A WOMAN from Faberstown has been left distraught after a bench gifted to her by a dear friend and prisoner of war was stolen from her garden during the night.

On Saturday (June 11), Brenda Coleman and her husband Reggie went to bed at about 10.30pm, and when they woke up in the morning, the metal bench which sat in front of their home on Graspan Road was gone.

“In the morning, I went to make coffee, and I noticed that the front gate was open. My husband went out to look and told me that the bench was missing,” she said.

“Every child I’ve ever had here has sat on that bench, and it angers me that people have come into my garden and taken it.”

The 78-year-old added: “There is no way that you can see it from the road, you would have to know it was there.”

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The bench holds tremendous sentimental value for Brenda, as it was handcrafted and given to her as a Christmas present 30 years ago by a “great friend” Kurt Linssner, who lived an extremely interesting life before he sadly died a couple of years ago.

Kurt came to England as a prisoner of war.

When he came to Test Valley, Kurt became a farrier and looked after horses belonging to a friend of Brenda’s in Appleshaw, which is how they met.

He settled and had a family, and his grandson is now a farrier and looks after Brenda’s granddaughter’s horses.

Brenda has been based in the Andover area for the majority of her life. She and Reggie built the Charlton Road Service Station and other garage businesses, before selling them on.

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Now, she wants to issue a “public plea” to help her be reunited with her beloved bench.

“We moved to Spain for 17 years, and the bench came with us,” she said.

“It’s made of iron, it’s very heavy. It would take at least two people to move it.

“I wasn’t going to say anything, but then I thought, why should people get away with this when it’s so special?

“We just want to put out a public plea: who has our bench?”

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “ I can confirm this has been reported to us and we are investigating.

“Anyone with information should call us on 101, quoting crime reference 54220060841. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

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