A Sheffield granddad has given a whole new meaning to 'snail mail' after letters posted to him were nibbled by the slimy critters in transit.
Joe Castle, aged 90, received a parcel of historical documents through the post recently - but was surprised to find them nibbled around the edges upon opening.
A letter from Royal Mail was inside the parcel, which explained that snails had climbed inside the letterbox and eaten his package - despite the company putting slug pellets inside their boxes.
Joe, of Crosspool, said: "I found it all rather amusing really. The letters weren't damaged too badly, they were just a bit nibbled around the edges.
"It gives a new meaning to snail mail anyway."
The letter from Royal Mail explained: "I am sorry that the enclosed letter has been dmaged and subsequently delayed. The item was found during a scheduled collection form a psoting box and had been damaged by snails."
Unfortunately, despite regular cleaning and placing slug pellets in the boxes, we find that slugs and snails still occasionally manage to creep into the apertures, fall down into the box and start eating the glue on the stamps and envelopes."
The statement went on to apologise for the 'unusual tampering' to Joe's letter, as well as for the delay.
The grandfather-of-two said the documents were posted from his daughter Isobel Puntraath, who lives in Exeter, for research he is conducting into the history of the A57.
He said: "I was quite surprised that Royal Mail put slug pellets in postboxes. Snail's eating letters must be a an issue.
"They're obviously determined things, the slugs and snails. It's been a great source of amusement."
Joe, who has been a Sheffield historian for 70 years, said he is compiling a new book into the Sheffield to Glossop turnpike road, now known as Snake's Pass.
He said: "The history of the route and the buildings along it is really fascinating."
Joe said the book will be available soon.