All John Hayes wanted to do was make space for a new cooker in a boarded up old fireplace.
But when he revealed the bottom of the chimney he was given a history lesson... the story of the early days of his Cosham home.
For there in a dusty package was a collection of fading photographs including one of the man who built 32 Magdala Road and was its first owner.
He was Henry Thomas Norris and he features in one of the pictures sporting an impressive set of whiskers and looking rather distinguished.
On the reverse, in pencil, is written: ‘H Norris. Born 1846. Died 1905. Original owner of this house.’
Another shows a family group with a baby in a christening gown. On the back of that one, in the same hand, is written: ‘H Norris Jun [sic], son of H Norris, built this house 1901. Born 1872. Died ?’ It is dated 1924, but that’s not necessarily when the photo was taken.
That date tallies with a collection of newspapers among the hoard, including two of The Evening News, from 1924.
John, who has lived in the house for 23 years said: ‘I was amazed when I found it.
‘He obviously wanted future owners of this house to know the history and was proud to have built it.’