Silver jubilee as town jewels brought home

Andrew and Kath Pinnock with the old Spenborough Town Hall silverware has been returned to Cleckheaton.
Andrew and Kath Pinnock with the old Spenborough Town Hall silverware has been returned to Cleckheaton.

SPENBOROUGH’S civic silverware is back in its rightful place, almost a year after bungling thieves tried to steal it during a midnight raid.

The thieves had hacked their way into the town hall in Cleckheaton with a chainsaw to get their hands on the silverware worth thousands of pounds.

They sawed through a window, then tried to hack into the silver cabinet through a wall, but gave up when they realised it was reinforced with metal.

They went straight through a solid wooden door before smashing the glass front of the cabinet.

But the raid was foiled when sparks from the saw set off the fire alarm and the thieves fled the scene empty-handed.

Since then, the silverware has been kept in safe storage in Dewsbury, but this week it was returned to Cleckheaton.

Greeting its return were ward councillors Kath and Andrew Pinnock who said they were delighted to have it back.

The silver includes ceremonial chains, a mace and an antique spoon dated 1680. The chains and mace date back to 1955 when the municipal borough of Spenborough was first created.

The attempted theft outraged people in the town and at the time Coun Kath Pinnock said: “This is Spenborough’s heritage and history, and it would be a tragedy if any of that was ever taken.

“It’s outrageous that people should think it’s okay to do this – to come in to a public building with a chainsaw and destroy everything in their way.”

This week she was thrilled to welcome it back.

“Obviously we are absolutely delighted to have the silver back where it belongs,” she said.

“Local people have been asking me about if – or when – it will be back.

“Some of them were worried that it would have moved to Dewsbury, never to be seen again, but that was never going to be the case.

“It’s not about the monetary value – these things have very important historical value to the area.”

“We didn’t have to fight to get it back, but as is often the case with the council, we just needed to give them a little nudge in the right direction!”

The silver has been returned to the display case in the town hall, which has now been upgraded with reinforced glass for added protection.