Plea as family keepsake sold down river

CELIA WIGG It began with a pencil sketch - and ended like a sketch from a Brian Rix farce. The cross between You've Been Framed and a Comedy of Errors started so serenely, as Dale Topsom captured the idyllic sight of his sister-in-law Lucy and her son Robert dangling their feet in the Avon river in Wiltshire on Britain's hottest ever day.

CELIA WIGG

It began with a pencil sketch - and ended like a sketch from a Brian Rix farce.

The cross between You've Been Framed and a Comedy of Errors started so serenely, as Dale Topsom captured the idyllic sight of his sister-in-law Lucy and her son Robert dangling their feet in the Avon river in Wiltshire on Britain's hottest ever day.

With a mixture of felt pen and watercolour, he completed the scene on August 10, 2003 - producing a priceless family keepsake.


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But now, thanks to a tragic-comic series of events, the painting has been sold down the river - and the Topsoms, from Wymondham, are desperate to get it back.

The story unfolded like this:

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On August 22 at 5pm,

after a communication breakdown, Mrs Topsom's daughter Moya took the wrong pile of pictures and paintings to the BREAK charity shop in Wymondham.

When Mrs Topsom got home at 8pm, she realised her daughter's mistake and went to the shop to put a note through the letterbox,

asking staff to hold onto the pictures.

But, in another stroke of bad luck, the shop manager stayed late that evening to change the window dressing, and put the family treasure on display.

Lo and behold, to complete the misfortune, someone walked past the shop, saw

the painting and liked it, knocked on the window and bought it. When Mrs Topsom returned to the shop the next day, she was too late.

Last night, she made a heartfelt appeal for the customer to return the painting. She said: "It is just a picture to anyone else, but it is a memory of a day to me and my son."

The sketch for the painting was done at Daniels Well, a well-known beauty spot

on the River Avon, in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Mrs Topsom is offering

a reward for its safe return and can be contacted on 07909 626236 or cvwymondham@bt

connect.com

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