Northamptonshire man reunited with wallet after 30 years - and the cash was still in it

After losing a wallet on a train 30 years ago, it has been returned to it's owner, complete with the contents. NNL-150808-211813009
After losing a wallet on a train 30 years ago, it has been returned to it's owner, complete with the contents. NNL-150808-211813009

A man from West Haddon has been reunited with a wallet he lost on a train - more than three decades ago.

The missing wallet was unearthed from the back of a seat in a carriage undergoing restoration at the North Norfolk Railway.

And a bit of detective work by one of the heritage line’s volunteers traced its owner to his home.

The long-lost wallet was discovered between the bottom and back of seating in one of four suburban commuter coaches being restored at the heritage line, which runs between Sherringham and Holt.

It contained an old £1 note, coins, a dollar, a railway badge and some documents dating back to the early 1980s which had an address for a Derek B Gamble.

Volunteer Michael Massey, a 70-year-old retired secondary school assistant head from Ely, drives the North Norfolk Railways diesel multiple units and decided to try to find the original owner.

“The documents showed he lived in Rugby, and I found another person called Derek B Gamble - which is unusual- in Northamptonshire.

“I wrote and got a call straight back. The wallet was his father’s. He doesn’t remember losing it - but thinks it must have been when the carriages were on the Great Central Railway at Loughborough - another heritage line,” said Mr Massey.

Railway fan and farmer Mr Gamble, who now lives in West Haddon, was already heading to Norfolk on holiday, with a planned trip to the North Norfolk line on the agenda. So he dropped in and collected his wallet at the same time.

Mr Gamble, who is now in his 60s and was in his 30s when he lost the wallet, explained the documents found inside the wallet, which had been his father’s but had been passed on to him, included a blood group card. He had recently had a blood test after having twin boys as both he and his wife, Susan, were thought to be have different rhesus statuses (blood group systems) which can cause problems for children.

There was also a receipt dated 1982 which had Mr Gamble’s old address on it and was a booking slip for a trip to Ireland where his wife’s family lived and where they were due to visit. Thankfully the loss of the slip did not interfere with their trip as they had the original receipt for the tickets.

Mr Gamble said: “I am pleased and not a little surprised to be reunited with my wallet. Its contents bring back memories of what my family and I were doing over 30 years ago.”