Glasgow & West Scotland

Stolen Stan Laurel statue returned after 'trip'

Michael Durkin with the returned Stan Laurel statue
Image caption The statue was stolen from the Oban hotel seven years ago

A lifesize statue of Stan Laurel which was stolen from a Scottish hotel seven years ago has been returned, along with a diary of his adventures.

The six-foot-tall figure was stolen from Oban's Rowantree Hotel in 2004.

Its owners put up a reward for its return but eventually lost hope of ever seeing the mascot again.

Staff were shocked when the statue appeared at the door last week, with a spoof diary around his neck claiming he had only "popped out for a loaf".

It revealed his "adventures", including images of him superimposed alongside famous figures, including the Queen, Nelson Mandela, the Spanish World Cup winning team, Barack Obama and Colonel Gaddafi.

'Pretty embarrassed'

Rowantree Hotel office manager Michael Durkin, 35, who was working at the hotel in 2004 when the statue was stolen, said: "Stan went missing seven years ago, overnight.

"Everyone was annoyed and pretty embarrassed that a six-foot statue could have been taken from the reception without anyone noticing.

"The hotel was full the night he was pinched and we thought a stag party may have been responsible, but we never got to the bottom of the mystery and we'd given up hope of seeing Stan again."

"Then, I was coming in to work last Wednesday and saw him standing at the door to the back car park. I couldn't believe my eyes and just burst out laughing."

His last diary entry reads: "It will be a while before I go out for a loaf again."

Mr Durkin added: "There's a camera trained on him now."