Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
11:04 AM 28th February 2024

Meet Maurice, The Master Of LNER’s Aladdin’s Cave

From lifebuoys to hoovers, ironing boards to wheelchairs, you never know what you will find in the ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of LNER’s lost property department and Maurice Green is the master of the lot, having seen it, catalogued it and stored it all.

The former engineer heads up LNER’s Lost and Found, reuniting customers with their items, sometimes even delivering them personally. Over the past six years, Maurice has looked after thousands of items that have been found onboard or left behind, with mobile phones and laptops among the most common belongings recovered.

However, Maurice often receives the odd item you would expect people to perhaps miss, such as a bright orange lifebuoy, an enormous life-sized cuddly toy, a pram - complete with baby food, walkers, wheelchairs and very recently, an electric bike.

As Maurice explained, no two days are the same:
“Even though I’ve been doing this job for a while, I’m often amazed by just what is left behind or lost on our trains or in our stations. We work hard to return as many items as possible, both large and small, from luggage to the more unusual items we come across, such as a prosthetic leg. Many customers are really grateful to be reunited with their belongings and we’re delighted to be able to help.”

Maurice is certainly kept busy, with nearly 100 items arriving from one LNER station alone in an afternoon.

Some of the most memorable items that Maurice recalls either coming across or reuniting with their owners are:
A signed picture of Steven Gerrard taken at the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul.
A mobile disco, complete with a set of DJ mixing decks.
A Louis Vuitton purse which held huge sentimental value to its owner. Maurice treasures reuniting the purse with its distraught owner as one of the most special moments of his career.
Numerous children’s cuddly toys and baby comforters.
A Dyson vacuum cleaner.

After a while, items that are left unclaimed are sent to auction, where the proceeds are donated to LNER’s partner charity CALM and a local charity that supports bereaved children.

Maurice said:
“I’m proud that in the last year alone we helped to raise £20,000 for CALM. It’s good to know that the money from the sale of unclaimed or unwanted items is put to good use, helping people and making a difference.

“I love working on the railways and the last twelve years at LNER have been the best years of my life. I’m always happy to help and I do my best to look after people and deliver great customer service every day.”

Customers can report and search for their property online, with tips and advice on how to track down items available on the LNER website.