AN eBay buyer was stunned when his package arrived with postage paid by historic stamps - dating back decades.

The DIY enthusiast spent £5 on sandpaper but it was sent using 50-year-old stamps.

They included several from the 1970s that cost 3.5p, 13p and 34p - a first class stamp today costs £1.25.

The old stamps feature the birth of BBC, one of the first fire engines, the invention of the telephone and Charlie Chaplin.

The buyer, from Portishead, said: ''I bought some sandpaper on eBay - it arrived covered in stamps from the early 1970s.

''I think the seller must have raided an old stamp collection.

''I collected stamps as a child so I was slightly alarmed to see these tiny fragments of our cultural heritage used to deliver something as mundane as sandpaper.

''But it made my day to think back to the early 70s when 3p would buy a first class stamp and commemorative issues celebrated things like telephones and the BBC.

''Stamps without barcodes are no longer valid so the Royal Mail must have made an exception in this case.''