A COMMUNITY clean-up group has turned detective after uncovering belongings dating back to 1987.

Volunteers from Bicester Green Gym picked up 56 black sacks of rubbish in two recent litter picks in Jarvis Lane.

But among the plastic bags and litter, were an iPhone and an old purse, containing a 1987 Dorothy Perkins loyalty card, British Telecom card and Lloyds cash card.

Now the team has turned to social media sleuthing to track down the owners of finds that may have ended up in the rubbish by mistake.

Bea Foster, one of the founders of the group, said: “This is just the sort of adventure that keeps me coming every week.

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“Doing the detective work to rehome the lost articles was a particular bonus. I think I am onto a lead regarding the lost purse, thanks to the network on the Facebook page Bicester Memories.”

The group has since reunited the iPhone with its owner, using the stored numbers.

The owner, who asked not to be named, was said to be very grateful as the phone contained treasured photos.

Using social media the hunt is now on for the owner of the purse, named as “K Gale” on the cards.

One man in touch with the group has indicated the card could belong to a lady, who lived in Straton Audley, who he lost touch with around 20 years ago.

Mother-of-four Mrs Foster, who lives in Kingsmeadow, said: “With Green Gym, you never know what you might find, and it is always so satisfying when you see an area looking better than it did before.

“I also love the social side of working alongside like-minded people.

“Doing jobs like this make voluntary work in the community so worthwhile, and for health and well-being it is recommended to get outdoors for at least 30 minutes most days.

“I only hope people will stop dropping litter, as we would rather be doing other work.”

Rubbish was cleared from Jarvis Lane, Bicester, from Charbridge Way along to the Homebase store near Launton Road.

Bicester Green Gym was formed in 2006 and aims to get people active by working outdoors and improving the environment as an alternative to the gym.

Larger salvaged items included the remains of a cashtill and a car seat.

Based in Bure Park, the group meets every Tuesday between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

The next Pick and Prune walkabout is on Tuesday at Lucerne Avenue in Bure Park. See bicestergreengym.org to join or for information.

If you know the owner of the purse, contact Naomi Herring on 01865 425427.