Monday, 1 February 2010

Lead Theft

Some while ago (25 October), I showed a picture of the Salt Family Mausoleum attached to the United Reformed Church in Saltaire, where Sir Titus Salt and several members of his family are laid to rest. My original picture showed the attractive roof of the Mausoleum. I am sad to report that thieves have stripped the lead from it for the third time and the roof has now been covered in sheeting in a bid to prevent water entering the vault. The theft apparently happened last autumn but I confess that I had not heard about it until recently. Lead theft is a particular problem for churches - my own church suffered too, and water damaged the interior. Trying to insure the buildings becomes prohibitively expensive and this must be especially unwelcome for the church in Saltaire. It faces an ongoing battle to preserve and restore the fabric, despite receiving some grants from bodies such as English Heritage. I'm amazed that such a theft could be carried out in an area such as Saltaire without anyone noticing the thieves (and presumably their vehicle?). And I wonder too how anyone could be so minded to damage such a beautiful, historic building, which is loved by so many.

3 comments:

  1. I have a faint recollection of an episode of Heartbeat that dealt with stealing lead from roofs. If I'm remembering correctly it seems this is a long standing problem.

    The cretins who do this are one half of the problem. The other half would seem to be the numbskulls who buy the lead from them. How this sort of crime could possibly be worth all the physical work involved is a total mystery to me.

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  2. I've only seen the URC church once, from the front entrance, and hadn't particularly noticed the mausoleum attached to the side. I did, however, take a photo, and now that I look, the roof is covered in the green tarpaulin. Sadly, some people have no respect for beauty or history when measured against personal gain!

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