Couple's joy as lost rings found two-and-half-thousand miles from home...in a pair of Primark shorts
A routine trip into Burnley town centre to have her engagement and wedding rings cleaned turned to heartbreak for Claire Stewart when they were lost.
But the heartbreak turned to joy when the precious items were found in the pocket of a pair of shorts from Primark.
And what makes it even more remarkable is the fact they were discovered two-and-a-half thousand miles away in Tenerife!
The rings were discovered by former police sergeant Dave Alexander in the pocket of his new shorts while holidaying with his wife Collette.
Dave, a retired police sergeant in Burnley who is also president of Padiham Rotary Club, was stunned to make the discovery.
He said: "It was clear they would be precious to someone as there was an inscription on one of the rings.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw them."
Dave, who is now a volunteer driver for Pendleside Hospice, had bought the shorts in the Burnley branch of Primark unaware the very same pair had been returned earlier by Claire's husband, Mark.
Claire (36) said: "It was a hot day so Mark bought some shorts to wear.
"He changed into them right away and put the rings in the pocket. But then he decided the shorts were too big so he took them back to Primark, forgetting the rings were there."
The couple panicked when they arrived at Peter Jackson jewellers to have Claire'swhite gold diamond studded engagement ring and Mark's wedding band cleaned and they were nowhere to be found.
And it was only when they were on the motorway on their way back to their home in Nelson that Mark, who is 42 and works for the Royal Mail in Burnley, realised where the rings were.
The couple who tied the knot in June 2012 and have a daughter Amelia (three) raced back to the store and after hearing the tale, staff made a vain attempt to find the shorts.
But by then Dave had bought the shorts and they were Tenerife bound!
Claire, who is a support worker at Burnley General Hospital, made an appeal across social media and so did Dave and it wasn't long before they found each other and the rings were returned to the relieved couple.
Claire said: "I can't believe how lucky we have been and I am so thankful to Dave.
"It is unbelievable that my rings ended up in another country, at least they had a nice holiday."