WHEN Wendy Gillett travelled from Stuart Town to Sydney on the Countrylink XPT on Monday it became a journey she will remember for all the wrong reasons.
There was an opportunist thief among the passengers and somewhere before the XPT reached Lithgow the thief robbed Wendy of a large part of her lifetime memories.
The Randwick resident was returning home after visiting friends at Stuart Town and had with her a backpack containing her laptop which had stored on line personal and irreplaceable data.
The train stopped at Orange and Bathurst then at Lithgow where she went to retrieve the backpack from the luggage rack.
Then came the horrified realisation that it was gone.
“It was my life record,” she said.
The laptop and external hard drive contained her tax record, completed work and personal references.
These can be replaced but it was the family photographic memories causing the real distress.
“For the past 10 years I’ve stored all my photos online,” she said.
“Friends and family members, some who have now passed on.
“Dad’s 80th, mum’s 75th, video footage of my dearest grandmother, holidays, adventure, I saved it all.
“It was my life record and now everything is gone in an instant.”
Wendy admitted it was ‘really stupid’ to have both the laptop and the external hard drive in the same place.
“Now I’ve paid the price; my life has been stolen from me,” she said.
She believes the theft occurred at any one of the three stops, Orange, Bathurst or Lithgow.
Despite the theft Wendy still retains faith in people and hopes someone will return at least the hard drive to her when they realise it has no value to anyone but her.
“Mostly I’d love to get the hard drive back but I would also like to recover some of my favourite clothes that were in the backpack.
“They’re also of no value to anyone but me,” she said.
“There’s my old Mambo board shorts, over 10 years old an lovingly repaired a few months ago.
“My orange Crocs that they no longer sell and T shirts collected in my travels.”
The missing items were contained in a large green Osprey Kestrel backpack (with the orange Crocs on the outside).
“Hopefully your readers can help me regain this part of my life,” she said.
Anyone knowing the whereabouts of the backpack or any of the contents can leave them at this newspaper, notify us where they can be found or contact the local police.