A family heirloom stolen in a burglary has been replaced – thanks to the Express.
The silver Coronation crown coin was mounted on a necklace as a wedding day gift from Ray Hewitt to his wife, Winnie, 60 years ago.
But the jewellery– which was due to be handed down to their granddaughter, Lyndsay, on her wedding day – was stolen during a break-in at the couple’s home in December.
Five days later Winnie, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, died, aged 83, and the coin was never recovered.
Moved by the heartbreaking tale, former Express editor Judy Gordon donated an identical coin given to her as a child to Ray.
Now the coin has been mounted and Ray can fulfil his dream of handing it over to Lyndsay on her big day this Friday.
Lyndsay, 31, of Slater Street, Macclesfield, said she and Ray had been overwhelmed by Judy’s generosity.
She said: “It was the kindest gesture I can imagine.
“It was heart-warming that someone could want to try and help us through such a difficult moment in our lives.
“In some way replacing it gives it more meaning because there is more of a story attached to it now.”
A thief smashed his way into the couple’s home on Birtles Road, Broken Cross, on December 18 as Ray visited terminally ill Winnie at her care home.
Among the items taken was the Coronation crown coin mounted on a silver necklace.
Ray, 81, was devastated by the theft.
He said: “Winnie wore the necklace all the time.
“It was part of her and meant a lot to us both.
“When Lyndsay was a little girl she would go to her grandmother’s jewellery box and come down wearing the necklace.
“We always intended for her to have it on her wedding day.
“When I realised it had been stolen I was broken hearted.
“For Judy to come forward and try and help me at such a difficult time was really touching.”
Ray, a retired businessman, had the coin mounted and set on a chain in an identical style to his wedding day gift to Winnie.
He is now able to give it to Lyndsay on her wedding to Peter Anderson, 31, at St Peter’s Church in Prestbury on Friday.
Judy Gordon, former editor of the Express, said: “I was given the Coronation coin by my grandparents because it was the year I was born.
“I never planned to give it away but when we learnt about the appalling experience of Ray I wanted to help in some way.
“ I’m glad it found a new home.”