Theft of historic Buchan bell

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A HISTORIC bell, worth a substantial amount of money, has been stolen from a derelict building in Buchan.

The bronze bell which was made in 1827 and was once named the “best bell in Buchan”, was stolen from stables at Chapel Park on the outskirts of Mintlaw between August 15 and November 20.

Owner Debbie Elrick was shocked when she discovered the bell had been taken.

She told the Buchanie: “It is horrible to think that someone has been in the property without permission and stolen something which is of great value.

“The bell was within a wooden cupola, so whoever has taken it has had to destroy the cupola to get it out.

“The bell is simply irreplaceable. We wanted to restore the stables to their original state but without the bell it simply isn’t worth it. It’s been in the family for years so the bell has an emotional value as well.

“It’s obvious that whoever is responsible did it at night time because we are always on the go throughout the day and if we do see someone in the area we always go to see what they are doing.

“We would be willing to give a reward for anyone that has any information on its whereabouts. It’s that big that someone must have seen where it is. Since we’ve been out looking at the damage these people have caused we have noticed that a fireplace has been stolen as well.

“It’s also even more worrying that there are people wandering about in other people’s properties. Added to that the building is dangerous to be in - anything could have happened. We are just absolutely gutted.”

Grampian Police are investigating the theft of the bell which is of such a size and weight that it would have required at least two people and a van to have removed it.

Grampian Police are keen to trace anyone who may have information regarding this theft or any subsequent attempts to pass on or sell the bell.

Investigating Officer, PC Marc Richards said: “This bell is described as unique, originating locally and dating back to the 1800s. As such, the owners as well as Historic Scotland are very keen to see it recovered.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5 700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.