Alfie’s balloon produces pen pal

Alfie Huggins, 8, from Thurston, released a birthday balloon in his garden. Few days later it arrived in Germany and picked up by a young girl who sent him a letter.

Alfie Huggins, 8, from Thurston, released a birthday balloon in his garden. Few days later it arrived in Germany and picked up by a young girl who sent him a letter.

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WHEN eight-year-old Alfie Huggins released a balloon with his name and address attached, little did he realise it would spark a long distance friendship.

The youngster, of Sandpit Lane, Thurston, set the helium birthday balloon free in his garden on January 5.

Two days later it landed in Leipzig, Germany, and into the hands of four-year-old Smilla Martin.

She wrote a letter to Alfie and also sent him some smiley face stickers.

Smilla’s letter, written by her mother in English and German, read: “You will be amazed. I found your balloon. It flew over 1,000km.

“I caught it on January 7 in Germany with my Dad.

“I would be happy if you would write back to me and tell me something about you.”

Alfie and his sister Millie have since replied and sent her items representing their favourite things including a Peppa Pig colouring book, a 50p Olympics football coin and Rolo biscuits, as well as a picture of themselves.

Their mum Lindsey said: “I was shocked when we received the letter but Alfie and Millie were really excited.

“The balloon was a bit deflated so I didn’t really expect it to land anywhere.”