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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Library book '100 years overdue'
Stuart Thomson and book
Stuart Thomson bought the book in a South African flea market
A borrowed book has been returned to an Inverness library nearly 100 years overdue incurring a 5,000 fine.

But kind-hearted staff at Inverness Library have decided to waive the financial penalty.

Inverness Sketches 1901 to 1904, by Isabel Harriet Anderson, was discovered by Stuart Thomson in South Africa.

The 63-year-old, who left Inverness to go overseas in 1971, said he stumbled across the book in Johannesburg when he was moving house three months ago.

Flea market find

Mr Thomson bought the book at a South African flea market.

He said: "I just looked at the book and saw Inverness on it and thought hell, I've just got to buy this book.

"And when I saw it had Inverness Public Library printed on it I thought, I'm going to buy this book no matter what it costs.

Inverness Sketches 1901 to 1904 by Isabel Harriet Anderson
The book was returned to Inverness after nearly 100 years

"When I was moving house three months ago I came across it and thought I should bring the book back home."

Inverness Sketches was originally presented to Inverness Library by its author in 1908.

Staff said it would be returned to its rightful place in the reference department, and it should not have been loaned out in the first place.

Librarian, Edwina Burridge, said: "We already have a collection of Isabel Anderson books, so we can add it to that."

The book completes the library's set of books by the family.

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