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Plaque stolen from Mousehold Heath, Norwich memorial found at scrapyard

Vicky Manthorpe of the Norwich Society with the damaged memorial to Ralph Hale Mottram on St James's Hill in the city.; Photo: Bill Smith

Vicky Manthorpe of the Norwich Society with the damaged memorial to Ralph Hale Mottram on St James's Hill in the city.; Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

Mousehold Conservators have vowed to repair the famous memorial that was vandalised on the Heath after the plaque that was stolen from it was found at a scrapyard.

As reported, the RH Mottram memorial, which is at the crest of St James’ Hill and marks one of the best-loved views in Norwich, was badly damaged two months ago and police launched an appeal for help in catching the culprits.

The memorial’s panoramic bronze plaque that outlines key points on the city’s skyline was stolen and vandals also chipped away a large chunk of the memorial’s granite.

David Bradford, chairman of the Mousehold Conservators, the group that oversees the management and protection of Mousehold Heath, vowed today to repair the memorial.

He said: “We will repair it and will soon put up a notice around it saying that it will be repaired.

“We are currently looking at the costs and who will pay for it.

“The original memorial was given to the city after the money for it was raised from public subscriptions. Police have recovered the plaque from a scrap dealer, and we understand they are about to prosecute the culprits.”

Meanwhile, Keri Williams, from Bracondale, Norwich, who jogs on Mousehold Heath, said it was a great shame that it had been vandalised.

“It makes you so angry why someone would do this,” he said.The memorial is to Ralph Hale Mottram, who lived from 1883-1971 and was a former Lord Mayor of Norwich, but is best remembered for his Spanish Farm Trilogy books, published in 1927 and based on his first world war experiences in France and Flanders.

The Mousehold Heath memorial, which dates back to the mid 1970s, was designed by David Holgate.

Are you restoring a Norwich monument to its former glory? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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