I love this, a letter explaining absence from either 1903, it reads
This is to certify that Olive Alma Hicks residing at Rynehill is suffering from Congenital heart disease and is at present unable to attend school
February 25th 1903″
I originally thought this was a parents letter to the school and joked that I would never have been able to forge the hand writing to make my school absence letters. However, John Mann recognises the name:-
This would have been Dr. T. O’Kelly of 21 High Street, Chipping Norton. This fact comes from my research into the history of the local telephone system, Dr O’Kelly was one of the original subscribers on the Chipping Norton Exchange when it opened in 1905, his number was Chipping Norton 9! So strictly speaking the document is a doctor’s certificate rather than an absence letter.
I guess Doctors have always had illegible and certainly un-copy-able handwriting.