Mystery over plaque’s return

Part of the memorial gardens in Spalding's Ayscoughfee Gardens.
Part of the memorial gardens in Spalding's Ayscoughfee Gardens.
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Mystery surrounds the disappearance and sudden return of a memorial plaque at gardens in Spalding.

Staff at Ayscoughfee Gardens alerted police when the plaque, in memory of Steve Howard 1957-2011 - went missing between 1.30pm and 3.30pm last Wednesday afternoon.

However, two days later it suddenly reappeared in its original place at the foot of a tree near the ice house.

The plaque had been unscrewed leaving the posts in the ground and then screwed back into position.

Roger Nix, park attendant, said it was a complete mystery. He said: “We have had a lot of anti-social behaviour in the park this summer, but we don’t know whether a relative had taken it away to clean it or pranksters had a pang of conscience and returned it.

“How it suddenly turned up again is a complete mystery, but we are pleased that it is back.”

Dan Cooper, head gardener, said the good weather had meant it had been a particularly busy summer at Ayscoughfee.

He said: “It is a public park and so there have been cases of anti-social behaviour. But I wouldn’t say it is any worse than any other park. The plaque went missing and then turned up - that’s all I can say.”