury’s car park, Chard – RETURNED
15 Lidl, Chard – RETURNED
16 Cerdic Wetherspoon – NOT RETURNED
17 Co-operative Chard – RETURNED
18 Eleos coffee shop, Fore Street, Chard – RETURNED
19 Guildhall Chard – RETURNED
20 Morrisons, Chard – RETURNED