A man from Northumberland was surprised to find a letter that arrived on his doorstep was posted in 1995.
John Rainbow discovered the 28-year-old letter on Friday 13 January, which at first he thought it was a late arriving Christmas card.
Posted with a first class stamp that cost 25p, it has a post marks Bridgwater, in Somerset, and Alnwick, Northumberland, both dated August 1995.
Mr Rainbow said: “We got the post last Friday, a few letters came and I just put them on the table and started opening them.
“It was about the second or third letter and I thought oh its an old Christmas card, finally arrived and I opened it and had a look an it was a letter.
“I thought ‘oh that’s a bit strange, a letter’ so I turned it over and had a look on the front and it was addressed to our house, obviously but to the previous owner which is going back to probably 2010.
“I thought I’ll have a look and I looked again at the envelope and I saw it was 1995 and I said ‘1995 how long has it took to get here?’"
The 60-year-old opened the letter and discovered it was addressed to the lady who previously lived in the house, and moved out in around 2010.
The letter gave updates on the writer's family and was signed "Patrick".
Mr Rainbow said: “I think they maybe met on a holiday somewhere and just decided to get back in touch and if give some information about the family.
“The letter looked quite perfect just like a Christmas card letter because it was a half size it wasn’t a full size envelope. But then when you look at it more closely it does stand out to be old."
Mr Rainbow said there were two frank marks on the envelope, one from Bridgwater in Somerset on 3 August and the other from Alnwick on 5 August.
He said: “So where it’s been since the 5th of August in Alnwick to get to Wylam, I couldn’t tell you.
“Whether it’s been stuck in the bottom of a cupboard or in a bag or in a drawer someone must have found it and decided to post it."
The owner of the letter has died but Mr Rainbow said he is waiting to hear back about more information about the writer's family.
The father-of-three said: “The rightful owner we know she isn’t with us anymore. She went to a local convalescent commercial home in Wylam and she was only in there about a month, from what the neighbours say, so we can’t give it to her.
“It didn’t have a return address on the back of the envelope its just strange that it's exactly the same, waiting.
“Its a lovely hand-written letter it’s not illegible, it’s not like its got lost and someones misread it, it’s got a perfect post code on.
“My family have had the same kind of reaction I’ve had, of how on earth did it take so long to get there was there?
“They asked is there anything interesting in the letter? Was it good?
“Friends have been the same, just quite surprised and how come the post office has held on to this for 28 years.
“Someone in the post office must have seen it and not looked at it properly just put it in the bag it’s got through a few people’s hands.”
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