Shock as £21,000 left on doorstep

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HAVING £21,000 left on your doorstep is the stuff of dreams for most people – but it became an astonishing reality for this St Annes couple.

Ian Roberts and his wife Pam Curtis were returning from a day trip in Manchester when they found the incredible gift in a wicker basket outside their home on Hope Street.

The money, all in crisp £20 notes, was wrapped in a butcher’s carrier bag and had been left with no note of explanation.

They carried the basket inside and were stunned to find it contained bundles of bank notes.

Ian, 61, a retired civil servant said: “We were absolutely astounded when we realised how much money was there.

“We arrived home and I was tending the dogs as Pam opened the basket.

“I heard her say, “there’s money in here”.

“I asked how much and she said as much as £5,000, we started to count the money and the piles just kept growing.”

In total £21,480 was counted. The couple called in police who took the money to hold for 28 days in case anybody came forward to put a claim on it.

Mr Roberts is convinced the mystery benefactor meant the money to go towards the redevelopment of a local park.

The couple both sit in the committee of the Friends of Hope Street Park and say donations of bric a brac are often left on their doorstep for them to sell.

A £400,000 three-part project of work has been drawn up to bring the aged facility up to date and fundraising has started in earnest. Mr Roberts hopes the generous donation will stoke the fire of the campaign.

He added: “We never thought the money could be for anything else but it’s amazing it was just sitting there.

“The bag was musky as if had been stored somewhere, whoever the donation is from, we want them to know we are very grateful.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “They did the right thing to report the find. The money was held to ensure there was no criminal activity related to it.”