A BOOK borrowed from a child almost seven decades ago has been returned to its owner – who is now aged 78!

Gullane’s Hilary Williams was reunited with ‘What Katy Did at School’, written by Susan Coolidge, 68 years after loaning it to her then Lancashire school friend Kate Smith.

Now, it has been posted back to the Gullane gran, who plans to pass it on to her granddaughter Rachel.

She said: “I had the book in 1950 when I was 10 years old at Heywood Grammar School and I gave the book to Kate then. Along with several other friends at school, we have kept in touch and we used to meet every few years for a reunion.

“The last time we met was about two years ago and that was probably our last reunion as we will all soon be over the age of 80 and it’s not so easy to travel from all over the country for these meetings.

“One my friends, who lives in Cheshire, meets Kate every so often. And the last time they met, Kate took the book to another friend, who writes to me regularly, and this friend posted the book to me.”

Hilary said it was a total surprise to receive the book.

“I did not know what was in the parcel –

when I opened it up, there was this book!” she added.

“When I was younger, I was an avid reader and read these books and things like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five.

“I didn’t remember loaning it to her!

“She was clearing out some things and thought maybe I would like it back.”

The book, published in 1872, follows the adventures of 12-year-old Katy Carr and her family, who live in a fictional town in Ohio.

What Katy Did at School is the second in the five-book series, which later was transformed into both a television series and two films.

She added: “I really cannot remember the story but I know at the time I used to read quite a lot.”

Hilary plans to pass the book on to her son Steve and his daughter, 10-year-old Rachel, who also lives in the village.

She added: “I think I will see if Rachel would like to read it.

“She reads a lot – maybe she will be interested in this.”

Mum-of-three Hilary moved with husband Phil to Gullane more than 50 years ago through Phil’s work as an electronics engineer.