A Metro journey to lost property. Words: Jonathan Aldridge. Photography: Julian Germain.
If you have ever left something behind on the Tyne and Wear Metro, it will probably have ended up in an innocuous lost property office in South Gosforth, waiting for you to collect it.
Your wallet, phone or glasses will be recorded in a ledger, then placed next to other “everyday” items which could belong to your neighbour, your nan or anyone, but which are now lost, forgotten and belong to no-one.
In fact, your lost property will probably still be there: nine out of 10 objects are never collected. The owners buy a new one or make do without. Eventually, the office auctions them off or disposes of them.
Over the years, this room has housed an intriguing collection of items which highlights the diversity of people living across our region. A boxing glove. A Pentax SLR camera. A My Chemical Romance CD. An ITC Training in Law folder. There are computer games, walking sticks, golf clubs, pushchairs, a guitar, a snooker cue, a picnic hamper, a foot spa and a fishing rod.
The whole process of people losing their belongings seems so common as to be unremarkable. But these objects can also hint at people’s lives and aspirations: for every guitar there is a wannabe rock star, for every law textbook there is a future QC, for every pushchair there’s a whole other life.
Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #7