A GAS company will replace more than 20 stolen memorial plaques at a seafront.

Calor Gas, based on Canvey, made the announcement after the plaques for lost loved ones were taken from benches at Canvey seafront.

The firm, in Thames Road, took to Facebook to announce the donations.

A company spokesman said: “Have just spoken to one of our neighbours on Canvey who brought it to my attention that the brass plaques on the benches on Canvey seafront have been stolen.

“We at the terminal want to put something back so we have decided to pay for replacement plaques.

“It’s the least we can do for our community.”

It comes just hours after residents started to fundraise for the memorial benches and plaques.

The funds will be put towards something else in the community.

More than 20 plaques have been reported missing from benches at The Point and Thorney Bay Beach, Canvey.

Jenny Skinner, 40, of Canvey, paid about £450 for a bench for her late mum Christine McKay at The Point.

Her father Brian McKay took the family to see the bench and found the plaque had been removed.

She set up the fundraising page and was thrilled to hear of the company’s donation.

She said: “It is just so wonderful.

“I can’t quite believe it.

“It will make such a difference to us and other families.

“On Tuesday, it was reported that 18 plaques on memorial benches along the seawall had gone missing.

“I was also aware of four going missing at The Point.

“ It would appear the plaques had been removed on purpose for whatever reason and now obviously need replacing.

“It is unfair that the families were faced with the the bill, so I wanted to help out other people too.”

Barry Palmer, Canvey Independent councillor and volunteer with Canvey Bay Watch, a group, branded the actions as mindless vandalism and expects to improve the plaques by using screws to attach them to benches to ensure the plaques are not removed.

Donate at: gofundme.com/replacement-plaques