A GARDEN volunteer from York is appealing for the return of her "t-rusty steed" after the bike she's loved for almost 45 years was stolen from outside her home.
65-year-old Jan Kingdom said she has been left unable to get around and do the things in life she loves most thanks to a thief who stole her Raleigh Caprice shopper from behind her garden gate in Trafalgar Street in South Bank.
The bike, which Jan describes as "lilac and rust" in colour with a battered basket on the front, was a 21st birthday present and for almost 45 years has served her faithfully.
Jan worked for City of York Council for more than 20 years and used to head up the Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team in the Special Educational Needs Support Service.
But now she said she spends much of her time volunteer gardening in Rowntree Park.
She says she's been robbed of her main means of transport and, as she suffers from painful arthritis, she's stuck without her bike.
"I do about ten hours a week in the garden. The sensory garden is my main responsibility, and I love it." said Jan.
"The bike is like part of my persona. Nobody ever sees me without my bike - it's my t-rusty steed you might say.
"I love it and I feel very bereft without it. I can't walk down to the shops or go to the park. I'm a bit stranded really and I just want it back.
"It was stolen from behind my garden gate after 10pm on Tuesday night (June 28).
"Annoyingly it wasn't locked and I forgot to bring it in.
"I have reported it to the police who said there have been quite a few bike thefts in the area.
"I'm just hoping that someone reads this and after realising that it only has two working gears and isn't much good to them, gets in touch and hands it back."
A police spokesman said that if you have any information on those responsible for this theft, know the whereabouts of the stolen bike or have been offered it for sale please contact the North Yorkshire Police with information on 101 or by emailing email@example.com
Or if you wish to remain anonymous the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.
Alternatively, Jan said anyone who thinks they know where her bike is or can return it to her can contact The Friends of Rowntree Park on Facebook: facebook.com/friendsrowntreepark