Twenty-four historic enamel advertising signs were stolen from the late Sir William McAlpine’s private Fawley Hill estate in Buckinghamshire early on Monday, January 6.
Burglars used a crowbar and spanners to remove the signs from the outside walls of the restored Somersham station, which serves the Fawley Hill Railway on the site.
Its owner, Lady Judy McAlpine, believes that she may have disturbed the burglars when she went outside with her two Labradors to investigate sounds.
Lady McAlpine said: “The dogs disturbed them. I had a feeling that something was going on and went outside, and it seems they then made off.”
Slideshow: Which advertising signs were stolen?
When daylight broke, the scale of the theft was apparent. One sign that appeared to have been bent by a crowbar had been left hanging from the wall. Lady McAlpine immediately contacted all of the UK’s railwayana auction houses, and she took steps to ensure that the remaining signs on the station were taken inside for security purposes.
The stolen signs include Nestle’s milk, Virol, Charlock Phos-Lime, G.P Government tea, Mazawatte Tea, Lyons’ Cocoa, Wills’ Honey cut, Oakhill Ales & Beers, Book Here for Canadian Pacific, Railway Passenger Assurance Company, Bay’s Ginger Beer, Brooke Bond Tea, East Anglian Daily Times, The Open Door to more business, Carr’s Fever Powders, Carson’s Murapaste and Wills’s Autograph.
Anyone who is offered any of them for sale is asked to contact Thames Valley Police on 101.Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.