Enquiries ongoing in Seahouses after whale bones disappear
20 Dec 2018
Ancient whale bones which stood within the site of a Northumberland school for almost 100 years have disappeared - believed to have been stolen.
The disappearance came to light after a County Council surveyor arranged to meet a specialist removal company for a feasibility study to be carried out in order to relocate the whale bones from the former Seahouses First School site.
As the surveyor went to take some photos of the bones she found they had gone and all enquiries into their whereabouts have so far drawn a blank.
The whalebones are believed to be those of a Greenland Right Whale which were once a common sight in whaling ports and are likely to have been brought back by one of the Berwick whalers sometime during 1820 to 1830s.
It is a very strange but serious situation given the importance of the bones and the care required to preserve them - also they are the property of Northumberland County Council.
Checks have been carried out and no-one in the County Council, the local Parish Council or Seahouses Primary School have any knowledge of their removal so it can only be assumed they have been stolen.
They are unique having been erected upside down and the tips will show evidence of being buried. There were also metal plates on the flat tops.
The bones represent an important reminder of the maritime heritage of north east England and are increasingly rare, so their preservation is absolutely vital.
These bones lay in a farm barn in North Sunderland for many years before being erected at Seahouses First School in the early 1930s.
Northumbria Police have been informed and anyone with information should call 101, quoting the incident number of 345 19/12/2018 or the crime number 167945G/18.