TWO Good Samaritans with an ‘emotional connection’ to a former pit village are the anonymous benefactors responsible for leaving bundles of £2,000 for people to find, police have confirmed.

Mystery surrounded the strange discoveries of cash in Blackhall Colliery, in County Durham, with a total of £26,000 being handed in over the last six years.

News of the usual charity campaign made headlines around the world and yesterday Durham Constabulary said two generous individuals had recently received unexpected windfalls and told police they wanted to give something back.

Detective Constable John Forster, of Peterlee CID, said: “I’m really pleased we have an answer to this mystery and am glad we can now definitively rule out the money being linked to any crime or a vulnerable person.

“I would like to thank the Good Samaritans for getting in touch and also to the honest residents of Blackhall who have continued to hand the money in.

“We would encourage anyone who may find another bundle to continue to hand it in. All the previous bundles have been returned to the finder.”

In many cases, they deliberately left the money where it would be found by people in need, including pensioners and people who had fallen on hard times.

They would often wait around to make sure the cash had been picked up but have never sought any thanks for their donations.

The Good Samaritans have said they were glad to help residents, although they have both asked to remain anonymous.

The Northern Echo:

Detective Constable John Forster

Steven Whitehead, who works at Blackhall Pet and Garden Supplies, said: “It is amazing really. It has been a talking point. People have been asking if I have found any money and I have said: ‘No’.”

It is not known if the pair will continue to leave the bundles in the future but any that are found and handed in to police will continue to be returned to the finder.

Sharon Dunn, who works in The Furniture Shop on Middle Street, said: “It is a very nice gesture. I wish they had left some outside here.”