Stolen 100-year-old unique cemetery key is returned

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AN “IRREPLACEABLE” key that was stolen from Leabrooks Cemetery has reappeared.

Cllr Jack Brown told the latest meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council that the unique key, which is more than 100 years old, had turned up at the cemetery.

The eight-inch cast steel alloy key, which provides access to the historic chapel on Cemetery Road, was stolen in a raid that took place between the evening of Wednesday, September 14, and the early hours of Thursday, September 15.

Cllr Brown, who is deputy mayor of Amber Valley, said: “We don’t know who had it, but we appreciate them bringing it back.”

He had described the key theft as “utterly despicable”.

Also stolen in the raid was maintenance equipment valued at more than £2,000, including garden strimmers and leaf blowers.

A crowbar or similar tool was used to smash the padlock to get inside the store and the chapel, which dates back to around 1895, and steal the gardening items.

Cllr Brown said: “Blowers and strimmers are expensive enough to replace.”

He said the key was part of the heritage of Leabrooks.