Your lost stuffed fish is next door to "Sherlock"

Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:42am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A stuffed puffer fish, human skulls, breast implants 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 what 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 neighbor 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.

"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 in a statement.

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.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato, Editing by Steve Addison)

<p>Souvenirs shaped like puffer fish are displayed in a shop at Tai O, a fishing village in the western part of Lantau island that is also known as the Venice of Hong Kong, January 6, 2008. REUTERS/Victor Fraile</p>