A stolen Christmas Nutcracker has been returned to its position in front of St Albans Clock Tower, along with a note and a gift.

The item - which is part of St Albans BID's (Business Development District) Christmas trail - was allegedly stolen on December 1.


Today, the Nutcracker was returned to his post carrying a note, in which he apologises for his absence.

A bag of chocolates were also discovered on Corporal Gabriel's person.

Herts Advertiser: The note left at Corporal Gabriel's side.The note left at Corporal Gabriel's side. (Image: PR4 Media)

The Nutcracker's note read: "My sincerest apologies for my absence over the last couple of weeks.

"I decided to take an impromptu sabbatical from my post. 

"To be clear, I am now back for good, fully re-charged and ready to celebrate Christmas with you all.

"Whilst it is great to be back, for those concerned, I was very well looked after during my break.

Herts Advertiser: Local historian Tim Boatswain welcoming the Nutcracker back.Local historian Tim Boatswain welcoming the Nutcracker back. (Image: PR4 Media)

"The people who helped me on my trip ask for your forgiveness rather than persecution, seeing as I have now returned safely to my post.

"Christmas is the season to 'forgive and forget' after all!

"I'm sure they are slightly embarrassed about their behaviour."

The note also wishes everyone a "wonderful Christmas" and invites the reader to help themselves to the chocolates that Corporal Gabriel has brought back from his trip.

St Albans BID manager Vivien Cannon added: "We are delighted to see Corporal Gabriel’s safe return.

"He looks very well and we can’t see any obvious damage apart from one lost jewel.

"He is now secured with a chain to ensure that families can continue to enjoy our ‘complete’ Nutcracker Trail.

"It remains a mystery as to who took Corporal Gabriel but we thank you for doing the right thing and returning him- the spirit of the Nutcracker prevails!

"We encourage locals and visitors to come and enjoy the trail and take some pictures with our now famous, Corporal Gabriel!” 

More information about St Albans BID's nutcracker trail can be found on www.enjoystalbans.com