Japanese note uncovered in World War Two haul in Hartlepool

Specsavers boss Ian Walker was surprised when a glasses  case containing a Japanese wartime Ten Dollar note was handed in to the Middleton Grange store.

Specsavers boss Ian Walker was surprised when a glasses case containing a Japanese wartime Ten Dollar note was handed in to the Middleton Grange store.

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AN optician had to look twice after finding a Japanese bank note believed to date back to the Second World War that was donated with a pair of glasses.

Managers at Specsavers in Hartlepool discovered the note among a host of unusual items in glasses cases donated by members of the public at its Middleton Grange store.

Store director Ian Walker logged on to the internet to do a bit or research on the Japanese 10 dollar bank note.

He believes that it was only issued between 1942 and 1945 and is also known as ‘banana money’ because of a banana motif on it.

But Ian is curious as to how the note ended up in Hartlepool, almost 6,000 miles away from Japan.

He said: “We collect second hand spectacles which we give to the Third World to be reused and we find all sorts of things in glasses cases.

“This 10 dollar note is almost certainly related to the war as it was only printed between 1942 and 1945.

“It’s not in a good condition, but it may have some sentimental value to someone.

“There might be a war hero story behind it. It could have belonged to someone’s grandad who was fighting in Singapore.”

The Specsavers branch receives thousands of pairs of glasses a year for the Vision Aid Overseas project it supports.

It empties the collection bin every week and is amazed by some of the things the find among the lenses.

In its last haul, the store also found some old keys, a Malta key ring and an imitation tooth in its.

Last year, the Mail reunited town resident Henk Hordejk, 67, with a number of sentimental gold rings he had accidentally lost after he donated three sets of glasses to Specsavers.

One was an 18-carat gold ring from South America which was given to him by his mother when he was a youngster. The others were bought for him by his wife.

Mr Hordejk, 76, got them back after reading an appeal for information by the store in the Mail.

If you know anything about the Japanese bank note contact us on (01429) 239306 or email: mark.payne@jpress.co.uk