Lost toy monkey returned to toddler after 600-mile rail adventure

Kayna Tay said her three-year-old son was ‘inconsolable’ after the cuddly ape was misplaced

Neil Lancefield
Sunday 26 November 2023 14:26 GMT
Staff adorned the monkey in a tiny, hand-knitted jumper previously made as a Christmas decoration (Network Rail/PA)
Staff adorned the monkey in a tiny, hand-knitted jumper previously made as a Christmas decoration (Network Rail/PA)

A toddler has been reunited with his lost toy monkey after it embarked on a 600-mile railway adventure.

Network Rail said Kayna Tay, 43, and her three-year-old son misplaced the item – which he has had since birth – while changing carriages on the first leg of a journey from Oakham, East Midlands, to Bristol Temple Meads on Monday.

They realised what had happened as they arrived at Birmingham New Street to change trains.

Ms Tay and her distraught son went to the station’s reception to report the lost monkey.

Customer service assistants Leon Allen and Vinny Murphy arranged for a search to take place, and the beloved item was found after the train terminated at Edinburgh Waverley.

The cuddly ape travelled back down to Birmingham New Street that same day.

While being stored overnight at the station’s reception, staff adorned it in a tiny, hand-knitted jumper previously made as a Christmas decoration, featuring a sparkly double arrow rail logo.

The toy was put on a train to Bristol Temple Meads on Tuesday, from where Ms Tay collected it.

Network Rail said it clocked up an extra 619 miles on top of its planned trip, with journeys on CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast and Great Western Railway services.

Ms Tay said: “My little boy was inconsolable when we realised we’d lost Monkey on the train and we arrived at Birmingham New Street.

“But the treatment we received from the customer services team there, who mounted a miracle mission to find the monkey again, was above and beyond what I could have expected.

“I can’t thank everyone involved enough, across all the train companies, for not only making my little boy smile again, but he loves Monkey’s new jumper and is full of questions, fascinated by the adventure he’s been on.”

Mr Murphy said: “It was heart-breaking to see Kayna’s little lad so upset that he’d left his best friend on the train, so it was the least we could do to get straight on the phone to try and track him down.

“We couldn’t have done this without the efforts of all the train crews. Spotting a tiny Christmas jumper in our station reception for him to wear was then the icing on the cake.

“We’re so pleased we could have helped. Monkey is back home for cuddles where he belongs.”

Network Rail did not disclose the name of the boy.

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