Stolen plaques found and repaired by Islington scrap merchant

Stolen memorials have been returned to the benches they were taken from – after a scrap metal merchant found and repaired them.

Six brass plaques were screwed back onto seats in Duncan Terrace Gardens, Islington, last Thursday, after a kindhearted metal merchant took it upon himself to mend them.

They had been ripped off the benches last month, before Mayuan Mak found them dumped and badly damaged outside the Islington Metal Works, in nearby Torrens Street.

Mr Mak, a partner at the metal works, said: “When I found them, they were completely bent in half. Someone had tried to mutilate them to hide what they were, to hide the dedications, so they could sell them as scrap.

“I think whoever did it realised they still looked like plaques and they couldn’t sell them, so they just dumped them. I took them to Hornsey Metal Works and got them straightened out.”

Islington Council’s Greenspace team put the plaques back, adding extra glue to secure them better.

Residents and dog walkers had been shocked by the heartless thefts when they were spotted, particularly as the small plaques had little value.

Most Read

Mr Mak added: “It must be a very personal thing for everyone that’s gone out and bought those plaques and I just felt they had to be fixed. If I didn’t do it, they might sit on the shelf for six months.”

Just one plaque was left untouched by the thieves. Its owner, Caroline Fisher, of Elia Street, Islington, who had been afraid hers would be next, was delighted to see them returned.

She said: “I’m sure the people who lost the plaques will be very relieved and grateful. What a kind person to go out of his way and fix them.”

Sgt Liam Redrup, of St Peter’s safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: “The scrap merchant contacted us and arranged to have them repaired and polished up. It’s a bit of good news, particularly as metal merchants are sometimes blamed for taking stolen brass and copper.”