A LETTER originally posted nearly 30 years ago finally reached its destination on Friday.

John Rainbow, 60, was shocked to see one of the two letters delivered to his Wylam home on Friday, January 13 had a 25p Royal Mail first class postage stamp dating back to 1995.

"It was for a previous resident of the house, they must've lived here at least 12 to 15 years ago," he said.

"We opened the letter, had a look at it and thought 'blimey, this is a bit strange', then we saw the date on the letter which was August 3 1995 and couldn't understand how it's suddenly just arrived."

The letter was posted from Bridgwater in Somerset.

"On the back it's got an Alnwick 1995 postage stamp. The original one is Bridgwater, Somerset from 1995 but there's one on the back from the day after and that says Alnwick 1995.

"It's in perfect condition, it's not like it's been lying around, it just looks old."

John, who is retired and has lived in the home with his wife since 2015, said the letter was about family dating back to the 1880s, childhood memories, and how the writer of the letter's children have grown.

"It's very strange, we have no connection to the person that was here."

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John explained the letter's recipient, Mrs Valerie Jarvis-Read, lived at his current home until approximately 2010 and the home has passed through several hands since.

John said he believes the recipient of the letter has passed away.

"I think she was an old lady when she was here," he said. "Our neighbours knew her."

Tina Robinson, John's neighbour, said Valerie was a navigator for her husband who was in the Forces in Le Mans, sometime after World War I.

"There were photos in the house of her husband shaking hands with Prince Philip, but I can't remember why," she said.

"It would be nice to know the person who sent the letter has some relatives and for them to know it's finally arrived," John added.  

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "Incidents like this happen very occasionally, and we are uncertain what happened to cause this incident in this instance.

"We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused."