A Belfast woman has had her faith in the Christmas spirit restored after a good Samaritan tracked her down to return presents she thought she’d lost for good.
Lauren McClelland left a bag stacked full of wrapped gifts on a busy train from Manchester to London at the weekend as she dashed to catch a taxi.
The 31-year-old occupational psychologist quickly realised but by the time she and boyfriend Richard Parker got back to the platform the carriage was empty with no sign of the presents.
And after a trip to lost property proved fruitless, the couple, who live in Canary Wharf, assumed the bag had been stolen by a heartless thief.
But those fears proved wholly misplaced when an unexpected article appeared in a London paper.
Fellow passenger Dave Winter had found the presents moments after Lauren and Richard jumped off the train but having no way of tracing them – other than their first names on the gift tags – he decided to go to the local press.
His appeal did the trick and the next day Lauren met up with him to get back the presents she thought she’d never see again.
“When we lost the bag I was devastated, I cried all the way home in the taxi,” said Lauren.
“I couldn’t believe someone would be so cruel as to steal a bag of wrapped presents – it had really taken the gloss off Christmas for us.
“But then two days later we got about 20 texts from friends asking had we read the paper. It was unbelievable. This man had made an appeal through the paper for Lauren and Richard. It was so nice of him to make the effort. It has really restored my faith in humankind. Especially at this time of the year when it’s so cold and miserable it’s wonderful to know people still look out for each other.”