Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra strikes a chord with commuters by playing music on lost property items

Expensive artwork, surfboards and a life-sized cut-out of Donald Trump were some of the items left on trains over the last year

Rob Knight
Wednesday 21 November 2018 14:44
Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra play music piece using items left on trains

Members of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra have created a piece of music using items left behind on trains, including a surfboard, a bicycle pump and a car tyre.

The orchestra launched into "An Ode To My Former Owner" using goods from the lost and found office.

They wrote the brief piece of music, ensuring it consisted of 11,304 notes - the number of items lost each year on East Midlands Trains.

Malcolm Wilson, general manager of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, said it had "performed with lots of weird and wonderful instruments over the years but never an inflatable cactus and surfboard."

He added: ''Creating, and playing, An Ode To My Former Owner, with the hope of reuniting lost property with owners, was an experience to remember. 'We had a lot of fun with East Midlands Trains and will be keeping our instruments close by when travelling.”

To mark the launch of its new Found It! service, which allows passengers to track and claim their lost items, East Midlands Trains revealed the weird and wonderful items left on their trains.

Expensive artwork, surfboards and a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Donald Trump were all abandoned over the last 12 months.

A string of musical instruments and equipment such as guitars, harps, drums, DJ turntables and ukuleles were also left behind.

Passengers have also hopped off carriages leaving behind a bag of condoms, false teeth and a pork chop.

Train users have lost 38 million items of property valued at £906 million since November last year, East Midlands said, adding that 25 per cent of items remain left unclaimed.

More common items left behind included 766 backpacks, 644 coats, 683 mobile phones, 593 wallets and nearly 400 umbrellas.

The company hopes the one-off performance will help owners recognise their instruments and eventually lead to them being reunited with their property.

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“We’ve all been there - you hop off the train when it reaches your destination, but your keys, phone or wallet carry on the journey without you," said Jake Kelly, the firm's managing director.

The study also found 66 per cent of travellers admitted searching for their much-loved belongings.

More than one third (39 per cent) give up looking after an hour, but five per cent of us spend more than 10 hours searching.

Respondent admitted to leaving an average of two items on board every single month, blaming their forgetfulness on falling asleep (13 per cent) distractions from other passengers (20 per cent) or having one too many to drink (10 per cent).

As well as losing their own luggage, 20 per cent of passengers admit to stumbling across possessions of others. Three quarters said they hand them into a local lost property office and nine per cent would try and find the owner through social media.


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