Retired Ely assistant head turns detective to reunite farmer with wallet lost on train in the early 1980s

Derek Gamble with his wallet he lost on the North Norfolk Railway 30 years ago. Picture: MIKE BAKER

Derek Gamble with his wallet he lost on the North Norfolk Railway 30 years ago. Picture: MIKE BAKER - Credit: Archant

Detective work by a retired secondary school assistant head from Ely has ensured a farmer has been reunited with a wallet he lost on a train more than 30 years ago.

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

Volunteer train driver Michael Massey, 70, drives the North Norfolk Railway diesel multiple units and decided to try to find the original owner.

The long-lost wallet 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.

Mr Massey said: “The documents showed he lived in Rugby, and I found another person called Derek B Gamble – which is unusual – in Northampton which was not far away.

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“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.”

Railway fan and farmer Mr Gamble, who is now in his 60s and lives in West Haddon, Northampton, was already heading to Norfolk on holiday, with a planned trip to the North Norfolk line on the agenda.

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So he dropped in and collected his wallet at the same time.

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.”

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