Every so often one of my mates who now calls London home shares a photo of the ride home from a big night out.
Suffice to say the Poms, or those who live in London, aren’t always in the best state after a few toots. That doesn’t account for the fact that the 65-strong staff at London’s lost property depot sorted through a whopping 332 077 items in a 12-month period that ended March.
That makes it the busiest depot in Europe, and second only in the world to Tokyo, with this a little breakdown of some of those items:
Of those 13 000 keys, less than 1 400 were recovered, although it’s some of the other items that are rather ‘out there’.
[Side note – remember all the cars people left behind at Rocking the Daisies?]
The man who runs the show, Paul Cowan, spoke to the Guardian:
“As a society, we haven’t become risk-averse so much as risk-aware,” Cowan explains. “Most people don’t bother to even look when they lose their keys. They assume they’ve been compromised and change the locks instead.”
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…
There’s a life-size gorilla [pictured right up top], handed in a couple of years ago, which was adopted by the crew and named Eddie. In May, he was repurposed to star in the advertising campaign for the Night Tube.
I think this is my personal favourite – a raging fox with a crown on top:
A few others:
Some more odd finds via Metro:
Why yes, that is a giant stuffed Spider-Man and a prosthetic leg above it.
A hairdresser’s mannequin – but of course:
If you’re wondering what happens to all of the items that remain unclaimed we’ll clear that up for you:
As per the Transport Act of 1982, any item still unclaimed after three months becomes the property of TfL, to dispose of as they see fit.
Data must be destroyed “because as property owners, we have to take the Data Protection Act seriously”, says Cowan. Papers are shredded. USB sticks compacted. Some items – power tools, musical instruments – are sold at auction, defraying the cost of the depot itself.
But much of it goes to charity. Clothes are immediately sent to one of the three main organisations TfL supports, while other bits and bobs, such as cosmetics, are cobbled together into care packages for charities. Toys go to disadvantaged children during the annual Christmas run.
You know what they say – one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
If anyone wants to send that growling fox over to the 2OV offices we promise it will be proudly displayed.
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