Heartless thieves steal kids’ mosaics

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Six foot mosaics that school children and craft groups spent months on end making have been stolen in Selston.

The mosaics were made as part of a special history project looking into old railway lines in the area and were unveiled by a local councillor outside the Crown Inn pub earlier this year.

Martin Taylor-Cockayne, the chairman of Portland Path, the group leading the project, said: “I can’t believe it.

“People in the community put their heart and soul into making these. Kids had hours and hours of fun making them.

“It’s ridiculous. They’re not even worth anything to anybody. It just beggars belief.”

Mr Taylor-Cockayne said the theft must have been ‘pre-planned’.

“They couldn’t have possibly be taken by an opportunist thief,” he said.

“They’re huge and were bolted to the wall. They went to a lot of trouble.”

Cllr Gail Turner helped fun the Portland Path Project and unveiled the mosaics.

“It’s just terrible,” she said.

“I am really upset about it.

“It was such a community thing. It’s just despicable to take them away when so many people had so much pleasure from them.”

A £250 reward is on offer for information leading to a successful prosecution.

The Portland Path Project was set up to investigate a horse drawn-railway that ran from Cromford Canal in Jacksdale.

The Crown pub was chosen for the mosaics because it was one of the spots where the railway ran.

One of them depicted a canal boat being loaded with coal at Jacksdale Wharf, and the other showed a man loading the horse drawn coal wagon on the railway just passed the Crown Inn.