Ashamed thief returns cannon 30 years later with letter of apology
Published on 4 December 2019
The 19th century device was taken from Tealby Village Hall in 1989 with residents left in the dark as to its whereabouts.
However, they were left shocked when the 400lb gun reappeared "out of the blue" last week in exactly the same spot it had been taken from all those years ago.
It was accompanied by a letter claiming to be from the person who helped take it, in which they confessed to the robbery and said they were "ashamed" by their actions.
The writer, whose identity is not known, explained in the decades since, the person who took hold of the cannon used it at history events and, amazingly, discovered it to be in full working order, the letter revealed.
Locals in Tealby have rejoiced over the return of their beloved cannon, including the village bakery which started selling a spherical teacake called the 'Tealby cannonball'.
However, another identical gun which went missing at around the same time is still lost.
The pair were swiped from the front of Tealby Village Hall, which was gifted to the village by the Tennyson D'Eyncourt family as a memorial to their sons who gave their lives during the First World War.
The cannons are thought to have been placed as a memorial to the fallen soldiers.
Richard Askam, committee chairman at Tealby Village Hall, said: "The cannons had sat there for a long time before they mysteriously both went missing 30 years ago.
"They weren't seen or heard of again until Thursday, November 21.
"It seems as though after 30 years someone's guilt has finally got the better of them.
"When I heard it had returned I felt a mixture of surprise and happiness.
"The cannons were and are a part of the fabric of this village, their disappearance caused some angst among people.
"Having one of them returned has restored some of my faith in humanity.
"I think the person who brought it back deserved some credit, we have all done stupid things but it's never too late to make up for it."
The 52-year-old said after its discovery the weighty cannon was moved by two men using "all their strength" to a "secure location" - away from prying eyes.
He added he would like to return the cannon to its former position but that it will need to be secured to the ground to prevent another theft.
The village has appealed for anyone with information about the other missing cannon to come forward.
Article accredited to: Lincolnshire Live 03/12/19