30.9.09

LOST AND FOUND

A stuffed puffer fish, human skulls, a samurai sword
and a lawnmower are just a few of the items
that have turned up in London's Lost
Property Office.

The Transport for London's Lost Property Office (LPO)
is celebrating 75 years of reuniting people and
their belongings with a raft of statistics about which
items go missing the most on public transport.


The most commonly forgotten objects left on buses,
overground and underground trains, taxis and
in stations last year were books at 36,852
and items of clothing at 27,174.


The office is located on Baker Street and takes pride
in its link to famous fictional neighbour Sherlock
Holmes, even naming the computer system
staff use to log all lost items "Sherlock".


There have been a few sleuth-like occasions when
staff have had to take extra steps to return items
to their owners, managing to track down the next
of kin for two urns of ashes that had been in the
LPO for years, even though there were just a
few words written on the urns.


"It was an emotional moment for all of us. Having said
that, all items are important to their owners and
returning even the smallest of items can make a
big difference.
I have been here for five years and
love being reminded how honest Londoners are
when they hand in lost property," LPO

Manager Julie Haley said.

She said people often believe that if they leave
something on a train or bus it will be gone
forever, but it just may well be a phone
call away on a shelf in the LPO.


"You never know - we might just have it here,
and 'Sherlock' will help us find it," she said.


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