Some people say that shamrocks are lucky.

But none are luckier than the one hidden inside a Huntingdon woman’s wallet after it was returned to her last Sunday, some 18 years after it was stolen.

A handbag belonging to Joanne Beavan was stolen from St Ives, whilst she was working at as a receptionist at Slepe Hall Hotel, in 2000 and she never thought she’d see it again.

But, despite giving up hope, the wallet was handed into St Ives police station where it had been posted through the letter box, with a note pinned on it saying that it had been found in a ditch in the same park where Joanne’s handbag was discovered 18 years earlier.

PCSO Phil Davis found a driving licence in the wallet and went to the address in Somersham that the licence was registered to.

Joanne Beavan's wallet 18 years after it was foundJoanne Beavan's wallet 18 years after it was found

He said: “I went to the post box at St Ives police station and there was a plastic bag with the wallet inside.

“The wallet was soaking wet with lots of mud in it but, fortunately, there was a driving licence in there with an address, so I went round to see if the owner was still there.”

Joanne said: “It was a bit of a shock when my mum called me and said a police officer was at the door. I think mum was more concerned that I was in a ditch somewhere.

“When I was told that they had found my wallet, I said that the only wallet I had ever lost was 18 years ago, and PSCO Davis said that must be the wallet.

“I was so shocked, I couldn’t believe it. I then texted my friend and was like ‘remember that bag that was stolen 18 years ago, my wallet has been found’. She couldn’t believe it.”

Joanne said that everything that was in the purse was returned to her, including her driving licence, her Boots card, bank cards, a lucky shamrock and even a picture of Eric Cantona.

Joanne was 21 when the purse went missing. She said: “Every girl should have a picture of Eric Cantona in her purse.

“When I first lost the bag I was quite upset and lost all faith in my lucky shamrock. But now I have the purse back, it must bring some luck for something like this to happen.”

Joanne, who now lives in Huntingdon, said that she is going to keep hold of the wallet for a while.

“I think I will keep it as part of a keepsake. It’s a miracle it was even found and handed in,” she said.