A MAN has been reunited with his Alresford-made soft toy after 35 years apart.

Roy Gentry of the town's museum sent Oliver the Alresford Crafts owl to a now 40-year-old man in Chichester.

He had lost his version of the toy when he was a toddler.

Roy explained: "Oliver the Alresford Crafts owl was a much cherished companion which was tragically lost all those years ago.

“His dad had been trying to find a replacement for years when he finally found the Alresford Museum. As luck would have it, we had more than one Oliver and we were delighted to be able to send him to his home near Chichester to make his now 40 year old son’s dream come true."

Alresford Crafts, the maker of soft toys and dolls was created by John and Margaret Jones and for 25 years until 1992 they produced the collector’s items.

Famous around the world, an Alresford Crafts owl has even appeared in an episode of Doctor Who and ET. The town's museum now has a display of the much-loved toys.

The museum at the Old Fire Station in Broad Street also boasts a 1893 horse-drawn steamer fire engine, photos, exhibits and finds from the local area.

Roy has just received the Mayor of Winchester’s Community Award for his work in setting up the Museum.

“We are always looking for volunteers,” he said, “and artifacts that relate to the town and its life through the ages, so if you would like to help or have items of interest please get in touch with me at roy.gentry@alresford.org or call me on 01962 773185.”

The Museum will next open to visitors on Monday May 31 and Trustees can arrange group visits.