A search has been launched to find a thief who snatched a rare piece of aviation history from Doncaster’s Vulcan Bomber hangar.
A control column has been taken from the last remaining flying Vulcan’s base at Robin Hood Airport - and the group which looks after the iconic aircraft are appealing for help in getting the joystick back - before calling in the police.
The Vulcan To The Sky Trust, which looks after the Cold War aircraft, has placed a week-long amnesty on the return of the control column in the hope that it will prick the conscience of the thief to return it.
A VTTS spokesman said in an email newsletter: “A small but significant exhibition piece was stolen from its location on display in the hangar.
“To make matters worse, the item was on loan, so was not even our property. We hope that before this matter goes any further, the person who took it is a reader of these newsletters and it worries their conscience to have carried out such a theft.
The item was stolen between 18 and 22 February from the hangar which houses XH558, the only flying Vulcan bomber left in the world. The control does not come from the aircraft itself.
The spokesman said: “We would like to offer that person, or people who accompanied them - the opportunity to do the right thing and return it - no questions asked. Otherwise, we will have no alternative than to involve the police.”
Since the theft, other items within the Vulcan exhibition have now been secured, meaning some exhibits are not now as ‘tactile’ to experience as they once were.
The spokesman continued: “We will leave this matter open until May 8. If you have the item or know of its whereabouts, please ensure it is posted under plain cover to the hangar, or left at a local police station.”
The VTTS has urged the culprit to post it back to a local police station with the following message.
“This item was on loan to Vulcan To The Sky trust. It was stolen on a recent visit and a public appeal has made the thief re-consider their actions to hand it to local police. No further action will be taken by the owners.”
If you have any details, please call the Trust on 0845 124 7285.
Anyone who knows the location of the item and is happy to pay postage can return it to The Vulcan Experience, Hangar 3, Fourth Avenue, Robin Hood Airport. Doncaster DN9 3GF.