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In pictures: behind the scenes at the TfL Lost Property Office

Posted at 5:30 pm, October 7, 2013 in Photos of London, Transport
Tfl Lost Property Office © Rob Greig

Last week, Reader’s Digest tried to find out which cities were the most honest by ‘losing’ wallets across town and seeing how many were returned. Embarrassingly, in London only five out of the 12 were handed in, ranking us rather poorly in the honesty stakes. But we think that Londoners are a damn sight more upstanding than that. And to prove it, we went to have a look around the incredible TfL Lost Property Office in Baker Street where a whopping 246,241 items were handed in last year from buses, tubes and black cabs.

Yep, that’s:

51,000 books/documents/travel passes
35,000 bags
35,000 articles of clothing
29,000 valuables (purses, wallets, cameras, cash, iPads etc.)
27,000 phones
12,000 umbrellas
11,000 sets of keys
6,000 gloves
5,000 bits of jewellery

They even told us that the day after the iPhone 5 was released, someone handed one in instead of pocketing it! Take that naysayers. The staff then take their utmost care to find every item’s owner by contacting people if they can or trying to match up enquiries with stuff handed in.TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

Although 52,000 people were happily reunited with their property last year, few of them will have had the privilege of getting to see inside the treasure trove of London’s lost goods. So allow us to take you on a little journey into the strorage rooms of the lost property office…

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

Everything you could ever imagine is here.

Tfl Lost Property Office © Rob Greig

You’d think bigger things would be harder to lose. Oh no. There are racks of prams (children not included)…

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

…and shopping trollies.

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

All the way down to shelves of catalogued keys, books and mobile phones all stored in envelopes.

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

There are sad-looking lost toys waiting for their owners.

Tfl Lost Property Office © Rob Greig

And an eternity of umbrellas.

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

And then after three months, everything is unpacked, sold at auction, used again or disposed of…

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

 

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

…or kept by an Arsenal-supporting employee… 

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

…or for posterity…

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

…or just because they’re too precious to get ride of. Like poor old Thomas’s ashes.

TFL Lost Property office © Rob Greig

If you lose something on the tube, train, bus or in a taxi, head to tfl.gov.uk/lostproperty

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