Poignant wartime photo found at Metro station reunited with owner

Photo found at East Boldon Metro Station.
Photo found at East Boldon Metro Station.

Photos from the past can provide treasured memories of family, friends and events – with such pictures offering truly personal landmarks of a person’s life.

So it must be heartbreaking to lose these reminders of a mother, father, gran or grandad.

Which is why it was wonderful to hear that a particularly poignant picture – featuring the maintenance crew of a Lancaster bomber – that had been lost at a local Metro station, has now been reunited with its rightful owner.

The photo of the crew, believed to have been part of the 617 and 627 Dambusters squadron, was found at East Boldon Metro Station.

As a result Northumbria Police put out an appeal for help tracing its owner.

“The photograph was found rolled up and soaking wet,” said a police spokeswoman.

“It was dried out and following our appeal has now been returned to its owner, so it’s a really happy ending.”

Last month marked the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

At the time, we reported how on that day a South Shields man played an integral part in turning the tide of the Second World War in favour of the Allied forces.

For Sergeant Raymond Wilkinson was a rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber which took part in the raid over the industrial heartland of the Ruhr valley in Germany. He was presented with the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) for his role in the operation.

Coincidentally, news of the old photo’s return came just a day after I stumbled upon a picture of South Shields former railway station. And it got me wondering – was there a lost and found office there, and if so, what sort of things used to end up on its shelves?

As ever, please give me a shout if you can provide an answer to the questions posed.

Over the years, travellers using the station, must have lost umpteen items either on trains or on the platform. What was the strangest or most precious item you’ve misplaced on your travels? And did you get it back.

People have been losing things for years, and it’s no different now. For just recently, South Western Railway revealed that in one six-month period alone, it had accumulated thousands of lost property items, including an ironing board and giant inflatable shark.

But they are not the only unusual things to have been discovered on trains thanks to absent-minded passengers.

Here’s a list of some of the oddest: – a barrister’s wig; a pirate flag; a leather lounge chair, a pair of false teeth along with giant inflatable bananas, pandas and doughnuts

And what of the most common items of lost property left on trains? Well, you can probably guess most of them, for they include: umbrellas; coats; wallets and purses; keys; rail cards; specs; phones, laptops, and other gadgets.