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Plea to vintage bumper thieves

PUBLISHED: 11:05 13 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 March 2010

A RETIRED Suffolk electrician is appealing to the thieves who stole the bumper from his vintage van to return it, or come and take the rest of it!

While 70-year-old Reg Shapland was in hospital, the chrome bumper from his Monaco red vintage van was stolen from the vehicle parked on his drive.

A RETIRED Suffolk electrician is appealing to the thieves who stole the bumper from his vintage van to return it, or come and take the rest of it!

While 70-year-old Reg Shapland was in hospital, the chrome bumper from his Monaco red vintage van was stolen from the vehicle parked on his drive.

But what most upset him was that attached to it was the original embossed aluminium number plate, MBJ 579E.

He said: "You can't buy those embossed plates anymore so this was irreplaceable. It was a special shape to bend round the diesel engine.

"The car has a lot of sentimental value to me as I have had it so long. It would be nice to see it returned if the thieves have a conscience."

Mr Shapland, of Howard Street, Ipswich, originally bought the Mark 1 Ford Diesel Transit brand new from Hennessy's in Woodbridge in 1966.

At a cost of £884 the top of the range van was the workhorse for his electrical and plumbing business.

It was also used to pull a caravan during the family holidays and some of his five children used to sleep in the back of it.

The antique was last used in when Mr Shapland retired six years ago at the age of 64 but would still run properly the battery was replaced and some new tyres fitted.

It was offered to the transport museum, which failed to reply, and since then it has been sitting outside his home covered in plastic.

"Someone out there is doing up a similar van, and surely someone knows who it is. For a small fee they could have taken the lot," Mr Shapland added, "But these days they will take the sugar out of your tea and the laces out of your shoes if your not careful. What is the world coming to?"

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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