A GRIEVING son whose mum's ashes were taken when thieves stole his pick-up truck has had them returned.
Matt Hart had just collected his late mother's ashes and was planning a trip to Scotland for a memorial service when his truck was stolen. Her ashes were in an urn inside.
Police found the burnt out vehicle in the lanes between Askerwell and Dottery - but there was no sign of the urn with the mortal remains of Joan Mary Hart.
After that Mr Hart, who runs Henry Beard's festival caterers and the café at Bridport Arts Centre, walked up and down the roads to try and find his mum's remains.
He wanted to spread the word and ask landowners to help look for his mum's ashes in their fields by the road where the truck was found.
Last week they were returned - anonymously - to his Askerswell home.
He said the story, which was carried in the Dorset Echo and our sister paper the Bridport News, was the reason the ashes were returned.
He said: "They were put just in front of my car and I wanted to thank you very much because so many people came into the café to wish me well.
"Obviously the article went far and wide so thank you very much for running it.
"I don't know if it was reparation on behalf of the people who stole my pick-up or just an anonymous well-wisher but either which way I am grateful.
"I didn't really think I would see them again but thanks to the paper's efforts I have.
"Maybe the families of people who might have taken them said you've got to get them back, it could have worked like that.
"A little bit later than planned she will go up to the western Highlands where my sister and her grandchildren will sprinkle her ashes as planned. I will save a little bit for Dorset though."
Mrs Hart was born in 1914 and was a few weeks off 99 when she died.
Mr Hart added: "She had an interesting life. She was a few weeks off 99, she had been through both world wars, she lived in Dorset after my father came back from Dunkirk. She had her first child in the old laying in hospital in Dorchester."