THE mystery surrounding a folder full of watercolours discovered on a bus has been solved and the paintings reunited with their owner.

Artist Andy Johnson, from Seaford, has reclaimed the portfolio of landscape paintings after they were discovered by a concerned passenger on the number 12 bus.

The 60-year-old said he was on his way to Brighton to try to exhibit some of his work as part of the Artists Open Houses when he forgot to pick up the large folder of paintings – many of which featured numerous Sussex landscapes.

The construction engineer said he was “absolutely relieved” to be reunited with his work.

He said: “It was purely being absent minded. I had a bag with me as well and I usually do not have two items. I sort of realised it was my stop and grabbed my bag then about a quarter of an hour later I realised I had left the paintings on the bus.

“I was not very happy, but this easily happens. People leave Stradivarius violins and laptops full of state secrets on public transport so it is not really up there with that.”

Mr Johnson added: “I could not believe anyone would take them and throw them away or decide to just keep them. I had a bit of faith they would eventually find their way back.” He was reunited with the paintings after getting in touch with the bus company, who put him in touch with Sussex Police.

The selection of paintings was discovered on the bus by David Dalziel, from Newhaven, as he was coming home from Sunday lunch.

The 48-year-old said: “As some of the paintings were signed I was happily surprised to receive an email from Andy Johnson asking whether I had found his paintings.

“Andy advised me that he has been informed by Sussex Police following his call about a report I had also lodged with them and they had provided him with my email address.

“Following an exchange of emails I arranged a handover of the paintings to Andy in his hometown of Seaford.

“So, a happy ending to a nice story and thanks goes to Helen Rogers and her team at Sussex Police and to The Argus for running the story.”