As Robbie Gasson ventured under his house in Tilley Rd, Paekākāriki, he found quite a surprise.

There wasn't a pair of beady eyes staring back at him or a chest full of glimmering gold.

He found a number of household items dating back to about the 1950s.

Gasson, a builder, was installing insulation under the house when he made the discovery.

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As he inched through the confined space, he saw cardboard boxes and wooden crates.

"It was a little bit surprising and some of the stuff I had some concern about.

"I had a dusk mask on, as it was very dry and dusty under the house, but I hoped the items were stable and there wasn't anything poisonous or stuff that leaked."

Gasson, who removed about a skipload of rubbish from under the house, retained a number of items for closer inspection.

Some old bottles and stuff. Photo / David Haxton
Some old bottles and stuff. Photo / David Haxton

One was a personal letter addressed to William Carson, who once operated a chemist shop nearby in Beach Rd.

Gasson's house was built in 1951 for Carson.

"The letter was from a friend of his in Dunedin, a general sort of catch-up.

"There's quite a few people in the village who have lived here for a long time and would remember the chemist.

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"I think he finished up in the 1980s."

There was a copy of the Paekakariki Progress, dated March 1, 1950, which was a newsletter detailing various things that were happening in the village. A corner of it had been nibbled off.

A copy of the Paekakariki Progress. Photo / David Haxton
A copy of the Paekakariki Progress. Photo / David Haxton

There was also a 1949 copy of the New Zealand Journal of Agriculture, various Kauri and Tui beer bottles, a couple of glass flagons, a 1946 copy of the Writer's Digest, a jar of iodised throat tablets, deodorant soap, Nivea skin oil, rat poison, Brasso, Edmonds custard powder, parts from a child's trike and a wooden train, Vaseline, receipts and a shaving razor.

An assortment of old stuff. Photo / David Haxton
An assortment of old stuff. Photo / David Haxton

Gasson intended going to the Paekākāriki Station Museum to see if they wanted any of the items.