A BASIL Brush shaped collection box which went missing from outside a shop in the centre of Trowbridge has been returned after a 20-year adventure.

The statue was positioned outside Scholars school uniform shop in Fore Street when Basil Brush came to prominence in the 1970s and collected money for The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

However in 1996 it was stolen from outside the shop and was dearly missed by the owner of the company, Edward Kirk.

To his delight, the RNIB launched an appeal to find a replacement and a new Basil Brush is now back in Trowbridge.

Mr Kirk, 47, said: “The RNIB asked if we would like a replacement and of course I said yes.

“Basil in the Warminster shop really missed his brother.

“Basil had been outside the shop since my grandad ran the shop back in the 1970s so it was terribly sad when he went missing in 1996.”

After Trowbridge’s Basil went missing - which was reported in the Wiltshire Times - his brother in Warminster held a sign in the shop window which read ‘Please help find my brother’.

The 3ft high ceramic figure in Devizes was also taken from outside the clothing shop in January earlier this year, but Mr Kirk said a closer eye will be kept on them from now on.

“We’re so grateful to have Basil back in Trowbridge,” added Mr Kirk.

“We’ll definitely guard them a bit more from now on to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“The RNIB is a brilliant charity so we would love to see people putting their pennies in to support it.”