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‘Priceless’ fairground horses theft

Members of the Castleford Heritage Trust are angry at a recent theft of wooden horses from the old Gilligan's Roundabout that used to travel around the Castleford area.
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Members of the Castleford Heritage Trust are angry at a recent theft of wooden horses from the old Gilligan's Roundabout that used to travel around the Castleford area. p303a416

Thieves smashed through a concrete wall and stole ‘priceless’ wooden horses from a historic Castleford fairground ride.

Three horses from Gilligan’s roundabout, which used to travel the streets of Castleford in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, were stolen from Queen’s Mill, on Aire Street, between April 10 and April 15.

The ride was being restored as part of Castleford Heritage Trust’s project to transform the mill into a museum.

Alison Drake, trust chairwoman, said: “It’s absolutely devastating. Gilligan’s roundabout is priceless - you can’t put a price on it and it can’t be replaced.

“People across Castleford will have so many memories of the ride. When it used to come down your street it was almost like a street party.

“Some of the trust committee were in tears when we discovered they had been stolen.”

The trust hopes to transform the mill into a museum showcasing the heritage of Castleford.

Mrs Drake added: “The roundabout was going to be the centrepiece of our museum.

“We are desperate to get it back.”

Members of the trust believe the horses were stolen in a targeted theft as computers and other equipment were left untouched.

Mrs Drake said: “If it had been burglars just breaking in to see what they could find, then there are computers and all kinds of valuable goods but they just ignored all that.

“They made a massive effort to smash through a concrete wall to break in so I think they knew it was here.”

Insp Dave Bugg, of Castleford neighbourhood policing team (NPT), appealed for anyone with any information to get in touch.

He said: “We are really keen to get these horses back. They form an important part of Castleford’s heritage and were due to be a key part of the trust’s museum plans.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information which might help us to trace the horses to get in touch.”

Anyone with any information can contact Castleford NPT on 101 or 01924 295581.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

 

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