Council workmen pulled off a ‘chance in a million’ when they found a missing watch buried under four tons of household refuse.
Linda Dunaway thought her treasured gold wrist watch had gone for good when she accidentally threw it out in the rubbish.
But Portsmouth binmen proved her wrong and emerged as heroes of the early-morning drama.
Linda realised what had happened soon after binmen called at her house in Powerscourt Road, Copnor.
In desperation, she phoned the city’s cleansing department.
The binmen gave Linda and her son a lift on the bin lorry to Portsmouth’s incinerator.
There the four-ton load was dumped on the ground and a team of eight men sifted through it.
Half an hour later one employee emerged holding the £300 gold watch.