RESIDENTS of a Shirley street were surprised when a postcard from Scotland arrived on their doormat.

Rob and Caroline didn’t know anyone who had been on holiday to Largs recently.

But although it had been delivered to the right address – in Kellett Road – it was addressed to a couple who lived there 35 years ago.

And the postcard had been sent in 1983 – meaning it had taken more than three decades to travel just 500 miles.

Caroline said: “It was the only thing that arrived that day. I looked at it and thought it looked like old writing.

“I think that’s not addressed to us but it’s definitely our address.

“Then I looked at the date and it said 1983. Southampton wasn’t even on our radar then – we had just left school in 1983.”

Caroline then phoned hubby Rob - who works as a microwave engineer.

Husband Rob, a microwave engineer, added: “It’s not in bad condition for it’s age. It does look a bit old.

“I worked out that it’s definitely a case of ‘snail mail’ – a snails travel at 0.03mph so in 35 years a snail could have got to Australia.

“It must have been stuck behind a machine or something in the sorting office – then the machine has been moved and it’s been sent out. Royal Mail usually do a good job which is what makes this quite a good story. What tickled me is how fast a snail actually travels - about twenty times faster than that postcard.”

The postcard is addressed to a Dr and Mrs DB Percy,

with the postmark of August 1983.

And they could be the parents of Iain Percy OBE, an Olympic sailor who grew up in the house and won silver at the 2012 Olympics and gold in 2000.

The Wilkins have already contacted Iain via social media in a bid to send on the postcard – but to date have not had any response.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “It is difficult to speculate what may have happened to this item of mail, but it is likely that it was put back into the postal system by someone recently, rather than it being lost or stuck somewhere.

“Royal Mail regularly checks all its delivery offices and clears its sorting machines daily.

“Once an item is in the postal system then it will be delivered to the address on the card.”