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A haul of £1m of jewellery, Joy Division master tapes - and even a gun - were allegedly discovered in the basement of the site of Jamie Oliver's new restaurant. They were found in hundreds of safe deposit boxes - some of them dating back to 1935 - in the vault of the old bank site, which the celebrity chef has converted into a restaurant.
Jewellery, gold, master tapes from the bands Joy Division and New Order were allegedly found in the boxes - with one even containing a firearm, it has been reported. According to The Sun, a source said: 'There were all sorts in the boxes - even a gun in one.'
HSBC bank, the former occupant of the building, said it could not confirm exactly what was in the boxes due to customer confidentiality. A spokesman said: 'Even if I knew exactly what was in those boxes I would not be able to comment on that for reasons of confidentiality.
A spokesman for HSBC added: 'We were moving to a new site and wanted to transfer the safe deposit boxes. 'However [because the building is a Grade II listed building] National Heritage said we were unable to take the actual boxes with us, because they were part of the structure. 'At no point were drills used to break them open - we just used the keys we had. 'The owners would have been contacted and the contents transferred to secure storage at the new site.'
An excerpt from Oliver's website reads: 'The basement vault room has wall to wall original safety deposit boxes where the people of Manchester stored their heirlooms, mementos and collectables since the building's completion in 1935.
Our designers and architects have been visiting the vault room since March 2011, and regardless of who they're with they can't resist 'checking' at least one safety deposit box for any unclaimed goods.' Oliver's restaurant will be spread over three levels, with the bank's old ground floor banking hall, mezzanines antechambers in the old clerks' offices and the basement vault room all being transformed.