THE lost property office at Oxford police station must have been one of the most depressing places to work in, with dozens of dirty and dusty items coming in every week.

But there were times when the unexpected turned up – and staff were always pleased to share their surprise with Oxford Mail readers.

Among articles they handled in 1984 were the chandeliers property officer Betty Morgan is seen holding in the picture above.

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Under the headline, Lighten our darkness, the Mail appealed for the owners to come forward.

The chandeliers, which were found by two officers patrolling Holywell Street, looked impressive.

But a police spokesman downplayed their importance, saying: “I wouldn’t say they were expensive and I don’t think they are crystal – they look a bit brassy.” Did anyone claim them? Can anyone tell us?

Another lost item in 1984 was described as “one pink pig, needs no feeding, likes hanging around.”

Porky, in the lower picture, was a pink felt wall-hanging measuring 18in by 15in and had been found with a rolling pin and a new toothbrush in an abandoned suitcase in Oxford.

Police were hoping to find a good home for Porky and 100 other unclaimed items in 1984.

Oxford Mail: Among them were a surf board and a box of 2,000 new ballpoint pens, which were said to have “fallen off the back of a lorry”.

Police insisted that none of the pens would be sold separately – if a buyer took one, he or she took the lot.

A spokesman said: “It would be a mammoth task to log where each item goes. One buyer will have to take the lot. We hope to make a lot of money from the sale.”

That figure does not appear to have been reported, but all the money went into police funds before being passed to a local charity.

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Police insisted that exhaustive checks were made to try to trace the owners of property before it was sold.

Other curious items which turned up in the property office in 1984 were 23½ pairs of football socks. As one policeman said: “Perhaps the goalkeeper had one leg.”

Oxford City Police was the police force of the city from January 1869 until March 31 1968.

It was established to succeed a “watch and ward” force that had been founded in 1835.

On 1 April 1968 it and four other forces merged to form the Thames Valley Constabulary, which has since been renamed Thames Valley Police.

While St Aldate’s remains the main police headquarters in Oxford the Thames Valley Police headquarters is based in Kidlington.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.