A painting which was stolen from a Glasgow museum almost 30 years ago has turned up at an auction in England. 

Children Wading was stolen from Haggs Castle Children's Museum in February 1989 and has been missing ever since.

The scene depicts two children paddling along a water's edge with a toy boat floating near them, and it was painted in Carnoustie, Angus by Robert Gemmell Hutchison in 1918. 

After decades of mystery surrounding the painting, it was submitted for sale at Tennant's Auctioneers in North Yorkshire by a consignor who acquired it from their late father's estate. 

By checking the painting's past with the Art Loss Register (ALR) service, staff managed to identify that the painting matched the one stolen, and it was immediately withdrawn from sale.

The ARL has a database which keeps a historical record of stolen works of art and if attempts are made to try and sell or auction them, the police are made aware.

Almost 65,000 museum losses are currently registered on the database and teams are constantly searching the international art market for stolen items to turn up. 

Once the consignor learned of the discovery, they were happy to see the artwork returned to its home.

Lucy O’Meara, who is a recoveries specialist at the ALR, said: “The ALR is thrilled to have assisted the parties involved in this case on a pro-bono basis and we are very pleased that this sweet picture will be returned to public view.”

The painting has been moved to Glasgow Life's Glasgow Museums Resource Centre at 200 Woodhead Road, Glasgow, G53 7NN and members of the public will be able to view it on tours.

Duncan Dornan, head of Glasgow Life Museums, said: “The process of recording, cataloguing and caring for Glasgow’s Museums Collection has improved significantly since it was founded in the 1860s.

"For 30 years, the cataloguing of the collection has been centralised using the Museum’s Collection Management System and storage of the collection has also been improved.

“Where historic thefts are conclusively identified, we have robust processes in place including notifying the police and adding the items to the Art Loss Register which makes it difficult to secure sales at legitimate auctions.

“This is exactly the process which has led to the return of Children Wading by Robert Gemmel Hutchison to Glasgow.

"We are enormously grateful for the work of the Art Loss Register and the unsuspecting vendors for the safe return of a wonderful painting.”