Losers weepers? Readers share stories of lost property honesty … and greed
In response to a Guardian article on the thousands of items that turn up in TfL’s lost property depot, readers share stories of what they’ve lost and found
Our look inside Transport for London’s lost property depot revealed not only what items public transport passengers leave behind, but what they value enough to reclaim.
The office at the Baker Street station is the largest of its kind in Europe, and outsized globally only by Tokyo’s, with tens of thousands of bags, books, clothes, cards, phones and umbrellas passing through each year.
Jesus! I’ve been turning the house upside down looking for the stuffed fox. I know I had it when I left the pub. I just feel so foolish now.
In 1950, aged 4, I left my handbag on a London bus. It arriving back in Birmingham in a parcel addressed to me was so thrilling I’ve remembered it ever since.
I left my bag on the underground and, despite filling in the online form three times, heard nothing. I had a Tile in the bag (a Bluetooth tag) but it wasn’t registering. Three weeks later, my phone buzzed. It congratulated my on finding my Tile. I was confused, just standing in Baker Street Station. Then I remember LU Lost Property was near here! Realised I had to be standing within a few feet of m bag. It had to be underneath me in the storage area somewhere. Literally ran to the lost property office, 30m away, and told them. We searched through records for 30 minutes before they located my bag, A happy ending…
I’m surprised about the honesty of most people!
Last october i lost my purse with ID-Card, driving license, annual pass for the local transport, 70€ and a few other things in it. Just my money card/EC card wasn’t in it, because i had it just used when a train (which originally was supposed to be cancelt, came in and i had to run to get the train.
I lost it in Stuttgart, where i live.
2 weeks later i thought i have to face all the dammned procedure to get a new driving license, ID card etc..
But then i had a letter in my postbox, which says, that my purse was handed to a police officer in Cologne, which is around 500km away from Stuttgart.
And guess what – anything was in, even the cents an €uro coins 🙂
Unfortunatly nobody knew the name of the finder. I would have neen happy to send a present.
Oh yes, this world is not lost as long as so many people hand in so many things which are of value.
I remember as a teenager walking home after school to see a wallet fly off the roof of a car as it left the filling station – and it was rammed with cash. I had that awful few seconds of having my hands on more money than I’d ever seen in my life – and deciding what to do.
Fortunately for my conscience the cop-shop was within spitting distance of the garage and I took it straight into the desk sergeant. Never heard anything more, but I’ve never forgotten!
I left a pair of dirty Adidas Santiago football boots on the Northern Line en route from Hendon Central and Euston. It would have been around the February time period in 1988. I loved those boots and they hold deep sentimental value as they scored our solitary the goal in the 3-1 loss in The Seetech cup final!!
Compare & contrast: my wallet, with free travelpass, bank cards and cash was handed in intact (thank you bus 39 driver), but my battered “History of Burma (Myanmar) since Ancient Times” wasn’t!!!
A prized hat, a lovely pork pie affair, flew off my head early one morning at Arsenal, after just arriving back with me from America. It landed on the track, between the electric lines. Staff said it would have to stay there until the end of the day.
A friend, who lives nearby, retrieved it a week or so later, unharmed, after hundreds of trains had past ‘overhead’.
Is my mate Olly in there? Left him on the platform at Camden looking more than a bit worse for wear last night and I haven’t heard from him since.
Stupidly left my Nikon in a Black Cab on the way back from my wife’s graduation a few years ago. All the shots from the day were on it. I was devastated.
Luckily, the honesty and organisation of London’s Cabbies and TfL reunited us a few days later.
Bravo for honesty and forward thinking, long-termism, eh?
Cowan has developed an interesting insight into the human psyche, particularly into the complexity of lost shoes. “If you have one shoe, you’re more likely to go looking for the other. If you lose two shoes, well, it’s slightly ‘out of sight, out of mind’,” he says.
I have heard what purports to be a Danish saying:
I remember, as a child, my dad lost his wallet at Victoria. We were taken aback when he went to lost property and they handed it back to him, cash and all. Lots of respect for the people in this job and those that take the time to hand things in.
Also I’m pretty sure around half of those umbrellas must be mine. They seem to be in a better place now.
Possibly the worst day of my life was spent trying to find a violin that I had left on a tube train. The instrument didn’t belong to me, so it felt pretty much like the end of the world; but the following day, I returned to Baker Street, and it turned out that it had been found by someone and handed in almost immediately. It was wonderful to find that essential honesty and empathy of people, and the professionalism of the TfL staff. Needless to say, perhaps, but the following day, when I had it back, was filled with relief and joy – one of the best days.
Spoke to someone in this office having lost a book, possibly on the Tube, a couple of years ago.
“What’s the title, sir?”
“Erm… The Idiot.”
As a kid I found a purse with loads of sentimental items, a prescription and £20 in; while doing my paper round.
I agonised and in a moment of weakness stole the cash before returning it. The grateful recipient insisted on giving me a £20 finders fee, literally wouldn’t let me not take it.
I’ve never felt so ashamed and greedy in my whole life. Lesson learnt.
Source: Guardian Transport