Lost Property

Rail company reveals strangest items left on trains – and some are totally bizarre…

Leaving a wallet, an umbrella or glasses behind on a train might be easy to understand, but a wooden casket with ashes inside, a framed picture of Mary Berry, a 6ft inflatable dinosaur or a hamster?

Some careless travellers have accidentally abandoned these on public transport over the last year. The annual audit of property that’s left behind has turned up some amusing and bizarre revelations, says First TransPennine Express (FTPE), opening the doors to a lost and found department that sounds like it’s heaving at the seams. Over the year, millions of customers have left behind more than 1,300 wallets and purses, 600 umbrellas, 120 bags of shopping, 70 pairs of glasses and 30 laptops.

But despite our mobile phone-obsessed world, it’s those handy little gadgets that we lose the most, with a massive 2,000 being found by staff.

As well as auditing all found items, the train operator also recorded customer enquiries into lost goods. It showed that although mobiles are lost the most, enquiries after them were low compared to umbrellas – which FTPE staff received more than 200 calls for. There were also thirty calls into lost lunches, two calls into lost dentures, three calls into lost pets – including a hamster, cat and lizard, luckily all of which staff found safe and sound – and even more peculiarly, a call regarding a lost wife.

For items whose owners don’t come forward after three months, the company will donate small items, like umbrellas and clothing, to local charity shops. Cameras, laptops and anything of higher value go into an internal auction and all proceeds go directly to a nominated charity. Last year alone, the company raised around £1,500 for charity through unclaimed items that would have otherwise remained in its lonely Lost and Found department.

Full list of items found – 2,000 mobile phones, 1,300 wallets and purses, 600 umbrellas, 529 keys, 237 lanyards, 120 bags of shopping, 73 soft toys 70 pairs of glasses, 70 lunchboxes, 62 dummies, 30 laptops, 21 bottles of perfume or aftershave, 13 prams, 8 hen sashes, 8 sets of false teeth, 7 child seats, 6 guitars, 3 mountain bikes, 1 bag of haggis, 1 6ft inflatable dinosaur, 1 hamster, 1 cat, 1 lizard, 1 framed photo of Mary Berry, 1 Barry Manilow CD, 1 bottle of champagne, 1 wooden casket.

 

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