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Byline: Mike Lockley Staff Reporter

HE didn't pen it, but Mark Twain's famous line "reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" ring true with record-breaking letter writer George Cowley.

Sta at the Worcester sheltered complex where George - a man who has penned hundreds of letters to the Sunday Mercury and its sister newspaper e Birmingham Mail - now resides last night stressed that the prolic social commentator is very much alive and kicking.

Rowan Court was moved to issue the assurance after the media was informed, allegedly by a family member, that the 78-year-old had slipped this mortal coil peacefully in his sleep.

'Nephew Mark Metcalfe',' who gave his address as Rowan Court, wrote: "My uncle, George Cowley, who you used to print letters from, died peacefully in his sleep on March 5".

But there is no Mark Metcalfe at the address - and a surprised Rowan Court worker said yesterday: "George is very much with us. In fact, I've just handed him a slice of birthday cake!" She pledged to launch an investigation into the death notice.

News that George is still writing will be a relief to legions of readers, although, like Marmite, his short, pithy prose is not to everyone's taste.

Ten years ago, he gained the ultimate accolade - he gave his name to zany folk rock band e George Cowley Experience.

Back in 2009, they released the album Not Dead Yet, following news of George's hospital treatment. Tracks included Riot In Ikea, Bad Men Don't Carry Flasks and Attack of the Mobility Scooters.

In his thousands of letters, George has tackled both pressing issues of the day and the downright mundane.

In 2007, he was moved to inform readers: "Your correspondent asks the question 'What could you do in 45 minutes?' Well, the answer in my case - I am 70 years old - is that I could have a snooze on my bed or in my chair, something I do with increasing regularity of late.

"So much so that I often miss the second half of the television news. Am I getting old or what?" " George, from Warndon, is certainly prolc, ring o bundles of letters to newspapers up and down the country.

At the start of each week, he would buy 24 secondclass stamps, and use them all.

He would often wake in the middle of the night and scribble down his thoughts.

And it isn't just the press who receive mail from George. He has also written to celebrities, politicians and the clergy. ose on his mailing list include newsreader Sian Williams and the Archbishop of York.

In 2008, he explained: "I get a kick out of it, handwritten or typed. I like the contact with people.

"ere is nothing quite like receiving a letter addressed to you, and there is nothing like seeing your name in print."


Mercury letter writer George Cowley is alive and kicking

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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