Lost And Found In London

M@
By M@ Last edited 14 months ago
Lost And Found In London
Image by psyxjaw in the Londonist Flickr pool.

It's not hard to find a 'Lost' poster in London. Most appeal for missing pets or — all too often — people. But every so often we chance across something a bit different. It might be a heartfelt plea for a misplaced toy; a whimsical graffito on a toilet door; or a satirical swipe at something in the news.

1. LOST: The treasured plaything

As any parent will attest, infants love to chuck their stuff on the floor. All the sodding time, and especially when they're in their buggies. The act of decarrustration (to coin a phrase) happens so often that 'throwing the toys out of the pram' is a platitude. No wonder we see so many posters that appeal for the return of a prized plaything.

The poster above is particularly poignant, given the location near Great Ormond Street children's hospital. That below was spotted in Highgate Woods in 2015.

LOST: My virginity/marbles/rag

The 'Lost' poster is ripe for parody and twopenny japes. The photo up top was taken in 2013 in Shoreditch, but it's by no means the only poster to have fun with the format.

The snap above was taken in December 2016 outside the offices of Vice magazine, but was put together by online t-shirt-mongers Black Score in response to the Brexit result. These guys have form when it comes to such notices. Check out the Instagram tag #bsads for more such as this.

Also missing, increasingly, is the honey bee and its wild relatives. The apian plight is a common subject of street art, but has also been highlighted by Lost posters.

Image by mcfarlandmo in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Others use Lost posters in an attempt to track down a fleeting encounter, as in this snap in Farringdon from 2012.

Image by David Telford in the Londonist Flickr pool.

And then there's the species of Lost message commonly found inside toilet cubicles. They normally refer to virginity or underwear, but you also get the occasional comedian, as in the West End pub shown below.

FOUND: Lots of weird shit

There's an obvious flipside to the Lost poster. Items that go missing tend to be found by somebody. Occasionally, that person is kind enough to poster the area with Found notices.

The misplaced hat below was advertised in one of the side-streets north of Clerkenwell Road.

Meanwhile, someone in Primrose Hill was charitable enough to take in an un-neutered, adventurous ferret, and then flyer the area for the owner.

LOST: Pets

And finally, among the countless posters for missing cats and dogs, you occasionally find something a bit special. Here below, for example, is an artfully drawn if clumsily spelt appeal for a lost dog.

Image by Mike Atherton in the Londonist Flickr pool.

And then there's this... spotted in King's Cross in 2012.

Image by Andrew Watt in the Londonist Flickr pool.

And we're really not sure what's going on here...

Image by Dave McGowan in the Londonist Flickr pool.

All images by the author unless otherwise stated. Please feel free to share your own oddities in the comments.

Last Updated 13 December 2016

margaret

In 2010 a budgie was lost - and found! - in Shoreditch. Touched by the notice, and the colourful wall behind it, I posted a photograph of the sign on my blog (http://margaret-cooter.blogspo..., thinking that was the end of it.

The next day the blog received a comment from a reader in Western Australia - not only had the budgie been found, but it belonged to her cousin's wife, who was living in London and was "most impressed with the concern shown by the British public to what was originally thought to be a hopeless task, finding a small budgie in a big city".