25 September 2000
Historic milk chariot stolen
By FWi staff
THIEVES have stolen a valuable horse-drawn milk “chariot” built at the beginning of the last century from a Hampshire farm.
The chariot, which in its heyday delivered milk around Finchley in north London, was taken from Longdown Dairy Farm, Ashurst, near Southampton on Sunday (24 September).
It was the centrepiece of the National Dairy Councils museum collection located on the farm, and featured in a Farmers Weekly article last year.
Catherine and Graham Vint, tenants at Longdown, were shocked at the theft of the chariot which is worth 12,000.
Catherine and Graham Vint with the stolen chariot
“Its a very beautiful chariot and always drew compliments from visitors,” said Mrs Vint.
“Some of the older visitors would say they could remember seeing ones like it when they were young.”
Mrs Vint believes the thieves knew exactly what they were looking for as they smashed down a fence to reach the chariot and its seven-gallon ventilated churn.
She fears that the villains may be tempted to repaint it, remove some of the distinctive brass and copper fittings and try to sell it to carriage drivers.
Ironically, the chariot could be a victim of the modern day slump in milk prices.
The Vents have been forced to sell up their 140-Jersey business, and think the thieves may have first seen the chariot at their farm sale last week
- Anyone with any information on this crime (Ref No DH/9983/00) should contact PC Chris Speller Berg at Hythe Police, or call Crimestoppers on 0845 0454545.