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National Waterways Museum's stolen Tilley lamps recovered

We're delighted that three ‘Tilley’ lamps stolen from the National Waterway Museum have been recovered thanks to the keen eye of one of our volunteers, who spotted the lamps for sale on eBay.

Three people standing next to each other holoding up very large old lamps

Our museums team alerted the police, who recovered the items. The seller is now assisting police.

Holding 90% of the UK's inland waterways collection, including some 15,000 objects and more than 50 boats, the National Waterways Museum is much-loved and tells a unique story. In February, eleven exhibits were stolen, including a model boat along with several small model engines and the three large Tilley lamps. The Trust had recently catalogued the collection and the exhibits were swiftly identified.

Steven Bagley, our manager of national collections, said: “The Tilley lamps are now back where they belong. Thank you to our dedicated volunteer who spotted the lamps for sale and acted quickly, to the police for returning the lamps to us, and to the museums team for their diligence in the aftermath of the upsetting theft. We have carried out a thorough review and are looking forward to an exciting summer of events and education.”

Anyone with information about the thefts, please speak to the police or contact the Trust directly at the National Waterways Museum.

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Last Edited: 23 May 2024

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