Thieves who stole a crocheted centrepiece, which was decorating the Mansfield's Bentinck Memorial as part of the town's yarn-bombing efforts to mark the Queen's 90th birthday, have anonymously returned the Union Jack heart along with note of apology.
The handmade heart-shaped crocheted blanket, which was due to be donated to charity, was stolen from Market Place on Sunday 5 June.
But following widespread coverage of the theft and appeal to the thieves to return the heart, it was handed in today with a note saying that taking it was "a drunken mistake".
The heart was found in a plastic bag hanging on the door knob of Gravity Hair and Beauty salon in Huthwaite.
Owner of the salon mother-to-be Rachel Smith had spent four weeks crocheting the blanket in support of Mansfield District Council’s campaign to yarn-bomb the town centre in a royal flush of colour to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday.
In the bag with the heart was a note of apology from those who took it, saying: "We're sorry for taking down your hard work and effort. We had no idea it was for charity and meant so much to people. It was a drunken mistake that we sincerely regret. We hope that you and people of Mansfield can forgive us and once again we are sorry."
Rachel said: "It's amazing that it has been returned. We are all so pleased that it is back and will be taking pride of place again on the Bentinck Memorial."
Rachel along with her colleague at the salon, Nicola Upton, also made two of four large Union Jack blankets that are currently up for auction and on display at the Mansfield Museum to raise money for the Royal British Legion and local homeless charity as part of the council’s Royal Knit campaign.
Over the past four months volunteers from across the district have rallied together in knit and natter groups to make patriotic inspired knitted and crocheted pieces with the aim to decorate the town ahead of a Street Party for the Queen on Sunday 12 June.
The yarn bomb is due to be on display in the town centre until the end of June when the material will then be washed, re-stitched and made into blankets to be donated to a local homeless charity.
Portfolio Holder for Cultural Services, Town and District Coun David Smith said: “It is fantastic news that the heart has been returned and I am glad that those who took it saw the error of their ways and did the right thing by handing it back."
To find out more about the Royal Knit campaign and Queen’s Birthday Street Party visit www.mansfieldmarket.co.uk, like My Mansfield UK on Facebook, or follow @MDC_News.