A POSTBOX topper set to be auctioned to raise vital funds for a sight charity has been stolen.

Linda Catling, who has been dubbed the "Banksy of Leigh", has shared her disappointment after her speed camera topper was stolen on Saturday morning.

The 74-year-old began crocheting themed toppers for the postbox near her home on Marine Parade during lockdown - even earning praise from the Royal family for her tribute to Prince Philip.

She feared she may not be able to knit again after losing sight in one of her eyes at the start of the pandemic but has been supported by Southend in Sight.

Her latest speed camera topper, which had been revamped to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion, was set to be auctioned to raise money for the charity.

Linda said: "It's disappointing for Southend in Sight but I will find something else to do for them.

"To be honest when I found out I was so disappointed I wasn't certain if I wanted to continue but so many people have messaged me saying they don't want me to stop.

"I'm worried about other hats that I do now. But I'm not letting somebody ruin it for everyone else. I'm not going to stop.

"I just made a really beautiful one for the Queen's official birthday and I'm really nervous to put that one out because it's so nice.

"I am concerned but we will see."

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This isn't the first time the speed camera topper has been targeted.

Only a week before the latest theft, the topper was found ditched in a neighbour's garden.

Linda added: "It had been stolen the Friday before and somebody spotted the guy taking it and he had thrown it over a neighbour's wall so we managed to get it back.

"We really bolted it down and the only way to get it off was with cutters. So someone obviously wanted it and had come back with the tools.

"Why would you want a knitted speed camera?

"I felt very upset when it was taken again. I can't see this one coming back."