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Missing historic stone plaque in Thorpe St Andrew returned after three years

PUBLISHED: 18:13 26 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:17 26 August 2018

Former town mayor John Ward at the site where a stone plaque was stolen in 2015.  Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Former town mayor John Ward at the site where a stone plaque was stolen in 2015. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

A historic stone plaque which went missing three years ago from the side of a pub wall in Thorpe St Andrew has been returned.

The plaque, located on a boundary wall between the Rushcutters pub car park and River Green at Yarmouth road, has now been returned. Photo: Luke PowellThe plaque, located on a boundary wall between the Rushcutters pub car park and River Green at Yarmouth road, has now been returned. Photo: Luke Powell

The plaque, located on a boundary wall between the Rushcutters pub car park and River Green at Yarmouth Road, suddenly disappeared in 2015.

But a tip-off from a member of the public last year has now led to its return.

Thorpe St Andrew town clerk Thomas Foreman said: “We had reports it had been seen on a boat, and following some informal enquiries, it became apparent a local resident knew of its location.

“We recommended they should pass it to the builders [repairing the wall] directly, which they did.

“We are very pleased it’s back because it is a very important part of Thorpe St Andrew’s history.”

The plaque, located on a boundary wall between the Rushcutters pub car park and River Green at Yarmouth road, has now been returned. Photo: Luke PowellThe plaque, located on a boundary wall between the Rushcutters pub car park and River Green at Yarmouth road, has now been returned. Photo: Luke Powell

Marks left on the wall at the time indicated the plaque was chiselled off, Mr Foreman said.

It is understood the stone, which reads “4ft from the face of this wall belongs to S & P,” was then found in the river.

However, it has now been returned and put back in place by builders.

Dale Wiseman, a Thorpe History Group committee member, said the stone would have belonged to the brewery Steward and Patteson.

The company, based at Barrack Street, owned multiple pubs in Norwich, including what is now known as the Rushcutters in Thorpe St Andrew.

By 1964 it was said to be in control of 1,200 properties across an area spanning from the Essex border to Lincoln.

It traded as an independent brewer until 1963 when another company launched a take-over bid. The brewery was finally sold in 1967.

Mr Wiseman said: “The biggest shock for me was that the plaque was all in one piece.

“That type of stone is vulnerable to breaking apart, but it is lovely to see it in the wall again.

“It appeared just as the wall was being built too. Thankfully it didn’t turn up later.”

Mr Foreman said the town council was made aware in 2017 the plaque had been seen on a boat.

In April this year, someone then approached the council asking who the stone should be returned to.

• Do you have an interesting heritage story from your area? Email luke.powell@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772684

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