MALVERN knitters who were left downcast when the crown they made for the Elgar statue in the town centre vanished have been delighted by its unexpected return.

The crown, created by members of Yarnbomb Great Malvern, was stolen on the night of Saturday, July 12, hours after it was ceremonially placed on the statue by MP Harriett Baldwin.

But whoever stole it evidently had second thoughts, as the crown reappeared on the head of the statue several days later, as mysteriously as it had vanished.

The crown, and other decorations, had been created by the yarnbombers to liven up the town for the Carnival and Hat Festival.

When it disappeared, many of the other decorations in the town centre were unravelled, prompting Yarnbomb Great Malvern members to condemn "mindless destructiveness" and blame town centre revellers who had presumably been drinking too much.

Christine Tootill of the Yarnbomb group said: "After the theft of the special crown made for Elgar’s statue, Yarnbomb Great Malvern were surprised but delighted to see that it had reappeared on the statue.

"We have decided not to leave it in place, but we have made a bright and colourful scarf for Elgar instead that he is now wearing.

"We are very grateful for all the support shown to us by people shocked by the theft, and by the town council and local press, and wanted them to know that the story has ended happily.

"We are also grateful for the return of the crown, and for the fact that whoever took it did the right thing in the end. It really has strengthened our faith in human nature."

The crown represented about 100 hours work for the yarnbombers, with more time spent making the other decorations.

This is not the first time their creations have been attacked; in the spring a princess figure they created on Belle Vue Terrace was damaged, although it was successfully repaired.