False teeth, a scorpion in formaldehyde and a lamb castrating tool were among the weirdest items dropped in a charity’s donation boxes last year.

Barnardo’s revealed a list of bizarre items left by donors at its 620 UK stores in an appeal for people to bestow their unwanted Christmas gifts.

Jaws dropped when staff in South Yorkshire were given a pot containing nine human molars and a bag of infant clothes containing a baby’s dried umbilical cord and belly clip.

The false teeth were inside a handbag donated to the charity’s Glasgow store while the bottled scorpion has since been passed on to a local university by Barnardo workers in St Andrews.

Staff in Staffordshire were amused by a message accompanying a pair of men’s shorts which read: “Wear these at your leisure, wear with pride and pleasure, and keep them safe to treasure. Geoff.X.” Other quirky deliveries included a dead bird and a hamster cage still containing its deceased former occupant.

According to Barnardo’s, “Most of us have received Christmas presents that may be of good quality and costly but just aren’t suitable for us.”

They might have added: “And not suitable for re-gifting Xmas 2023 either.”

Nora Johnson’s 11 critically acclaimed psychological crime thrillers ( all available online including eBooks (€0.99;£0.99), Apple Books, paperbacks, audiobooks at Amazon etc. Profits to Cudeca cancer charity.

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.