South Shields nurse devastated after knitted post box topper 'stolen' from Stanhope Road

The South Shields nurse behind the knitted seaside scene decorating a post box on Stanhope Road says her creation has been “stolen”.

Janice Welsh has been knitting and crocheting decorative ‘post box toppers’ since March this year in an effort to bring smiles to the faces of those passing by.

But her most recent creation, depicting a colourful seaside scene, has gone missing from the Stanhope Road post box – sparking fears that it may have been stolen.

The 62-year-old, who installed the topper last month, said: “I got up this morning [Wednesday] and saw it was gone.

Janice Welsh with her post box topper on Stanhope Road before it was stolen.

"It is just senseless to take it. What use is it to them?

"It won’t deter me from doing it again, but it is a shame because it was my favourite one with the seagull and the ice cream seller on it.”

Janice, who works as an auxiliary nurse at South Tyneside District Hospital, began making the post box toppers at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 in an effort to relax following shifts on the Covid ward.

After being inspired by a Facebook group showing others doing the same across the country, Janice made a stunning Beatrix Potter scene featuring Peter Rabbit along with friends Mrs Tiggy Winkle and Jemima Puddle-Duck.

The missing post box topper depicts a seaside scene including a mermaid and ice cream man.

The creation was such a hit with residents and those on social media that Janice went on to make a second one in May which featured a gnome and bumblebee.

A lot of hard work goes into making the post box toppers, with Janice spending up to 10 weeks to make her colourful creations.

Each post box topper has a note attached asking people not to damage or steal the toppers – something Janice said people had been respectful of, until now.

Jancie believes that the topper has been stolen and is reporting the incident to the police.

Janice Welsh said the missing post box topper was her favourite and hopes she will be able to find it again.

Janice said: “The post box covers have been on since March and the next one was going to be Halloween, but I can’t leave the post box bare now so I am going to do another one.

“A lot of work goes into making them so it is going to take a couple of weeks to get it sorted.”

Anyone with information is asked to email: [email protected]

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