THE mystery surrounding a stone which vanished from an Irvine car park last week has sparked controversy.

The rock beneath the wall in East Road Car Park has sat for and been used by residents and revellers alike to give them a 'punty' over the wall.

But last week shoppers and business owners were shocked to find that the stone - which has been used as a stepping stone over the wall for more than 40 years - had mysteriously vanished and replaced with two grey breeze blocks.

One business owner said: "I used that stone everyday to get to my bins on the other side. I'm not joking, its been there for as long as I can remember, it just doesn't look right without it."

One resident lamented the loss of the stone, saying: "First the bridge, then the magnum, now this. I can't cope."

Another said: "That stone helped me up n down that wee wall many times. Especially when drunk"

Another added: "That rocks been there forever. I cant believe it."

Some residents blamed authorities for removing the stone for 'health and safety' reasons, however council chiefs confirmed they are just as baffled as everyone else.

A spokesman for North Ayrshire Council: "The removal of the stone in East Road car park was nothing to do with North Ayrshire Council."

Do you know what happened to the stone? Call 01294 447521 or 447502.