A GOLF course with 100 years of history has seen part of it stolen after thieves broke into the clubhouse and stole the trophies.

More than 50 of the trophies ranging from cups, shields and plates were taken on Sunday from Chester-le-Street Golf Club.

Durham Police are investigating and are appealing for information following the burglary which took place around 11pm on April 5.

Martin Fairly director of the club said: “This was a targeted break in through a window that wiped out over 100 years of history from our club. The board and membership are devastated.

“The trophies were donated by families of members who have since passed away but left a trophy their name. Some of those families still play on our course, it’s devastating.

“Most trophies have names engraved on them of the winners and donators so the monetary value is very little, but it is the sentimental value that is most upsetting for us. It took about two minutes for 112 years of history to go.

“I would like to thank the police who responded very quickly to our call and will continue to work with them in their investigation.”

The Northern Echo:

It is believed the suspect forced entry into the club and once inside took the trophies from a large cabinet. The alarms were triggered but nothing else was taken. It is believed they made off in a vehicle.

Officers are now keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the trophies or who has been offered them.

Anyone with information is asked to call DC Bentham on 101 quoting incident number 440 of April 5.

The golfing season was due to start on March 29 but due to the lockdown the club is closed.

Mr Fairly said: “The issue for the club now is that when play resumes what are we going to present the winners with now?

“The membership has been very understanding but we will have to find ways around this.”

The Northern Echo:

County Councillor for Chester-le-Street east Beaty Bainbridge said: “Burglaries have started to rise again, and businesses already have enough to put up with right now. Insurance will not cover the history lost.”

County Councillor for Lumley Audrey Willis said: “During the lockdown it is the lowest of the low who are doing this at this time and its diabolical. At a time like this why would you go out do something like this, what use is it to anyone? I am lost for words,it is disgusting and atrocious.”