Identity revealed of the man behind Elizabeth Castle’s ‘James Bond’ note

Annelis Michel and Debbie Blampied helped identify the author of the note written by their father, E A Blampied. Pictures: JERSEY HERITAG (37668692)

THE mystery of a James Bond note found during restoration work at Elizabeth Castle has been solved.

Jersey Heritage appealed for information after a letter which read “007 JAMES BOND, 26th Feb 1966. PS SECRET AGENT. DON’T TELL ANYBODY” was found in a glass bottle when a fireplace was unblocked in the 18th-century Officers’ Quarters.

The name “E.A Blampied” was written on the reverse side.

Annelis Michel and Debbie Blampied recently contacted the organisation to say they believed their late father, Edward Arnold Blampied, was the man behind the note.

Mr Blampied was not only working as a carpenter at the castle in 1966 and constructed the stairways in the Officers’ Quarters, but was also an avid James Bond fan.

Edward Blampied, who wrote a James Bond note and hid it at Elizabeth Castle Picture: JERSEY HERITAGE (37668512)

He was also renowned for hiding items in buildings, including the home he built for his family, where he stashed mementos and various messages in bottles in the walls.

Mr Blampied, who died in 1984, also encouraged his daughters to throw messages in bottles into the sea, in the hope that someone would read them and send a reply.

Jersey Heritage’s historic buildings officer Harvey Doolan, who was the archaeologist on site when the note was discovered, said: “We are delighted to have solved the mystery and very grateful to Annelis and Debbie for coming forward.

“Having spoken at length with them about their father and his life, and checked the note against examples of Edward’s handwriting, we’re sure he was the author.

“He used a very distinctive ‘th’ after the date, which is present on the note and on another letter he wrote that they showed us.

“In addition, it transpires that Edward was almost as daring as the fictional secret agent whose name was inscribed upon the note, having received a medal for his time in Cyprus with the Royal Signal Corps and he also served in Iraq.

“His period of military service explains why the note was found with pages from the Reville newspaper, which was first published during the Second World War as an ex-servicemen’s newspaper and continued to be published until the 1970s.”

The note written by Edward Blampied and hidden at Elizabeth Castle Picture: JERSEY HERITAGE (37668666)

Mr Doolan added that there was the chance another of the notes could be discovered at one of the Island’s heritage sites, as Mr Blampied was also employed at Mont Orgueil Castle when renovation works were carried out during the 1960s.

He also revealed that, in a remarkable coincidence, one of Mr Blampied’s grandsons is currently working on the restoration project at Elizabeth Castle.

Ms Blampied said: “When my sister first heard it on Channel 103, we were both excited and immediately thought of our dad.

“It was something we knew he did and always used to sign his name as ‘E. A. Blampied’.

“When Jersey Heritage asked if anyone recognised the note, we spent a lovely day with our mum looking through old photos and letters, sharing memories.

“We were happy to have had it confirmed and wouldn’t be surprised if other notes are discovered in other locations in future.”

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