Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The four troughs, made of granite or concrete and often weighing around four tons each, have been stolen from streets in Penge, Sydenham, Chislehurst and Bromley Hill.

Residents associations, councils and the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association have called for help to try to trace the sculptures.

The thefts have been reported to the police, Bromley Council, English Heritage, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The Royal Horticultural Society, The National Trust and The Art Loss Register, and various media have been alerted.

Historian Alan Underwood has catalogued and created a database of many of the community troughs. He has researched the beginnings of the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association (MDFCTA) that had installed many of the troughs. It was founded in 1859 and has since changed its name to the Drinking Fountain Association

Anyone with information should call the police on 101. Regarding the Penge theft, use the police crime reference number 3320094/19 and for Chislehurst use the number 3320566/19.