Victorian Station Clocks Stolen From Bluebell Railway

By David Prudames | 12 September 2003
Shows a photograph of a view along the platform at Horsted Keynes Station. The track can be seen snaking through the middle of the image.

Photo: the two clocks had been in their usual positions on platforms four and five when they were stolen. Photo: Chris Majer. Courtesy of The Bluebell Railway.

Were you in the Ardingly area of East Sussex last Saturday night? If you know anything about a theft from a station platform on the nearby Bluebell Railway, you could be in line for a free ride on the historic line.

Two Victorian-era clocks were stolen from Horsted Keynes Station during the evening of September 6. The historic time pieces were removed from their usual positions, on the wall by the subway on platform five and by the buffet on platform four.

Staff at the Bluebell Railway are now offering free tickets on their famous Golden Arrow Pullman dining train to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of the clocks.

Shows a black and white photograph of a locomotive pulling out of Horsted Keynes Station.

Photo: the locomotive Fenchurch pulling out of Horsted Keynes Station in 1965. Photo: Keith Harwood. Courtesy of The Bluebell Railway.

Horsted Keynes Station Master, Tim Baker explained how he was surprised to see that the thieves had only taken certain parts of the two clocks.

"The thieves removed the clock mechanisms and faces from their oak cases, which is strange as their value is considerably reduced by doing so," said Tim.

"One of the clocks has kept excellent time for the 114 years it has stood beside the platform barrier and we find it sad that someone has broken such continuity."

While it has not been revealed how much the stolen artefacts are worth, it is known that back in 1889 when Grimshaw and Baxter supplied the oldest of the two clocks to the station, the grand total of £12 exchanged hands.

Shows a photograph of a view along the platform at Horsted Keynes Station.

Photo: one of the clocks had been informing passengers of the time for 114 years. Photo: Chris Majer. Courtesy of The Bluebell Railway.

However, the clock face stolen from it is not the original from the long case pendulum model made in the nineteenth century, but a modern replacement.

Both of the clock faces, as well as their mechanisms, have been stamped with security identification numbers, which are 166B and 652B respectively.

Anyone with any information about the treasured time pieces should call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 or click here to contact them by email.

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