£21,480... it's finders keepers

A couple who found £21,000 on their doorstep and handed it to police have been allowed to keep it.

Ian Roberts, 61, and Pam Curtis, 58, discovered the £21,480 windfall in £20 notes stashed in a plastic bag inside a wicker basket last month.

The retired couple from Lytham St Annes, Lancashire gave the money to police because there was no note indicating who it was from or what it was for but after going unclaimed for 28 days, it has been returned to them.

They think the money was left as an anonymous contribution towards the £400,000 redevelopment of a local park.

Mr Roberts is chairman and Mrs Curtis is secretary of a committee which is raising funds for Hope Street Park - they will now transfer the money from their account to the project.

Mr Roberts said: "We called the police because it was such a large amount and they said they would take it away and make some inquiries.

"They said there was a slim possibility it could be drug money, but we have always believed this was probably some old dear who wanted to help with the redevelopment of the park."

Asked if they realised straight away how much money was in the plastic bag, Mr Roberts said: "How many times have you seen £21,000?

"We had no idea until Pam started counting. At first she said it could be £5,000.

"We hope that this will be a rallying cry for more people to come forward and donate money for the park. Until now the largest individual donation we had received was £150."