Ryhope man appeals for help after thieves steal a historic sign that pointed to an air raid shelter during World War II

Thieves have taken a historic sign that used to point in the direction of an air raid shelter during the Second World War in Ryhope.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 12:24 pm

The sign can normally be found on Tunstall Bank, opposite Ryhope Cricket Club however Ryan Stead, who has reported it as stolen, believes that it may have been taken over the bank holiday week.

During the Second World War, the sign was used to point members of the public in the direction of an air raid shelter as Sunderland was heavily targeted during The Blitz.

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The sign used to point to an air raid shelter during World War II.

The 49-year-old said: “I heard something going on as I was in the garden on Sunday night (May 30) but I thought it was just people coming out of the cricket club so I didn’t really think much of it.

"It’s a beautiful small piece of history and it wasn’t until Thursday (June 3) that I noticed that it had gone missing.

"Hundreds of people, including school children, walk past it everyday and it has never been touched so I thought it would actually be there forever, it was a surprise to see that it had gone.”

Ryan has begun to spread the message on social media in an effort to find the

Ryan Stead believes the sign may have been removed on Sunday, May 30.

He added: “It is incredibly important that we learn from our past, we are proud of our history and this sign is a part of that.

"The Second World War was a hellish time for Sunderland and the sign acts as a reminder for those who gave up their lives or even used the air raid shelter.

"You don’t want to let these things go, it is wiping away something that has been there for over 70 years now.”

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A Northumbria Police spokesperson commented: “We can confirm we are investigating the theft of signage relating to an air raid shelter Ryhope. The incident was reported to police on Thursday afternoon and enquiries into the theft are ongoing."

Anyone with information is asked to contact us through the police website, or by calling 101, and quoting log 673 03/06/21.

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