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Break-ins occurred on three separate occasions over the first week of this month when thieves ransacked its educational loans collection, tampering with 90% of the 200 loan boxes and stealing replica metal axes, pins, coins, a plaster bust of Queen Victoria, tools and equipment.

The thieves damaged the warehouse, smashed through a wall and cut through electricity and water piping. An online fundraising page has been launched – and more than £1000 has been raised so far – for the trust to pay for repairs.

The antiques trade is asked to look out for these stolen items and can contact the police or email Andrew Richardson at the trust.

A statement from the fundraiser said: “Please help spread awareness about the stolen items, as these will likely go on the market over the next few months to try and be sold.”