04:32PM, Thursday 21 October 2021
The Alma Landlord Alfie Horn and general manager Louie Blackman
A Windsor pub has appealed for help after thieves stole valuable collectable signs from the beer garden in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Alma, in Springfield Road, is asking people to keep an eye out for the rare items in auction shops and on social media selling sites, as those responsible may be trying to make money from them.
Alfie Horn, one of the landlords of the pub alongside Mike Hall, told the Express that a total of eight signs were stolen from the pub garden, with others badly damaged.
The enamel products (pictured below) – which are vintage advertising signs – are said to be extremely recognisable and the pub suspects that a vehicle would have been used in the getaway due to the weight of them.
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In a social media post on Tuesday, The Alma said it was ‘absolutely gutted’ by the thefts after ‘so many months of closure and setbacks’.
The pub added that Thames Valley Police (TVP) has been made aware of the incident.
Alfie said: “[The signs] have always been in The Alma – the pub is known for its collectables and curiosity.
“These signs have been around for years and make the garden what it is. It is the identity of the place.
“We have never had them valued because we have never wanted to sell them, but I know they have a reasonable value and are desirable things.”
He added: “Between 4am and 5am, someone has climbed over the wall into the garden and gone round and unscrewed off the wall eight of the signs, and badly damaged those which they could not get off.
“They are of sentimental value to The Alma and our customers, and it is gutting.
“They are something we cannot just replace.
“It is just really disheartening to think someone would do that, especially after the last year-and-a-half.”
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Alfie reserved praise for the support he has received from the community since the thefts, with one regular customer checking with auction houses in the South East to see whether the signs may have ended up in their hands.
“It is lovely that people have come together to help us out,” he said.
“We are just cracking on as normal – there is not a lot we can do apart from spread the word, and hopefully someone will hear something.”
A TVP spokeswoman said that the force received reports of a theft in Springfield Road at about 4am on Tuesday morning.
She added: “We are currently investigating. Anyone with information can contact police by calling 101 or making a report online, quoting reference 43210471703.”
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.