BIDDERS nearly got more than they bargained for at an auction after a bank savings book was accidentally left in a box to go under the hammer.

Auctioneer Brian Ashton, who works at Bolton Auctions in Tennyson Street, Halliwell, made the find while sorting through items left by a woman, who wants to remain anonymous, before she moved from her home in Bolton to Spain.

Mr Ashton said: “I was going through the customer’s cardboard box and I found a Halifax savings book with £1,704 in the account.

She thought she had lost it but it was in a box of books, DVDs, CDs and photos.

“When people move house they will put one box to go in the bin and one for the removal van but they end up throwing the good box away.

“If I hadn’t checked it it would have been auctioned in the box and could have got into the wrong hands.”

Mr Ashton called the customer’s mother in Chester and posted the savings book back.

He said it is one of the most unusual items he had come across but people had tried to fool him by handing over copied CDs for auction in the past.