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Subject: Oh dear... one old lady locked in the lavatory

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/20/07 at 8:55 am

A great grandmother popped into a public loo after a long journey - and ended up locked in for 12 hours.

Gwyneth Coles, 77, certainly knew what the matter was when a caretaker locked up the toilet block in Pickering, North Yorkshire.

He had shouted out: "Anyone in?" but failed to hear her reply: "Yes, I am in here. I won't be a minute!", reports the York Press.

Friends and relatives, worried after she failed to return to her home in the town after a holiday in Inverness, called police sparking a nationwide missing persons alert.

Meanwhile, Mrs Coles put four jumpers on under a jacket and a mac, and settled down for the night, even managing to get some sleep.

She was only released when the caretaker came back at 7am the following day to open up the toilets and found her inside.

Mrs Coles said: "This will go down in the family history - the night great-grandma got locked in the loo. I think it's hilarious now, although it was pretty traumatic at the time.

"I was coming back home from holiday in Inverness when it happened. I came back by train and got on the bus in York. When I got to Pickering, I decided to spend a penny at the loos.

"If I'd had had my mobile phone with me I'd have been all right, I could have rung someone, but I didn't. Fortunately, I had my luggage with me and I found four jumpers to put on."

A Ryedale District Council official apologised for the incident, and said a full investigation had been launched.

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