Finders keepers

Throughout my life I never considered something which I found to be mine to keep. It was my upbringing, the way my parents taught me, I was never to deprive someone of their belongings as long as I could find who they were. For small things such as coins dropped I never had qualms keeping hold of them for whoever had lost them would be impossible to find. I would even go as far as including the finding of bank notes as long as the circumstances were reasonable. If I found such things inside a building they would be handed in to their lost property department or to someone in authority. If however they were found in some remote place locating the owner would be impossible so large amounts of notes would be handed into the police station as lost property. If it were only one note I would consider keeping it if it was found in a remote place and in fact that happened to me some years ago as I was riding my bicycle. I found a ten pound note at the side of the road. It could have come from anywhere, even a passing vehicle and it would have been impossible to trace ownership so I kept it. Once, many years ago I had to make a call to the office from a phone box (we didn’t have mobile phones in those days). I discovered a purse which someone had left in the box so I opened it and found the owners address inside. I drove to their house and handed it back to them. It contained¬† a couple of bank notes and some change. It was the right thing to do. Every reasonable opportunity to find the owner should always be taken when we find something which has been lost. We would expect the same consideration if we lost something wouldn’t we? Not everyone thinks that way unfortunately which is sad. I have lost things myself and never had anything returned to me save for the one time. On that occasion I had left my camera in a toilet of a restaurant E and I had visited in the Midlands. After telephoning the restaurant I was informed that a member of staff had seen it and put it in the safe. I posted her a cheque to cover the cost of returning it by post with a ¬£25 bonus for her honesty and thanks. On my walks I sometimes find things which have been lost or misplaced and forgotten. Over the last few weeks I have found a child’s purse with a few coppers in it but unfortunately no name or address, a twenty pence piece, a five pence piece and a penny! None of these could be returned to their owners so they were kept. I even found a small can of rice pudding and a small can of mushy peas on a bench in the middle of nowhere one morning very early. They too were kept. Now on Sunday morning (18 th) I went for an early walk leaving the house at four o’clock. It wasn’t raining but I was dressed for it anyway. It poured down with rain about half-way through my walk however and I was glad to get back home. It wasn’t so much the rain itself but it had been driven by the wind and was in my face for quite some distance. Anyway just before it did rain I was walking along the Promenade in town when I noticed a large mobile phone lying all alone on one of the benches there.


There was nobody around so I put it in my pocket and made for the police station to hand it in. I don’t know why I bothered, there was nobody there to take it. That is the desk was closed for the night. There were officers inside on the upper floors of course but there was no way to contact them and no urgency to do so. I took the phone home and later called a woman who had left a message on it. I asked if she knew the phone’s owner and the woman replied yes it belonged to her husband and they had been looking frantically for it. When I mentioned that I had found it near to the hotel there she told me they were staying there. I made arrangements for them to collect the phone later in the morning but in the meantime I put it on my charger for its battery was showing low. The phone itself must have been quite expensive as it was a relatively new model (like the picture above). There was now way I was going to keep it of course……..that would be stealing.

Shirley Anne