But was there anything dodgy in there?

We’ve all done it. Been out on the lash and lost our phone, our keys and our dignity. But one former Manchester University student got a bonus surprise this week, when a wallet she lost in a nightclub, thirty years ago, turned up out of the blue.

To mark its upcoming 90th year, The O2 Ritz on Whitworth Street decided it was probably about time they got round to bleeding the radiators and workmen were amazed when they pulled out an old brown leather wallet containing a miniature time capsule from an era of backcombing, deely boppers, Bananarama and 70p pints of beer.

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O2 Ritz on Whitworth Street

Inside they found a black and white photo of a fresh-faced student by the name of Sarah Dale, along with her Midland Bank cheque guarantee card, a Cheshire Libraries and Museums card, a University of Manchester Whitworth Park Residents’ Association card dated 1985/86, an old payslip and twelve pence in change – which would have been enough to buy a bag of chips and a bus ticket home back then.

O2 Ritz’s bar manager, Chris Mann, decided to do the decent thing and attempt to reunite wallet with owner, so launched a national search to find her. Eventually it was the MailOnline who tracked Sarah Dale down, 200 miles away in south west London. The 51 year old government lawyer has absolutely no recollection of having lost her wallet all those years ago, but is pretty keen to get her 12p back.

“We used to go to Ritz all the time,” she said, “but I don't remember that night. You'd think I would remember something like having my wallet taken, but I don't. I have no recollection of it at all.

“It doesn't surprise me that there was only 12p in it though, I was a hard up student in those days. I was on a tight budget of something like £10 a week.”

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The lost wallet and its contents

The O2 Ritz first opened as an Art-Deco ballroom in the 1920’s and has been a part of Manchester’s nightlife and music scene for almost a century, with a host of artists and bands performing there including The Beatles, REM, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Liam Gallagher.  

We reckon Mr Thomas’s (est. 1867) and Sam’s Chophouses (est. 1872) might be able to beat that find. There’s probably a penny farthing and a five pound note the size of a bed sheet down the back of their radiators.

While you're here... 10 of Manchester’s Oldest Restaurants

20170610 Sarah Daly O2 Wallet Now
Sarah Daly had no recollection of the night