A new appeal has been launched to find an original booking office clock stolen from the railway museum in the 1990s.
When reported to the police there were no photographs of it to circulate before, however old camcorder footage at the end of a tape has now emerged of the clock and a new appeal has been launched.
In an appeal, Downpatrick and County Down Railway said, “This Belfast & County Down Railway – the original company that operated the railway before it closed in 1950 – booking office clock would have originally hung in one of the stations on the old BCDR network between Newcastle and Belfast.
“It was spotted in an antique shop and bought by a number of volunteers who chipped in together to buy it for the museum in 1990 for public display. The railway was only a couple of years old and it was one of our earliest artefacts.
“But only a few years later burglars stole it from the station. Since then our security has been significantly improved throughout the site and museum, with the railway recently being awarded over £3,000 in grant aid from the Northern Ireland Museums Council for further improvements.
“As you can imagine this theft was a terrible blow to the volunteers who’d chipped in to save it for the museum.
“It’s not a particularly rare design, it’s a relatively standard design from the makers Ansonia. It has an octagon shaped face, and a pointed case, but what makes it special is that it had the initials “BCDR” handwritten on the dial, presumably done by one of the old BCDR staff members, as shown in the closeup in the video – it’s that provenance that was important to us.
“In the 20 years that have passed it’s never been recovered, either privately or by the police. And until this footage recently turned up no one had a photo of it.
“Given its provenance there’s a very high chance it’s still out there, maybe with a collector who innocently purchased it not knowing it was stolen, possibly locally, possibly outside Northern Ireland.”
Maybe we’ll be lucky and it will be recovered and put back on public display in the museum where you can come and see it. Contact the local police at PSNI Down or on the non-emergency number 101.