THERE was a surprise in store in the walls for a pair of homeowners in Oakley.

After moving into the house in Pardown four weeks ago, Hazel Bonnin and Trevor Barkham were settling down in their living room watching a DIY programme on November 21 when Trevor was struck by inspiration.

Trevor, from Basingstoke, said: “It was a really strange day, it was about 11pm and I just got a feeling to look behind one of the walls to see what if it was brick behind it. I’m not sure what possessed me to have a look there.”

It was then that he spotted something unusual. Thinking that it was a pipe, he used barbecue tongs to try and get it out. After trying that, he reached through the wall after taking a brick out to make an unusual discovery.

One of the previous owners of the house had left a note about some of the modifications that they had made to the house, and a perfectly preserved copy of the November 17 edition of The Gazette from 1972, including the second edition.

The note was from Commander RL Kirby and his wife Nancy, previous owners of the property.

Hazel, originally from Hook, said: “It was quite emotional, they wrote that note for whoever would get the place next, and I imagine that they didn’t think it would be this long. Not even the previous owners of this house noticed this.”

Trevor added: “What is also incredible is that we found the note exactly 46 years after it was written.”

The story became a social media sensation after Hazel posted it on a Facebook group.

Hazel said: “People were giving us all sorts of stories about the Kirbys, including how they used to have a poodle who would run around, and how Nancy was involved in the local community, including leading a Guide group.”

In another incredible coincidence, one of the front page articles was about the Duke of Norfolk topping off Fanum House at the AA, where both Hazel and Trevor work today.